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These Rosemary Almond Blondies have a crackly top, moist interior, and tons of flavor from chocolate, almonds, and a pinch of rosemary!
Hello again! I’m resurfacing after a few crazy weeks in the sugar trenches. If you follow me on social media, you might have seen my announcement that I’m teaming up with Craftsy to bring you a video series on making homemade candy! I was in Denver all last week filming the classes, which will debut next month (just in time for you to make some amazing holiday candies)! I’m excited for you to see it, and I’m also horrified at the thought of looking like a complete goof on film. Hopefully the goodness will outweigh the goofiness, but I guess you’ll have to be the judge of that. I’ll be sure to share more information, and some fun candy recipes, as it gets closer to the release date. But in the meantime, I’m happy to be back on SugarHero, and I’m bringing Rosemary Almond Blondies to celebrate!
The story of this recipe starts, as so many of my stories do, in the aisles of Trader Joe’s. I am so thankful Utah got its first Trader Joe’s before we moved here, because I think access to Trader Joe’s might be one of my marriage dealbreakers. Anyhow, one of their many products I’m obsessed with are Marcona Almonds with Rosemary, a most beguiling nut with a most unbeguiling price tag. Seriously, these things are double the price of regular almonds, but I buy them whenever I’m feeling flush, because they’re amazing. Marcona almonds have a rich, buttery flavor and a smoother texture, almost like a cross between an almond and a macadamia nut. The Trader Joe’s version has big flecks of salt and crispy bits of rosemary on the outside, so they’re salty and savory and herbal and so, so addicting.
I’ve wanted to bake with these almonds for awhile, but they usually don’t last long enough to make it into a recipe. The last time I bought them, I outsmarted myself by buying two bags—one for munching and one for baking. Success! I found a recipe for Marcona Almond Blondies in Food and Wine, made a bunch of changes of my own, and came up with these rosemary-infused bars.
Blondies have to be really special for me to consider them anything other than the poor cousins of brownies, but I think this recipe qualifies as “really special.” It begins with browned butter, so you know we’re already off to a good start. During the browning process, I threw in a few sprigs of rosemary, to infuse the butter with subtle rosemary flavor. After the butter is browned and cooled, it’s a quick matter of stirring everything else in—brown sugar, almond butter, the usual suspects like flour, eggs, extracts, etc. Finally, I added a good amount of chocolate and almonds for flavor and texture. At the end, I sprinkled a tiny pinch of chopped rosemary on top of the bars.
The final result is a bar that has a crackling top and a soft, moist interior. The rosemary flavor is subtle, but it adds just enough to make these bars taste special—one person who tried them said he couldn’t put his finger on the flavor, but “they taste like Christmas!” The almonds add buttery crunch, and the chocolate—well, you know what chocolate is good for. (Everything!) If you don’t have access to the Marcona almonds, you can absolutely make these with regular blanched almonds, but consider adding a bigger pinch of salt and rosemary to make up for it.
I think these are the perfect bars for this in-between time of year–it’s not quite time for holiday baking yet, but I still want to cozy up at nights in a fuzzy blanket with some tea and a comforting dessert. Rosemary Almond Blondies to the rescue!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
Seven Layer Bars
Rosemary Almond Blondies
- 5 oz unsalted butter
- 2 4 inches Fresh rosemary
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 7.5 oz brown sugar, (1 cup)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4.5 oz almond butter, (1/2 cup)
- 4.5 oz all-purpose flour, (1 cup)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 4 oz Marcona almonds with rosemary, (3/4 cup), can substitute regular almonds
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chunks, (2/3 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a 9×9-inch pan by lining it with foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine the butter and rosemary sprigs in a small saucepan, and place it over medium heat. Cook the butter, stirring occasionally, until it turns a golden brown color, has a nutty smell, and has small brown specks on the bottom. This should take 7-10 minutes, depending on your pan and stove. Stop the cooking process before the butter turns dark brown/black, or it will develop a burnt smell. Let it cool to room temperature, for about 20 minutes.
- Once the butter is cool, remove the rosemary sprigs. Pour the browned butter into a large bowl, and add the egg, yolks, brown sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, cinnamon, salt, and almond butter to the bowl. Stir everything together with a spatula until smooth.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, then add the flour mixture to the large bowl, and stir it with a spatula. Finally, add most of the almonds and chocolate chunks, reserving a few spoonfuls of each to use as toppings. Stir the almonds and chocolate into the dough, then scrape it into the pan and smooth it into an even layer. Scatter the remaining nuts and chocolate over the top, and add a few pinches of chopped rosemary, if you’d like.
- Bake the bars at 350 F for 25 minutes, until puffed and golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the bars completely at room temperature before cutting them into small squares to serve.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
I cannot WAIT to see your videos! So excited to see the sneak peaks on your instagram. Meanwhile I just made blondies on the weekend but these rosemary almond ones are something special. I would have never thought of such a unique combo but I know they would taste incredible. Pinning!
Thanks Jess! I have to give all the credit for this flavor combo to the geniuses of Trader Joe’s. 🙂 And if it seems too wild, I’m sure regular almond/chocolate blondies would be good too!
Oh wow Elizabeth your photos are so crisp and clear and I love the idea of rosemary and almond blondies!!
ps. can´t wait to see the videos! So so so happy for you!!
Thank you Johlene! You are so sweet–I definitely CAN wait to see the videos. Watching yourself is so awkward, right??
Yay glad you’re back!! Those marcona almonds do sound delicious, we’ll have to check those out. And of course they’d be fabulous in a blondie, too! Rosemary in desserts is the best 😀
Thanks June! If you’re at all a nut person, you MUST try the Marconas! Then curse my name, because it’s an expensive addiction. 😉
Almonds and rosemary is such an interesting combination in blondies! I am curious how they taste 🙂
It’s definitely a little unusual, but I’ve grown to like herbal flavors in my desserts! I’m kind of a weirdo that way.
I’m excited to see your pretty face on camera! I’m sure you did a great job. And these blondies sound delicious. I’m a huge fan of macerina almonds, although I’m not a fan of the price.
Thanks Nicole! And you are so right about the price! I sometimes justify it by saying they’re a healthy snack, but it still hurts the wallet. 🙂
I got a chance to taste these in the faculty room, and they were stunning. My prize for finishing my progress reports (which I’m sure are happening at your house as well) is that I get to go to Trader Joe’s and then bake these. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much!! I’m glad you loved them, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of treats than a group of hardworking teachers! Good luck on those pesky progress reports–get yourself 3 bags of almonds when you’re done! 😉
OK, now I’m going to have to head toTrader Joe’s this week! Those almonds must come home with me. What fabulous bars!!!
P.S. Congratulations on the new gig. So exciting!
Thanks Liz! You will either thank me or curse me for introducing you to these almonds, haha…