Platinum Blondies (and do-it-yourself brown sugar)

These are the bombshells of the blondie world.  I love them.  You will too.

Chunks of white chocolate, macadamia nuts, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds…it doesn’t get any blonder or more luscious than that.

Platinum Blondies are a pale symphony of whites, buttery creams, toffees, and butterscotch tones.  Very simple and refined, like a beige cashmere throw; it’s part of their charm.

All by itself white chocolate doesn’t do that much for me, it’s one of those ingredients that blossoms when you combine it with certain other ingredients, like macadamias and all that vanilla and brown sugar.

What is it about brown sugar?  Of all the boxes, bags and packets in my baking arsenal, it’s the one thing I’m most likely to be out of at any given moment.  Or, if I’m not completely out, the remaining bit has gone rock solid.  And when that moment comes right in the middle of making blondies, it becomes a crisis.

So I decided to try an old trick—make it myself.  Brown sugar is really just white sugar before the molasses has been refined out of it.  So put a bit of molasses back in and—voila—you have brown sugar.  And I have to say, from the feel and scent of it, it’s better brown sugar than you can buy.  I couldn’t stop sniffing it!

Just put a cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of molasses together and mix well.  You can do it in the mini processor or you can have at it with a spoon.  Either way it’s very satisfying.  The sugar will fluff up in the processor, but it will still be equivalent to 1 cup, be sure to pack it down as you measure it.

(White Chocolate and Macadamia) Platinum Blondies

oven to 350F
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
heaping 1/2 cup white chocolate chips 
heaping 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

  • Line an 8×8 pan with parchment, this will make the blondies easy to remove and to cut cleanly.  If you don’t use parchment, lightly grease the pan.
  • Measure out your flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  Whisk to combine.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Then add the eggs, one at a time, the vanilla, and vanilla bean seeds, and mix well.
  • Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Fold in the nuts and white chocolate.
  • Spread evenly in your pan and bake for 35 minutes— a toothpick inserted near the center should come out moist with a few crumbs and the blondies will be light golden.
  • Cool before cutting.

Platinum Blondies | The View from Great Island

41 Comments

  • Reply
    Veggies and Vanilla
    January 31, 2015 at 2:18 am

    LOVED THESE. I never made or had blondies before, but I have a little ‘bakery’ in my college dorm building where I bake something every Saturday morning, and someone requested these. I’m so in love with them. I left out the nuts, but added a lot of white chocolate. Amazing stuff!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 31, 2015 at 7:33 am

      I’m so glad you liked them, it is an irresistible combination — and how great that you have somewhere to bake in your dorm, that’s where I first started baking on my own, and my first project was granola!

  • Reply
    40 Delightful And Mind-Blowing Baking Hacks You Can’t Miss | The Professionals in Carpet Cleaning
    December 10, 2014 at 1:36 am

    […] is essentially white sugar before the molasses is removed through processing. Follow the recipe here when you’re in a […]

  • Reply
    40 Delightful And Mind-Blowing Baking Hacks You Can’t Miss | LifeTitude
    December 9, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    […] is essentially white sugar before the molasses is removed through processing. Follow the recipe here when you’re in a […]

  • Reply
    40 Delightful And Mind-Blowing Baking Hacks You Can’t Miss - Nishank Gupta
    December 9, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    […] is essentially white sugar before the molasses is removed through processing. Follow the recipe here when you’re in a […]

  • Reply
    40 Delightful And Mind-Blowing Baking Hacks You Can’t Miss
    December 8, 2014 at 4:40 am

    […] is essentially white sugar before the molasses is removed through processing. Follow the recipe here when you’re in a […]

  • Reply
    Michal
    July 27, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks for the awesome idea!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Hacks: 12 Baking tricks you should know | hackcrow
    June 21, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    […] It is a fundamental law of nature that you will always be out of brown sugar when you need it. But never fear, just process some plain old sugar with molasses and you’ve got DIY brown sugar! Use two tablespoons of molasses for every cup of sugar. (via The View from Great Island) […]

  • Reply
    Mary S
    May 6, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    I have always liked Blondies, but I really love your recipe with the macadamia nuts and the white chocolate chips!! I can’t wait to put together another batch. They are a bit of heaven.

    My mother taught me, many, many years ago, how to make brown sugar and we did it often. I grew up thinking everyone knew how to do it. So it is always a surprise to me when it is posted as a “new” idea. Oh well, what is old, always becomes new again, doesn’t it?

  • Reply
    Becky
    August 22, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    I just found your site. Found one of your food photos on Food Porn Daily and here I am! These look delicious, love the brown sugar tip – have to make some now!

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Becky!

  • Reply
    The View from Great Island | Minimal Monday: Sugar
    August 20, 2013 at 8:28 am

    […] yes, you can absolutely make your own brown sugar by mixing regular sugar with a little molasses.  I show how to do it here.  For a cup of white […]

  • Reply
    GoddessLis
    May 8, 2013 at 2:05 am

    …in progress with homemade raspberry swirl and after it cools it will get a cream cheese frosting.

    PS: no chips or nuts.

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    March 14, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Honesty time: these blondies should be totally blowing my mind. And they are blowing my mind, but what’s blowing my mind more, or distracting from the mind-blowing brownies, is that you made your own brown sugar. And it looks incredible, and that now i have to do that when i get home from vacation so i can try it for myself. I’m a geek, what can i say. :)

  • Reply
    blueberrykitchen
    March 14, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Oh yum, your blondies look absolutely divine!

  • Reply
    Mary
    March 14, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    These look and sound delicious. I love platinum blondies and have an assortment of recipes for them. Yours is terrific. I hope you are having a great week. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    Mary Younkin
    March 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    These are some of my favorite blondies and I don’t even think I have them posted! I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate, but with macadamia nuts, I can not get enough of it. Thanks for the reminder about the brown sugar too. I keep meaning to try that!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    March 13, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    never ever thought to make my own brown sugar but it is genius and something everyone should know how to do! I am sooooo posting about this!

  • Reply
    Girl About Chelts
    March 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    These look delicious! I love the photo’s on your blog Xx

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    March 13, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    You always have the best tips and tricks! Wonderful blondies too – thanks Sue!

  • Reply
    Natalie G
    March 13, 2013 at 12:25 am

    They look amazing, I love biting into chunks of white chocolate!

  • Reply
    Paula Montenegro
    March 12, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I love the opening sentence. And the gorgeous blondies of course! I´ve been making brown sugar for a while now, since here the common one is very dark and I like the light brown. But it never ends as even colored as yours! I´m jelous…

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    March 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    They look fab. I love the way blondies go on top. So rich and buttery. My mouth is watering. I’ve bookmarked these for the weekend. Just don’t tell the diet…

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    March 13, 2013 at 4:45 am

    Blondies are wonderful but I love anything with brown sugar. And thanks for reminding me about the molasses trick. I remember ttying that a long time ago! Great for when you run out. These look incredible!

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    March 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Oh my, these are calling my name! Very yummy indeed!

  • Reply
    Val
    March 13, 2013 at 2:17 am

    Your pictures look amazing!!! I love blondies.

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    March 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Gorgeous blondies (I love them – blondies are a total weakness!) and with the white choc chunks and the DIY brown sugar, love everything in this post!

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    March 13, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Paula do you use your food processor to blend your sugar? Because I think that blends it fast and completely. I’d like to try for a dark brown sugar, but there must be a limit to how much molasses you could put in to the sugar before it becomes a paste!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    March 12, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Even though I’m a dyed-in-the-wool traditional brownie lover but I love your tip for making brown sugar – awesome!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 13, 2013 at 12:08 am

      The sugar smelled soooo good. I don’t think I’ve ever put brown sugar in a brownie, but I bet it would be pretty good—worth a try!

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    March 12, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    They remind me of the cookie I love at Costco:) I don’t eat desserts for many reasons..

    But those.. when I used to visit Broker’s inspections and the agents had bought their treats at Costco?
    I had to have just that..
    these..home made..better..Wow.
    Love the brown sugar tip too:)

  • Reply
    bellini
    March 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    No kidding…macadamia nuts and white chocolate..what more could we ask for.

  • Reply
    Amy
    March 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    These look SOOOO YUMMY! I love that pic of all the diff beige colors together. So pretty. My brown sugar used to turn hard also, but now i keep it in its original plastic but inside one of those OXO pop top containers…it’s amazing! It totally stays soft.

  • Reply
    grace
    March 12, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    delicious! as i was making my batch of blondies, i wished i had some macadamia nuts to put into them–nice touch!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 13, 2013 at 12:13 am

      Macadamias are so unique, I thought I was all out of them when I was planning these, and I briefly considered using almonds, but it just wouldn’t be the same.

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