Cinnamon Pecan Blondies

This is a deliciously moist and chewy little blondie packed with pecan halves, rather than pieces, and flavored with cinnamon.–Linda Collister

LC Beloved Brownie, er, Blondie Pan Note

We love a lot of things about this blondie recipe. We love the fact that the batter comes together in a single saucepan with a wooden spoon. We love the subtle and lovely taste that results. And we looooove that the original recipe referred to a 9-inch square baking dish as a “brownie pan.” Think about it. Although most home bakers have a designated brownie pan, they don’t think to refer to it as such. And that’s a shame. Because don’t you think the world might be a smidge better place if we did?

Care to regale us with tales or picture or sketches of your beloved brownie pan? By all means, indulge us in the comments below. And if you’re in the market for a new brownie pan, take a gander at this contraption. We’ve not yet committed to it, although those of us partial to the brownies at the edge of the pan are quite tempted. Quite…

Cinnamon Pecan Blondie Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Makes 30 blondies

Ingredients

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 2 cups light brown sugar (soft, please, not rock hard)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) pecan halves or pieces
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176° C). Butter a 9-inch square baking dish and line it with parchment paper, allowing the paper to extend beyond the edge of the pan.
  • 2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir until the mixture is really quite smooth, 6 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes or so, until the mixture is cool to the touch.
  • 3. Using a wooden spoon, beat the eggs into the cooled butter mixture until thoroughly combined. Dump the flour on top of the buttery goo mixture, sprinkle with the baking powder, and stir just the dry ingredients on to of the buttery goo together. (This evenly disperses the baking powder throughout the flour without messing up another bowl.) Then gently stir the dry ingredients into the buttery goo. Stir in the pecans, mixing just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  • 4. Bake the blondies until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. (You may wish to start checking them at 25 minutes, especially if using one of those brownie pan contraptions mentioned in the LC Note above.) Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Using the excess parchment as handles, carefully remove the blondies from the pan and transfer to a wire rack. Now’s the hard part—you have to wait until the blondies are completely cooled. Then dust liberally with confectioners’ sugar and cut into 30 (or so) squares. (Stash any leftovers—hah!—in an airtight container and keep at room temperature for no more than 4 days.)
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Jennifer V.

Mar 10, 2011

This is a nice twist on the bar cookie—it has all sorts of brown sugary, chewy goodness, all topped with a hint of cinnamon. The batter also is quick to mix together—the longest step was waiting for them to cool completely! I’m not sure whether using pecan halves is entirely necessary since they’re buried in the blondies, so if you only have pecan pieces, those would be fine as well.

This recipe is probably one of the simplest, yet most effective baking recipes I’ve come across in the past few months. It’s absolutely perfect if you don’t have much time on your hands, and also if you don’t have a kitchen brimming with all kinds of gizmos designed to fool your friends into thinking you’re an undiscovered Michelin-starred chef. The recipe was very easy to follow, and I particularly liked that it left a lot of room for personal tweaking. For example, if pecans are difficult to find (or just downright expensive), you could substitute with walnuts. And it would be delicious to throw in some white chocolate chips, to stay true to the blondie theme—or even some dark chocolate chips, for the rule-breakers and risk-takers. Overall, these blondies are simple, tasty, comforting, delightful, and guaranteed to win you friends—that is, if you don’t gobble them up before releasing them to a wider audience.

Testers Choice
Sandy Hill

Mar 10, 2011

This was a chewy, moist little bite of heaven! We loved the chunky pieces of pecan halves and the hint of cinnamon. Though they were a little flat, the blondies easily came out of the pan with the use of parchment. They were still moist after three days, but we didn’t have any left over to see how they were on day four! This recipe was a perfect one-pan, easy-clean-up dessert.

Testers Choice
Vicki Lionberger

Mar 10, 2011

These Cinnamon Pecan Blondies are wonderful. The addition of cinnamon to an already delicious blondie recipe is great, while the pecan halves add a pleasant crunch. I did have to bake them for 8 minutes longer than the recipe stated, however. I also made a second batch and gave them to our new neighbors—apparently, they were devoured immediately. This recipe is a keeper.

Testers Choice
Alexander Cowan

Mar 10, 2011

A very close friend of mine is learning to cook and bake, and I’d recommend this recipe to her since it’s easy enough for the beginning/budding baker to accomplish. The recipe came together almost exactly as written, and yields great results. The blondies were simply fantastic with my morning espresso. A few thoughts: There are many varieties of pecans in which to purchase, including raw, roasted unsalted, roasted salted, candied, etc. I bought raw pecan halves, though I wish I would have used roasted and salted—the inherent crunch from the roasted pecans would have added another dimension to the blondies’ tender, moist texture. The salted variety also would have cut through some of the sweetness, much like salt does with caramel, creating a slightly more balanced treat.

Testers Choice
Jean Moats

Mar 10, 2011

This recipe offers delicious results, and is easy to make. Next time, I’ll add a few more pecans, just so they’re distributed more evenly throughout the pan. Overall, these blondies are great. TIP: Don’t skip the parchment step; it’s a really helpful way to get the blondies out of the pan after baking.

Testers Choice
Holly Z.

Mar 10, 2011

I loved the cinnamon in these blondies, as well as their chewiness. The blondies baked up nice and moist in the amount of time specified in the recipe. They were a cinch to make, and I’ll definitely make them again. I can’t vouch for the storage time, since they didn’t last that long—they were gone the evening I made them!

Testers Choice
Jessica DeStefano

Mar 10, 2011

The “one-pot” method of preparing these blondies is priceless. You can whip them up on a whim, with little fuss and few dishes to wash. They’re moist, sweet, and buttery, due to the whole pecans. They taste even better the second day!

Testers Choice
Raye Tiedmann

Mar 10, 2011

I sure liked these—they were gone in two days. These blondies were a nice change from the standard rich, chocolate brownies. Cinnamon junkies will be happy with the amount called for in this recipe, though I could have done without it. TIP: Add a glaze or a dusting of confectioners’ sugar to dress them up.

Testers Choice
Kim Graham

Mar 10, 2011

These bars are great when you don’t have a lot of time, but want a sweet treat. They came out exactly as promised: moist and chewy. I loved the addition of cinnamon which, in my book, elevated them above the standard blondie status. I’d not bother dusting them with confectioners’ sugar next time, though—they’re plenty sweet without it.


Comments
Comments
  1. Michelle James says:

    Hi – do you have an App for Iphone yet??

  2. Cheryl Spiegel says:

    So I’m looking at the amount of sugar and 2 cups seems like an enormous amount of sugar!
    Has anyone tried this recipe with a reduced amount of sugar and if so, how does it affect the finished product?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Anyone? We’ll be the first to admit that it is quite a lot of sugar, although the yield is 30 brownies as opposed to just 12, so that’s a little condolence if you’re seeking to be more moderate in your consumption of the white stuff…

      • Orion Drulzelot says:

        30 brownies from a 9-inch square pan? Those be some really tiny brownies!

        • David Leite says:

          They’re about 1 1/2 by 1 3/4 inches. Nibbles, really. But, hey, Orion make them bigger. Sixteen is a good place to start!

        • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

          Really tiny. As a result of being really rich…

          • Orion Drulzelot says:

            I made them (and sliced them big, he he) and they were delicious! So easy to make, too. I can whip up a batch in no time! Definitely a keeper. David, I bought your book today (it’s been on my Amazon wish list for a long time, but I figured since I blew my diet, I might as well buy a new cookbook!). I see you grew up in Fall River. If you are 45(ish), we probably went to kindergarten together. I moved away shortly after. : )

  3. Ann Smits says:

    Thanks another recipe I must try…they look so good…and I just finished making butter tart squares…sweet tooth is craving.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      You’re very welcome! And yes, our sweet tooth has been murmuring to us, too. Clearly.

  4. Ann Smits says:

    About that contraption, I have one, and if you like the ends when it comes to brownies as a lot of people do, this is the pan you want. It’s nonstick and easy to use. After pouring in your mixture, add the divider and just bake. All pieces are equal in size and baked to perfection. After baking allow the pan to cool a bit and remove the insert. You now have a tray of perfect brownies. I have baked other things—cakes, bars, etc.—and toppings can be added while baking such as M&Ms toffee, peanuts, fresh or dried fruit, etc. I like this pan. Easy clean up as well.

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      Hi Ann,

      I found one of those pans on sale at our local grocery store and bought it on a whim. I have to admit, I was a bit intrigued by the commercial. Now? I love it. Sure, it is a bit gimmicky, but cleanly cutting a pan of brownies was always my downfall- not anymore!

  5. guestinca says:

    Can’t wait to make these. The divided brownie pan? I’ll pass. I’m a center brownie girl myself – have been known to trim off the outer edges of the entire pan’s contents & save to crumble over ice cream!

    Even the “Best Recipe” book authors maintain that brownies should be quick to put together for instant gratification.

    • David Leite says:

      guestinca, I’m a crusty edge guy myself. And if I can elbow my way through the crowd to get a corner, so much the better.

  6. marni read says:

    I made these today at my work.They are wonderful. Quick and easy and sooo good.

  7. Martha in KS says:

    I made these yesterday – in a non-stick pan (no parchment required). After 35 minutes they appeared to be done. After about 10 min. of cooling I couldn’t resist cutting out a square & as I inhaled its deliciousness, I noticed that in the center of the pan, there was still a doughiness, which reminded me of gooey pecan pie. So I turned the oven back on & popped them back in for 10 min. They looked cooked thru at that point. After thorough cooling, I found that the edges were quite crunchy & perhaps overdone. I’m disappointed that I overcooked the bars, but a few seconds in the microwave soften them sufficiently to make them delicious. I’m wondering if anyone else had problems with the center not getting done.

    • Vicki Lionberger says:

      Martha,

      I had to bake the blondies an additional 8 minutes as you can see from my comment above. The outside bars were cake like while the inside were chewier but not like pecan pie. You might just try baking them an addional 5-8 minutes.

      Vicki

    • Traca says:

      I had the same problem. The batter is dense so a poke with a knife came out clean, although when cooled, they were far from done. (More gooey like pecan pie filling.) The flavor is fantastic. I’m still trying to land on the perfect baking time for my oven. In the name of ‘research’…I’ll definitely be making them again soon!

      • David Leite says:

        Traca, have you tested your oven’s temp? I suggest getting two thermometers and let the oven blast for 30 minutes before checking.

  8. Raye says:

    I am really looking forward to doing these again and again. Like another tester said use more nuts, maybe cut down on the cinnamon if it is not your favorite. I want to also use my brownie pan and see how that does. Also can be made into muffins; tried that but would use foil cupcake papers next time. They are moist and chewey so they tended to stick to the papers. This is quick and comforting with a nice cup of tea.

  9. Evie says:

    The blondies are wonderful…I baked them this afternoon and they’re almost gone & there’s just two of us!

  10. Renske says:

    I made these last weekend and something went wrong. The blondies were rock hard, I had to throw them in the bin with my brownie pan because they wouldn’t come out. The huge amount of sugar caramelized while in the oven. Is this amount of sugar the right amount?

    • Sandy Hill says:

      Mine were slightly flat, but very chewy. All the blondies I’ve made in the past did have a lot of sugar, so this amount seems correct. Make sure you mix everything by hand–no mixer needed. Also, did you do the parchment “sling” to get them out of the pan easier? Hope this helps!

      • Renske says:

        Hi Sandy,

        Thanks for your kind comments. I mixed everything by hand, but I did not use the parchment sling. If I had, the brownie pan would still be with me… But the blondies were so rock hard, that I couldn’t cut them, so the parchment wouldn’t have helped there. Maybe my measurements were wrong, but I have never had any problems with cup measuring before.

        • David Leite says:

          Renske, thought I’d jump in here. Did you use dark brown sugar? Not light or regular? Dark brown sugar has a lot more moisture because if the molasses it contains.

          • Renske says:

            Hi David,

            I did use light brown sugar, but I used muscovado sugar because the recipe asked for soft sugar. Could this explain why the blondies became rock hard?

            Today I made the ‘Sweet Lemon and Black Olive Wafers’ from The New Portuguese Table and those are delicious. Thank you!

            • David Leite says:

              Renske, I think the sugar substitution is your problem. Soft sugar was a way to make sure the cook didn’t dare use those hard mini boulders that form when air hits brown sugar. The same way the sugar can harden, so can the blondies. My advice: make then again using exactly what the recipe calls for, and I think you’ll see a difference.

              Glad you liked the lemon and olive wafers!

  11. Nancy says:

    Hi David! Crazy me decided to make these without double checking the pan size! Thought it was a 9×13 so half a recipe would do well in an 8inch pan. Too late when I realized the entire recipe was for a 9 inch pan only! But guess what? Albeit half the thickness it still came out great! I adjusted the time and it came out crunchy around the edges but chewy towards the center and not too sweet. A Keeper! Love Love Love it! Thanks for suggesting the recipe!

  12. Beatrix says:

    Namaste! I live at about 4,000 ft in the Himalayas & made these without the baking powder (things tend to ‘over expand’ at high altitude) for tea today. Yummy! Also since pecans aren’t very likely to happen here I substituted walnuts for the pecans -(the buttery flavor of pecans would have been better, but walnuts worked!).

    • Beatrix says:

      Oh yes, it took 50 minutes exactly to bake to perfection at ‘my’ altitude.

    • David Leite says:

      Beatrix, you really live near Nepal? How cool is that?(And cold, I’m sure.) I’m so glad that the recipe worked for you. And thank you for the information on high-altitude cooking.

      • Beatrix says:

        Nice to meet you David! Yes, I’m originally from Sonoma, California and now live in Nepal! Actually it is quite sunny and around 70 degrees in the tiny sub tropical valley I live in here. Foreigners (aka Firangis) always seem to think Nepal is all snowy mountain tops. Most Nepalis actually live in these tiny warm valleys tucked away in the Himalayas–no one lives up high where it snows (at least not during the winter anyway). Since Nepal is so far south, the snow line is rather high at 55,000 ft. I have bananas, coffee beans and papayas growing in my garden right now! (As well as collards, kale, kohlrabi, cabbages and daikon radishes.) Love your blog!

        • David Leite says:

          Okay, Beatrix, this is blowing my mind. When I think Himalayas, I think “Into Thin Air,” sherpas, and Edmund Hillary. Who would have thunk?! Papayas???!

          • Samsara says:

            But David, you should also think James Hilton’s “Lost Horizon” and the fabled Shangri-La! Try not to think about “Shangri-La” as sung by Wayne Newton though -eek! The hot pink bougainvillea growing over our patio is absolutely running riot now too. In March the rhododendron forests will begin blooming up in mountains (Nepal’s national flower). Oops, the snow line is at 5,500 ft NOT 55,000 ft! Sorry about that typo.

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