Cook's Illustrated's Blondies Recipe on Food52 (2024)

Make Ahead

by: Genius Recipes



44 Ratings

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes 36

Jump to Recipe

Author Notes

These are the blondies you'll become known for. A few notes: The key to their flavor is the heavy dose of vanilla -- don't skimp, and don't use artificial extract. Err on the side of under-baking. These are delicious cold from the freezer or fridge (and easiest to slice that way). Adapted slightly from Cook's Illustrated (July 2005).

Helpful tools for this recipe:
- Five Two Wooden Spoons
- Food52 x Rosti Ultimate Melamine Mixing Bowl

Genius Recipes

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

Watch This Recipe

Cook's Illustrated'sBlondies

  • 1 cuppecans or walnuts (4 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cupsunbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoonbaking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoontable salt
  • 12 tablespoonsunsalted butter ( 1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cupspacked light brown sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 teaspoonsvanilla extract
  • 6 ounceswhite chocolate chips (1 cup) or chopped bar, or 3 ounces each white chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350° F. Spread nuts on large rimmed baking sheet and bake until deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer nuts to cutting board to cool; chop coarsely and set aside.
  2. While nuts toast, line a 13 by 9-inch baking pan with foil, leaving enough overhang to help you lift the blondies from the pan when they're done. [Here are Cook's Illustrated's measurements, but you can just wing it: Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13 by 9-inch baking pan, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhang pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet (if using extra-wide foil, fold second sheet lengthwise to 12-inch width).] Grease foil-lined pan with butter or oil.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside.
  4. Whisk melted butter and brown sugar together in medium bowl until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in chocolate and nuts and turn batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula.
  5. Bake until top is shiny, cracked, and light golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes; do not overbake. Cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove bars from pan by lifting foil overhang and transfer to cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.


  • Cookie
  • American
  • Chocolate
  • Make Ahead
  • Serves a Crowd
  • Summer
  • Memorial Day
  • Father's Day
  • Christmas
  • Mother's Day
  • Fourth of July
  • Valentine's Day

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

Popular on Food52

102 Reviews

Anne W. July 10, 2023

I wanted to make these to serve at my Book Club after reading an article rating these as “the best blondies”. After reading the reviews on Food 52 that they were “ soup” in the middle, that the recipe was wrong and that I should use fake vanilla - I was afraid to make them. The mixing and baking process was uneventful. And they were done and perfect in 20 minutes. Nice crumb, crispy top and brown buttery edges. Very nice blondies. I am not sure what all the fuss is about?

trish M. May 30, 2023

Did not work for me. Very dense and seemed uncooked despite cooking it for extra time.

Bryan959 March 13, 2023

Recipe said 23-25 on 350… 33 minutes and still mush. Put oven on for another 10 minutes. That’ll bring it to 43. 20 more than recipe calls for. Idk why…Unless there is something wrong with my oven?!

Ann March 13, 2023

It’s not you. It’s just a terrible recipe. Usually their recipes are very reliable but this one is a HUGE disappointment. Food 52 should take it down, IMHO.

Ashersquared February 13, 2023

Love this recipe! Easy to make and they taste delicious!

Kari.stoltzfus February 11, 2023

These are HORRIBLE. I followed the recipe to a t. Middle is soup and the outside tastes like a dry muffin. HORRIBLE!!

Ed237 January 18, 2023

These were pretty terrible, did then exactly plus followed advice from another article and the comments and they never cooked they were constantly raw

Sybil January 16, 2023

They turned out perfect at 24 minutes!💗 People having trouble with the recipe need to recheck their measurements and oven temperature…accuracy is essential.

Clementine January 10, 2023

Like others have said these turned out awful—underbaked to the point of being raw despite adding time. The actual CI recipe calls for 1.5 t of vanilla, not the 4 called for here. I threw out the first batch and remade them using the actual CI recipe and they came out perfect. Go to the source!

Ali December 16, 2022

Why did my blondies come out all liquidly? I’m so confused😣

hellobaker October 25, 2022

I followed this recipe except I subbed the white chocolate for cookies and cream bars because I didn't have anything else on hand, and it still came out tasting very vanilla-y and caramelly. For people that are worried white chocolate is too sweet, when you bake it caramelizes and has a richer flavor than its regular form. Great texture, edge pieces were crunchy but inside is still chewy and the inner pieces (which are my favorite) are soft and chewy. If you like the idea of brownies but find them to dry and like rich vanilla, caramel flavors, this is a great recipe to try. Also, I think people think the cook time needs to be longer because they aren't letting them cool to room temp and set in the fridge beforehand so let this happen unless you want dry, overbaked blondies!

Avas October 17, 2022

too cakey.

lvollm November 15, 2021

delicious recipe! the flour weight and cup measures do not agree, which could be part of the reason folks have such mixed experiences. 1.5 cups of flour should equal 6 3/8 ounces (using the King Arthur chart)...7.5 ounces is closer to 1.75 cups flour. i've never had trouble with this recipe bc i bake by weight - would be terrific if the recipe could be clarified or corrected.

Edward G. March 5, 2021

I made the recipe exactly as written and the blondies were amazing, (removed from oven at 23 minutes). I will have to reduce the amount of sugar next time if I want my wife to eat them, but the grandkids and I had no problem finishing them haha. Also, looking at the reviews, there were several people that mentioned the baking time wasn't long enough (22 to 25 minutes), and I have to imagine that they probably don't know how accurate their oven control they believe every oven set to 350 degrees is exactly 350 degrees. No one making these comments said they used an oven thermometer and 'know' their oven temp was 'right on'. I think you shouldn't make a comment about temp until you check your oven. My oven used to measure 335 degrees when set to 350, so I just added 15 degrees....close enough. When it started dropping even more, a repairman repaired it, now it's +/- 3 degrees...don't mess with it anymore.

Noreen F. March 5, 2021

Exactly! I just got a new dual fuel stove and haven’t done much testing yet. Testing in the old gas oven, I discovered that the temp would drop over 50 degrees before the gas kicked on to push it back up. Needless to say, not great for baking.

Ellen L. March 3, 2021

I made these today and they are AMAZING!!! Will definitely make them for years to come!!!

Judith S. January 31, 2021

I’ve made these bars for years, a variation almost identical to Ina Garten’s recipe. I tried these today. I would say stick to Ina Garten! These are underwhelming!

A. R. December 13, 2020

This is my second attempt at a blondie, made very carefully with walnuts and a bit more chocolate and less white chocolate. At 25 minutes VERY undercooked, used a metal pan, parchment paper. I think the altitude (7297') may be to blame, will try it again with high-altitude adjustments - but not sure if I make adjustments for cookies or cakes. For us (boys 9, 12 and myself) these were crazy sweet even with a little less white sugar (another clue that it might be a high-altitude issue)

morgan October 22, 2020

I've been making this for 3 years now, I only use it as a guide and swap in and out ingredients all the time, never had a fail, always delicious and the entire pan finished by the end of the day.

lisa W. July 12, 2020

Made them just as written except about 20g less brown sugar (I would go even a bit less next time making them with white chocolate).I didn't brown the butter but certainly could. I used lovely chopped blond chocolate which gives a bit of depth and a wee bit less sweetness to the blondie. Made for the white chocolate lover in the family. Used pecans. They loved them and even though I am not a big white chocolate fan thought they were very good. Was very careful not to overbake (a bare 23 minutes). They were chewy and not at all dry or conversely underdone. Do need the cooling time to setup.

manitouanne May 8, 2020

Made these, also watched the hilarious recent IG video with the humble Amanda. I burned the pecans and had to toast another cup: quite a sacrifice. I followed the recipe precisely, used a thin metal pan and parchment for 22 minutes. Perfect. Delightful. Well received. A note: burnt butter as an ingredient would make these Burnt Butter Blondies, a variation, also delightful, but not the same thing. Make these! (Also very nice without the chocolate and nuts.)

Ellen J. May 6, 2020

I was a sceptic, too! First, I could tell from the video it was going to be a slimmer profile blondie than my usual go to recipe. This was true, but resulted in an elegant, smooth, delicious blondie! The deep toasted pecans, buttery texture, and vanilla gave it an almost praline type taste, but these were far more satisfying than any praline I’ve ever eaten! The tender crumb and the delightful fragrance were addictive. These are going to be my new go to blondie!
I used only dark chocolate chips (60%). For me, white chocolate would have been too sweet. I didn’t bother lining the pan, but just buttered very generously. It would probably have been slightly easier to get the blondies up with the sling, but it was an at-home quarantine recipe, so we didn’t mind a couple of imperfections. For my oven with no sling and a glass Pyrex, they were perfect at 22 minutes. I think the recipe could be upsized to make a deeper blondie, but it might lose a bit of the velvety texture.

Cook's Illustrated's Blondies Recipe on Food52 (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Twana Towne Ret

Last Updated:

Views: 6098

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Twana Towne Ret

Birthday: 1994-03-19

Address: Apt. 990 97439 Corwin Motorway, Port Eliseoburgh, NM 99144-2618

Phone: +5958753152963

Job: National Specialist

Hobby: Kayaking, Photography, Skydiving, Embroidery, Leather crafting, Orienteering, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Twana Towne Ret, I am a famous, talented, joyous, perfect, powerful, inquisitive, lovely person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.