I have incredibly high blondie standards, and I’d like to confirm these Espresso Blondies meet them all. I’m no stranger to cookies, but I very rarely (if ever!) venture into the blondie and bars realm, but consider these blondies my dream blondies. They fit all my criteria:
- Fudgey like brownies
- Butterscotchy-sweet like blondies
- Come with a bit of bite and chew to them
- Have a glossy, crackly top
- And include a touch of a fun, interesting flavor
Achieving all of this takes only a few tweaks and methods, which we can cover in this blog post. After everything is done, it’s just an short bake time in an 8×8 baking dish and your perfect blondies are well on their way to being done. The one step I will say is crucial is the cooling time, if you want fudgey and sticky blondies, letting them cool is imperative. The temptation to slice and serve immediately will always be there, but I promise, the wait time is worth it!
Table of contents
- What is a traditional blondie made of?
- Ingredients in these Espresso Blondies
- How to use the double-boil method for these Espresso Blondies
- Emulsion and why it’s the #1 tip in this recipe
- How to pour and prep the Espresso Blondies for baking
- What gives Espresso Blondies a glossy, crackly top?
- Why you must (must!) chill these blondies
- Looking for other baking recipes?
What is a traditional blondie made of?
This recipe is part of my “Classics” series – where I’m building out my repertoire of really classic, truly solid (albeit sometimes basic) recipes. And to me, a blondie is one of the most classic American desserts. It’s essentially a white chocolate take on a brownie, with a heavy amount of vanilla and occasionally butterscotch or nuts mixed in. It’s sticky-sweet with a texture very similar to your standard dense bars or fudgey cookies.
Blondies typically start with butter and white chocolate, and then contain flour, eggs, baking powder (or soda), occasionally oil or another fat source, and then any flavorings like flavored chips, chocolate, nuts etc.
Nothing in a blondie is outside of your pantry staples, which is why they are one of my favorites and most easily accessible bakes.
Ingredients in these Espresso Blondies
For this recipe, we won’t venture too far outside of the pantry staples you saw in the section above. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- White chocolate – because it’s a blondie, of course!
- Salted butter – Salted butter is my biggest baking tip! Don’t think of it as salt you can’t measure, think of it as butter that has extra flavor insurance. It’s actually much more common in other countries to use salted butter as the standard, it’s just in America where unsalted is more common.
- Molasses – just a touch of molasses adds so much depth and sticky-sweetness to this recipe. It really makes all the difference!
- Dark brown sugar – we like it dark here, it plays off the sweetness of the blondie and gives it that rich, deep flavor.
- Egg – a crucial leavening agent!
- Egg yolks – after a lot of tinkering with this recipe, I found two eggs gave it too much of a cakey texture, and not enough density. I like egg yolks for their added structure and richness, without adding to my leavening to the blondies!
- Neutral oil, such as canola, vegetable, grapeseed – while this is not traditional in blondies, it adds an extra gooey-ness that I can’t get enough of.
- Vanilla extract – this recipe uses three times the standard does of vanilla (1 tablespoon compared to 1 teaspoon!) so you know it’s important.
- Instant coffee mix – this melts into the blondie batter so you get coffee flavor throughout!
- Espresso coffee grounds – these don’t melt, but add flecks of coffee flavor all over. Plus, they look really pretty. And if you’re like “ew, eating coffee grounds???” – I promise, the recipe is so sweet you don’t taste it like that, plus we eat chocolate-covered espresso beans all the time!
- All-purpose flour – you can also use whole wheat here, but I would stay away from using any other flours such as pastry or bread, which will give you a much different result!
- Baking powder – just a bit, we don’t need too much.
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt – like I always, always say, the key to any good baking recipe is a good amount of salt. We use a lot here – always 😉
How to use the double-boil method for these Espresso Blondies
This recipe starts with the melting of white chocolate and butter together. I prefer to do this using the double-boil method.
This method is where you put a heat-proof bowl over a few inches of boiling water. Let the water continue to simmer, creating steam that presses against the bowl and allows everything to gently melt.
Here we are melting the butter, white chocolate and molasses together, and since all have high moisture content, you might see some fat begin to separate, but don’t worry! That’s totally normal and will all be fixed when we get to the emulsion section.
Emulsion and why it’s the #1 tip in this recipe
The best advice I ever received is that “a batter is like an emulsion” – and it’s true!
Emulsions are when two ingredients that don’t normally blend together are mixed, such as oil and water. The reason these ingredients can be combined into something smooth is because there is usually an emulsion agent involved. In salad dressings these “agents” are typically egg, honey, mustard etc.
In this batter, the emulsion that needs to happen is between the butter, sugars, oil, and egg. The sugars have a high water content, which is why the butter starts to separate (image above). The egg and oil are whisked separately with the espresso powder to create smooth mixture to start the emulsion. When you gradually whisk the egg batter into the butter/sugar mixture, it almost instantly seizes into an emulsified, smooth and glossy batter. Cooking magic.
How to pour and prep the Espresso Blondies for baking
After the wet ingredients have been emulsified, all that’s left to do is stir in the (very minimal) dry ingredients to make the Espresso Blondie batter. From there, line an 8×8 baking sheet with parchment paper, pour the batter in, and give it a few taps on the counter to get out any unwanted bubbles. Then bake!
What gives Espresso Blondies a glossy, crackly top?
The secret to any brownie or blondie having a crackly top is the chocolate content. And believe me, I’ve tested all the methods. If you are wondering why your brownies are a little muted, ask yourself if you skimped on the chocolate chips! What happens in the oven is their sugars melt and separate, which pulls extra sugar to the top of the batter, forming into a shattery, crackly top.
Why you must (must!) chill these blondies
And now! The post where I yell at you!
Please, whatever you do, make sure to chill these blondies until the bottom of the pan is completely cold. Not warm-ish, not room-temp, CHILLED. The is imperative to letting the blondies settle into their deep, thick fudginess. The blondies might come out of the oven a bit poofy – but don’t worry, the chill time will take care of allll of that. Plus, you can always reheat them later <3
Fridge is great, freezer is better – JUST CHILL THEM OK??
Absolutely! These blondies store very well in the fridge. Just wrap them in cling wrap and they’ll stay amazing and serveable for 1-2 days. If it’s just for snacking, not slicing and presenting, you can graze on these for up to 5-6 days.
I like to wrap these blondies so that no oxygen is getting in, and then store them in the fridge or freezer. The fridge will keep them for 5-6 days, and the freezer for up to 3 months.
You can get along fine with either, but if you want the full punch of coffee flavor, I recommend trying to get both! If you must only use one, use the espresso grounds (which PS, can also totally be coffee grounds)
Absolutely! No need to caffeinate your children deep into the night.
Looking for other baking recipes?
Here are a few favorites from the blog!
And that’s it for these Espresso Blondies!
And of course feel free to leave any questions, comments or reviews! This is the best place to reach me, and I’d love to hear from you.
- 1 heat-proof bowl
- 1 medium pot
- 1 small whisk
- 1 sheet of parchment paper
- 1 8×8' baking dish
- 6 ounces / 170g white chocolate chopped
- 8 tablespoons / 113g salted butter cubed
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- ½ cup / 100g dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil such as vegetable, canola, grapeseed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee mix
- 2 teaspoons of espresso coffee grounds
- 1 ¼ cup / 160g all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Position a rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
- In a heat-proof bowl that fits over the top of a medium pot, add the white chocolate, butter, and molasses. Add three inches of water to the medium pot and place the bowl over the top. Using the double-boil method, bring the pot of water to a simmer and melt the chocolate, butter and molasses together, stirring constantly to combine. When everything is melted, move the bowl to the counter and add the sugar and whisk vigorously. The fat of the butter will start to separate, but that’s normal, don’t stress.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg, yolks, oil, vanilla, the instant coffee mix and 1 1/2 teaspoon of espresso grounds. Pouring very slowly and stirring constantly, gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the wet ingredients. It should sieze up into a glossy batter. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir together with a spatula.
- Pour the batter into a parchment-lined 8×8 inch pan. Tap the pan to evenly spread out the batter, and top with the remaining espresso grounds. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- *And the most crucial step – It will feel kind of cakey right out of the oven, so cool in the fridge for 45-60 minutes or until the bottom of the tin is cool. A longer chill is always better. This will reward you with the ultimate blondie-fudginess (and yes, you can reheat them!)