foodie fridays: brown sugar blondies with toasted hazelnuts

A dirty blonde.

My hair color that is. Or at least that’s what my hairdresser tells me. She wouldn’t lie to me, right?

I’ve always had some sort of blonde color in my hair. Back in the old days, it was more blonde “el natural”. Highlights had not come around yet. Little did I know, I was saving hundreds of dollars. Seriously, why do partial highlights cost almost a $100? Riddle me that Tabatha.

Well, with peer pressure mounting, I persuaded my mother that I had to have highlights. I stated my case that I would be the laughing stock of the entire high school. I need to look purdy, MA!! Oh, how pleasant of a teen I must have been. Sorry, Mom.

She reluctantly said yes. I bolted to the salon, looked at the hair dresser, and said, “Let’s do this.” And the rest, as they say, is history. I’ve been highlighting my hair ever since. Yep. Even though I begrudgingly spend money on hair care, I do feel better about myself when I leave the salon. There’s something about having freshly painted locks that makes me feel good. I don’t do it every month because that would break the bank. But every quarter I sit in the chair for two hours and talk to my hair dresser, Leigh, about life and her man problems, and all is right with the world.

Do you want to know what else makes this world right? These brown sugar blondies with toasted hazelnuts. Okay, I am, a huge chocolate lover and was a little skeptical at first about making brownies sans chocolate. But! I’m completely smitten. They are soft, gooey, and have the perfect touch of brown sugar-y goodness. I should have made these sooner!

Oh, and if you if you’re like me, and you need a little chocolate to complete your life. I suggest a sprinkle of cocoa powder.Because dirty blondes have all the fun.


Brown Sugar Blondies with Toasted Hazelnuts


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
cocoa powder, garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a mixer with a paddle attachement, beat butter and brown sugar. Add eggs…one at a time. Add vanilla extract. Then add the dry ingredients a 1/3 at a time until well incorporated.

Pour batter into an 8x8 baking dish. Top with toasted hazelnuts. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before serving. Dust with cocoa powder if desired!

Recipe from William-Sonoma Baking Cookbook

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