Nancy Drew Blondies

Nancy Drew blondies are like butterscotch brownies that are chewy and gooey and loaded with chocolate chips that melt into a luscious swirl. Lovely in the best, most indulgent way possible.

Squares of blondies with chocolate chips on parchment paper on a marble slab

Yes, these blondies are named after the teenage detective in the series of mystery novels that your mother or grandmother read as a child. [Editor’s Note: If the name “Nancy Drew” means nothing to you, then take your millennial patootie to the library—either in person or online—and reserve or download some of the books in the series. Or at least take a twirl through Google and see what she’s about. Consider it homework for when you sit down with these blondies.] Make no mistake, these are not the blondies of your childhood. These are even better. They’re rich, chewy, and butterscotch-y with swirls of molten chocolateyness. Originally published January 31, 2015.Renee Schettler Rossi

Nancy Drew Blondies

  • Quick Glance
  • (5)
  • 10 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes 16 to 36
5/5 - 5 reviews
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Position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line an 8-inch (20-centimeter) square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving an overhang around each side.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and with a wooden spoon or sturdy silicone spatula, mix in the brown sugar, vanilla, and salt until relatively smooth. Quickly stir in the egg and mix until smooth and lump-free. Add the flour, chocolate chips, and walnuts (if using) all at once. Stir the mixture until just incorporated. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake for 23 to 30 minutes, until the blondies are golden and crinkly on top, set in the middle, and a toothpick or cake tester plunged into the center comes out clean or with just a few stray crumbs attached.

Let the blondies cool completely in the pan. (Hah! We know the temptation. Trust us, we know. Still, try to wait. These blondies are better after they rest a little.) Lift the ends of the parchment paper and transfer the entire block of blondies to a cutting board. Cut the block into rows of 4, 5, or 6 to yield 16, 25, or 36 squares. The blondies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. (Hah! As if you’ll be able to resist for that long.)

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    T-shirt Variation

    • Blondies Without Chocolate
    • T-shirt variation

      If you’re not in the mood for milk or white chocolate, you can leave it out and increase the amount of walnuts to 1 cup (105 grams). If you’re not into walnuts, either, use pecans or any kind of nut you feel to be appropriate.

    • Bitter Chocolate Blondies
    • If you prefer your blondies on the not-terribly-sweet end of the sweet spectrum, opt for dark chocolate chips and omit the white chocolate.

    • Cakey Blondies
    • The secret to the moist, chewy texture of these blondies recipe is the cold egg; if you prefer a blondie that’s a little less moist and a little more cakey, use a room-temperature egg and briefly beat it with a whisk before adding it to the batter. Once the batter is ready to be baked, add a couple more minutes oven time.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    I thought this blondies recipe would be good, but I was not expecting it to be THIS good. When I saw the recipe, I had to make it. First, I am a huge Nancy Drew fan, and second, I love blondies but rarely make them. This recipe is so easy to make, and it only requires dirtying one pot to whip up the batter, which I loved! The ingredients come together extremely quickly once the butter is melted. I used 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet Valrhona bar and 2/3 cup chopped walnuts and regular all-purpose flour. These blondies are buttery and not too sweet with a nice, moist texture. I found that 36 squares makes for an incredibly small serving, and even though these are rich, 16 blondies seems more reasonable. I’m glad I found this recipe.

    I read the Nancy Drew mysteries as a child many years ago, and I also liked to make butterscotch brownies, although I’m not sure if there's any connection between the two. Butterscotch has always been a favorite of mine (I prefer it to chocolate—blasphemously, I suppose). Having not baked or eaten blondies in years, I gave this blondies recipe a try, unsure about how it would turn out. I don’t recall ever adding chocolate to blondies before, and I’m not even certain about the nuts. But this recipe exceeded my expectations. The batter seemed almost like fudge going into the pan (coincidentally, I used the ancient pan my mother always used for her box-mix brownies), but the texture turned out just right. After 30 minutes in the oven, the blondies were a bit crinkled on the top, just the way I like brownies, and a few crumbs came off the toothpick used for testing doneness. The blondies might have been done a few minutes before that, but knowing my oven’s quirks, I waited 30 minutes to check for doneness. The chocolate chips, which melted and swirled a bit after being whisked into the hot mixture, were a nice accent to the buttery brown sugar base. The chocolate chips were somewhat visible in the final product but not distinct in flavor; they certainly added to the sweetness.

    Not wanting too big a hit of sugar and calories, I cut these into 36 pieces. Each piece is (was!) a modest but entirely satisfying couple bites. They are very sweet and rich, and smaller seems the way to go in terms of size. I might like to try making these only with walnuts, as they pair well with the butterscotch flavor. I used whole-wheat pastry flour in this, which worked great. I lined the pan with parchment, which I found hard to keep in place until the pan was filled. The liner worked great for getting them out of the pan. Next time I’ll use foil. There was a bit of variance when weighing the brown sugar (I got 214g instead of 200g) and pastry flour (I measured 130g in 1 cup instead of 120g).


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    1. 5 stars
      This recipe is perfection – chewy, with a salty sweet butterscotch flavor. I made sure to really whisk/beat the butter and sugar together for the shiny, crackly top. I added white chocolate chips and maple sugar walnuts (picked up from the farmer’s market). I’m looking forward to turning these into maple blondies in the fall with some maple extract too!

    2. 5 stars
      So I made these for a backyard bbq party and while I did expect they would be good based on all the positive reviews, I didn’t expect the level of praise I received! Everyone went nuts for these! My husband who doesn’t particularly like sweets (especially this type of dessert) said I could make these every day for the rest of my life… HA! I only used semi sweet chocolate and omitted the nuts this time but I look forward to trying different variations!

      1. Thanks, Daniela! I’m so pleased these were such a hit. Can’t wait to hear what you make next.

    3. Two words: Fab. U. Lous. OK, 3, whatever.
      Toast the walnuts. Dig in while the chocolate is still melt-y.
      Better than Toll House cookies–gasp.

    4. I made these fantastic blondies for a Superbowl party that I’m attending this weekend, but I don’t know if the blondies will actually make it until Sunday—they are just too tasty! I made a batch with the walnuts and then a second batch in which I substituted coconut flakes because there are a few nut allergies present at the party. The walnuts work great with the flavors in this recipe and add a really nice crunch to the gooey bar. I was worried that I would miss the crunch with the coconut, but the result was a pleasant surprise. The coconut flakes really complemented the white chocolate chips! I cut mine into approximately 20 pieces, but it all depends what size bars you want. Enjoy with a glass of milk, if at all possible, or a cup of tea—both are great to pair with these. Actually, I think I’m going to go have another blondie right now…!

    5. We’ve made these over and over, tweaking different nuts and chips, salt inside or on top, etc., and they’re always exactly what we’re craving. This is a truly versatile recipe–thank you for publishing it!

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