Undeniable Failure: Brown Butter Blondies for Work Bake Sale

If y’all saw the Google searches I do while I cook, you’d be embarrassed.

Which is exactly why I’m sharing it here. Sometimes, people need to confess to their ridiculosity.

Here’s the background. My friend Alison asked me to bake for our office’s United Way bake sale tomorrow. She was awesome. “…Don’t you think the readers of your blog would love to read about a delicious blondie recipe??”

The girl has skills. So, I signed up.

But there’s something I forgot to mention: Alison is a trained pastry chef.

Yeah. Remember, this is a FAKE food blog. Intimidated. This blog is mostly jokes about Snoop Dogg and a LOT of capital letters so that people who know me IRL know when I’m saying something louder or with more EMPHASIS. 

Luckily, in addition to being a trained pastry chef, she’s a really nice and awesome chick. So, I didn’t feel bad that my potentially embarrassing blondies were going to be sitting next to the chocolate chip cookies that were made by the hands of someone who can legit wear chef whites. (Just to paint the picture, this is what I was wearing as I baked: jeans and a paint splattered t-shirt from a 1981 production of Annie Get Your Gun. That was 3 years before I was born.)

Alison, in her infinite niceness, even found me a recipe. Which was awesome because I’ve had a couple busy weeks at work. I shamelessly stole this recipe from another blog. But I will not lie to you folks. It did not go well. 

I started making the brown butter blondies. I’ve always loved brown butter. Only catch? I’ve never made it before. Like every recipe I make before an event. I’m nothing if not predictable. 

So, I put the 21 tablespoons of butter on the stove on low heat.

Let me say that again. I put the 21 TABLESPOONS OF BUTTER on the stove on low heat. #nothingcankillpauladeen #notevendiabetesyall

The recipe says it’ll take about 6 minutes for the butter to brown.  And I’m pretty sure it took me an hour to brown the butter. Which is like, a lot more than 6 minutes. That was my first sign that this wasn’t going my way. 

Here’s where I start the embarrassing googling:

  • How to brown butter (I should make sure I’m doing it right)
  • What does brown butter look like (I should make sure I’m not missing the signs)
  • What are the lyrics to Trick Daddy’s “I’m a Thug” (I should make sure I know these)

And then all of a sudden, BOOM. Brown butter. That nutty aroma the recipes kept talking about? I actually smelled that. WITH MY NOSE.

The rest of the recipe is fairly simple. You know. Except for the fact that I COMPLETELY failed at the recipe. No joke. When I tested it with a toothpick, it came out clean. But the tops were crispy and the insides were goo. Let me be clear. This was goo that tasted good. But I can’t serve it. Not with a pastry chef around. It’s a bake sale. Not a goo sale. Seriously, look at it.    


I saved the only square I could actually cut for Alison (per her request!), pitched the rest, and started another recipe at 10:40. Part 2 of this epic story to come tomorrow! 

Brown Butter Blondies, Recipe from The Red Spoon 

  • 3 cups all purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 21 tablespoons (2 sticks + 6 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter a 9 x 13-inch pan. Line with parchment, letting the edges overhang making a parchment sling. Butter parchment paper lining and set aside.

In a large bowl add flour, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. 

In a small saute or sauce pan, over medium-low heat, cook the butter until light brown and gives off a nutty aroma, about 6 minutes.  Remove pan from the heat, and let cool.

In a second bowl, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar and cooled butter.  Stir to combine with a wooden spoon.  Add eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice and stir until smooth.  Add dry ingredients in 2 batches and stir until just incorporated. 

Spread batter evenly into prepared baking dish.  Bake for about 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out either clean or with crumbs, but not batter.  If using parchment paper, gently lift blondies out of baking dish or pan and let cool on a wire rack. 

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