You may have noticed that I’m crazy about pecans.
Or, if you’re a normal person who doesn’t spend all their time stalking me, you may not have.
But I do, I love pecans. They’re a pricey nut, so I don’t bake with them often. When I do, I always immediately consider moving to Georgia and becoming a pecan farmer. That’s a thing, right?
When I was working at a bakery, there was one issue that was constantly debated and to this day remains unresolved: how do you pronounce pecan? I’ve always said “pee-can”, but as a fellow baker so gracefully pointed out, “that’s not a nut, that’s something you put under your bed”. According to her, “puh-cahn” was the correct pronunciation. She’s a wise lady so she’s probably right, but if anyone knows the real way to say it (if there is one “real” way), help a brotha out?
(Although, I guess no matter what it’s really called, I’ll still go on calling it a pee-can. I kinda like it.)
You’re probably aware by now that this glorious nut plays a big role in these blondies. But wait, there’s more!
These blondies are oh so gooey, with deep butterscotch and caramel flavors. The pecans make them as buttery as pecan pie, but the strawberries really bring everything to the next level. It may not be strawberry season quite yet, but with the recipe for these babies in my back pocket, I’m ready.
A few notes:
If you like really sweet sweets, feel free to increase the sugar up to 1 cup. I found that to be too sweet for me, but if you’re a sugar fanatic then do what you gotta do.
I browned the butter instead of just using melted butter, which is what I’ve always done when I make these and it doesn’t have any negative effect on the dough (concerning moisture loss, for example). All it does is add that little oomph of nutty brown butter, and we all know how magical that is.
Also, measure the pecans after you’ve toasted and chopped them; don’t measure them whole or you’ll end up with much more than you need.
Finally, while I call these blondies because I based them off of my favorite blondie recipe from Deb over at Smitten Kitchen, the pecans make them so gooey that they’re really more like strawberry pecan pie cookie bars. And yes, they taste as good as they sound.
Brown Butter Strawberry Pecan Blondies
By L., adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1/2 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/3 – 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
1/2 cup strawberries (I used about 8 strawberries), cut into 1/2” pieces
Preheat your oven to 350F and line and butter an 8×8” baking pan.
In a large sauce pan (preferably not non-stick), brown the butter – if you don’t know how, read all about it here. When the butter is browned, set aside too cool slightly.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
When the butter isn’t too hot to touch anymore (it’s okay if it’s still warm), add the brown sugar and mix until the sugar is saturated. Add the egg, followed by the vanilla extract. Fold in the flour mixture and the chopped pecans.
Spread a little over half the dough in the prepared pan, making sure you can’t see the bottom of the pan. Spoon the preserves unevenly over the dough, then layer the strawberry pieces on top. Cover with the remaining dough – it won’t be enough to cover everything but that’s okay, we want some jam peeking through.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned and the top has formed a crust. It will still be very gooey. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Extras can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.