Brown Butter Cashew Butterscotch Blondies

No mixer needed to bake this blondie recipe from Cooks Illustrated! Chewy & rich with brown butter, cashews, butterscotch chips, & white chocolate morsels.  These blondies even receive compliments from die-hard brownie fans!

You guys, I think one of my worst fears is coming true…  I am going bald!

Okay, I know it’s super vain to be concerned with such trivial matters when there are far worse problems in the world today, but am I the only one who spends the majority of the day picking hairs off her clothes?  And don’t even get me started about my hairbrush!

You know it’s really bad when your husband stops you before you leave the house and picks the strands off your back…

It probably doesn’t help that one of my kids, who will remain unnamed, prayed the other day(out loud so everyone could hear) that s/he was thankful that I was going to be another year older so I would be closer to meeting God… Way to make mom feel better and cause a ton of laughter right in the middle of a prayer!

Yes, today is my birthday! Happy Birthday to me!  Another vain moment popping up, but give me a break, just for today:)

When we celebrate birthdays in our family, I always bake whatever dessert is requested.  And yes, when my kids were younger, I did bake my own birthday dessert some years. As my kids grow up, I love having them in the kitchen with me and now they can take over on my birthday while I relax.  Blondies are my absolute favorite dessert request! And you can also check this sous vide chicken thighs as one of my favorite too.

When my friend, Sherry, asked if I would post a blondie recipe on Shards of Lavender, I was really excited because I already had the perfect recipe! I wish I could take credit for developing this one, but America’s Test Kitchen has analyzed and tested until they discovered the best formula for creating chewy, buttery, rich blondies.

Someday, when I grow up(if I don’t meet God first), becoming a recipe developer and tester would be my ultimate dream job!

Anyway, for Mother’s Day, I may have hinted that I wanted The New Best Recipe  from Cook’s Illustrated…   This book is enormous, with over 1,000 pages for around $20! Just be careful; I dropped it on my foot once and the bruise lasted forever!

I’ve spent hours poring over their explanations behind the science behind baking and cooking and what works and what just doesn’t.  Every recipe I’ve tried so far is flawless!  Their blondie recipe even caused my chocolate-loving husband, to denounce chocolate for life. Or at least until the skillet was empty…

The only made some slight adaptations. First, I used brown butter in place of the melted butter because of its incredible flavor boost.  Just follow my step-by-step tutorial for browning butter and you’ll see what a difference it makes!  If you want, you can use melted butter and the recipe will still be perfect.

The original recipe called for chocolate and white chocolate chips, but I just love the warmth of butterscotch, so I ditched the chocolate in favor of these chips.

One last change was to include cashews instead of pecans because I love how they pair with butterscotch and brown butter.  I’ve made them with pecans and walnuts before and even without any nuts and, once again, they turned out perfectly. The add-ins for these blondies are super easy to customize to your taste.

Two  last notes before the recipe:  You don’t have to make these in a skillet; they also fit in a 13x9x2 pan.  More importantly, don’t forget to line your pan with foil (or parchment) and spray it with non-stick spray!

I wish I had a picture for you, but here’s an easy explanation:  Flip your pan over and rip a piece of foil larger than the pan(you can use two pieces if necessary). Put the foil over the inverted pan and mold the foil over the bottom.  Then take the foil off and put the pan back upright.  The molded foil should fit right into your pan!  Sorry if it seems like I’m yelling, but I forgot this very important step and my blondies stuck to the skillet a bit.

Brown Butter Cashew Butterscotch Blondies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 24 minutes

Total Time: 44 minutes

Yield: 32 bars

Serving Size: 1 bar

Brown Butter Cashew Butterscotch Blondies

No mixer needed to bake this blondie recipe from Cooks Illustrated! Chewy & rich with brown butter, cashews, butterscotch chips, & white chocolate morsels.


  • 3/4 cup(174g) unsalted butter, browned or melted(1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups(300g) packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups(180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup(112g) butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup(112g) white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup(120g) cashews, chopped


  1. Brown butter (see my tutorial here) and allow to cool for 5 minutes. If you don't want to brown the butter, you can melt it instead. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your 10" skillet or 13x9x2 pan with foil and lightly coat with non-stick spray.
  2. Once butter has cooled, add the brown sugar and whisk until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well, then add the vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, measure the flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring to combine, then add to the wet mixture. Lightly stir together until just combined. Please don't over mix. Fold in the butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, and cashews. I like to leave a little of each of the add-ins to sprinkle on top before baking.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. If desired, sprinkle the top with the set aside add-ins.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until top of blondies are shiny and just barely golden brown, approximately 23-25 minutes. Try not to overbake the blondies.
  6. Allow to cool before slicing.


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