Raw cashews are pretty boring nuts, but when thoroughly roasted and salted, they turn into a totally addictive snack. It’s the richness and savoriness of salted roasted cashews that makes them a great addition to blondies, a type of bar cookie that’s typically quite sweet. I double-roast the cashews and coat them in toffee to add a salty crunch to my straightforward blondie base. The variety of textures and nutty- butterscotch-y flavors made these a fan favorite during the testing phase.
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus time to cool
melted unsalted butter, for the pan
1 ½ cups|170 grams salted, roasted cashews
14 tablespoons|200 grams unsalted butter, divided
1 ¼ cups|275 grams packed light brown sugar, divided
2 large eggs, cold from the refrigerator
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup|135 grams all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ½ teaspoon Morton kosher salt
flaky sea salt (optional)
Optional Upgrade: If your roasted salted cashews are on the paler side, toast them further to develop the flavor. Place the nuts on a sheet pan and toast until they’re deep golden brown and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes, tossing halfway through. Let them cool completely.
If the toffee heats too quickly or isn’t stirred constantly, the butter may separate out and pool in the saucepan. If this happens, remove the saucepan from the heat, add a tablespoon of water, and stir vigorously to dissolve some of the toffee and bring the mixture back together. Return the saucepan to the heat and continue to cook.
Can I . . .
Make them ahead? Yes. The blondies, stored airtight at room temperature, will keep for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen for up to 1 month.
Double the recipe? Yes. Line a 13 × 9-inch pan, preferably metal, with foil and butter as directed above. Double all of the ingredient quantities and proceed with the recipe as written, but use a large saucepan for making the toffee-covered cashews. Note that you will have to extend the bake time due to the larger volume of batter, so keep an eye out for the given indicators.
Make them gluten-free? Yes. Replace the all-purpose flour with an equal amount of your preferred gluten-free flour blend and bake as directed.
Bake this in a different pan? Yes. Bake the blondies in a 9-inch cake pan that has been lined with foil and buttered as directed. The bake time will be about the same.
“What’s For Dessert?” Copyright © 2022 by Claire Saffitz. Photographs copyright © 2022 by Jenny Huang. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.”
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