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Brown Butter Oatmeal Blondies

It won’t be easy.

Sending my second child off to college. It doesn’t matter that I have already been down that road with Sous Chef. My oldest child, and only daughter, left for college three years ago. I cried before she left, I sobbed when I had to tell her goodbye and I quietly wept for weeks afterwards. I expect this time will be the same.

Is he ready? Definitely. Am I ready? Definitely not.

Even though I know this is the natural course of events, it is difficult for me. I will get through it, but it might require a lot of baking. The upside is that my son will only be about 90 minutes from home unlike Sous Chef who chose a school ten hours away. But it was the perfect place for her, and I am certain my son is headed to a great school as well. Anyway, I will still have one child left at home. I know that the soon-to-be only child is a bit anxious about all this undivided parental attention that will soon be bestowed upon him.

For now, I bake.

You know how you read a recipe and you immediately think of making it a different way? I saw a recipe for oatmeal blondies, and thoughts of browned butter immediately took over my brain. I have seen recipes using brown butter and have been wanting to bake with this delectable ingredient for quite some time now. Actually, I would rather just drink it, but….maybe not. Not familiar with brown butter? Also known as beurre noisette, brown butter is created when you cook butter until the milk solids and salt turn brown and any excess water is reduced. It has a more complex, nutty flavor. Oh goodness, it is amazing.

This blondie is very dense. It surprised me when I bit into it. At first, I thought I had over-baked them, but I actually took them out of the oven early at 25 minutes. It’s not at all like a brownie, but dense and chewy like a granola bar with a nutty, buttery taste. This recipe is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe.


½ cup (1 stick) salted butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 baking pan with butter. Line bottom and two sides with parchment paper. Leave a bit hanging over the edges. Butter the parchment paper, and set aside. Brown the butter in a saute pan and set aside to cool. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar until well combined. Add the egg. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; mix until combined. Fold in 3/4 cup oats. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top evenly. (The batter is very thick, it really doesn’t pour.) Sprinkle with remaining oats, pressing gently. Bake for about 30 minutes. Let cool completely. Lift from pan with the edges of the parchment paper and cut. Makes 16 squares.

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