Brownies, and their vanilla-flavored sisters, blondies, are the simplest sweet treats to bake. Like brownies, blondies can be customized with various flavors and added ingredients. If you have some chocolate-hazelnut spread, butter, sugar, flour and an egg, you can enjoy these chewy, chocolatey squares in less than an hour. These squares are the perfect combination of vanilla and chocolate, with the bonus of crunchy hazelnuts, for added texture. There is nothing boring about these little gems. I substituted Frangelico for vanilla extract and swirled some softened Nocciolata through the blondie batter (I’m pretty sure that Nutella would work too).
Whether you need a quick dessert for dinner or a pot luck, a treat for the children’s bake sale, or just a sweet bar cookie to satisfy a craving, these blondies are the answer. Enjoy!
A basic blondie recipe gets an added flavor boost from a swirl of chocolate-hazelnut spread, chopped hazelnuts, and a big spoonful of hazelnut liqueur. Sweet, chewy, and ready to enjoy in less than an hour.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur (I used Frangelico, but you could substitute a teaspoon of vanilla extract)
- 1/2 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts
- 2-3 tablespoons Nocciolata or Nutella
Line the bottom and two sides of an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper. Allow enough overhang to facilitate lifting the baked bars out of the pan. Spray the parchment and the unlined sides of the pan with baking spray. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside. Melt the butter in a small saucepan or heatproof bowl. Cool slightly then add the brown sugar. Mix in the egg and liqueur (or vanilla). Add the butter mixture, and the chopped hazelnuts to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Make sure all the dry flour is incorporated, but don't overmix.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Drop small dollops of the Nocciolata (or Nutella) over the top of the batter. With a butter knife, carefully swirl the chocolate-hazelnut spread into the blondie batter. Bake the blondies for about 25 minutes. The blondie batter should be firm and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. A tester will come out clean, but the Nocciolata swirls will stay quite soft. Cool the blondies in the pan on a rack. When completely cooled, lift the ends of the parchment paper and transfer the bars to a cutting board. Cut into the desired size bars or squares. Enjoy!
If your chocolate-hazelnut spread is quite firm and stiff, heat it for a minute or two in the microwave. It will be easier to swirl into the blondie batter and produce a more even result.