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dirty blondies
Excerpted from COOKING IN REAL LIFE: Delicious & Doable Recipes for Every Day. Copyright @ 2024 by Lidey Heuck. Photography Copyright © 2024 by Dane Tashima. Reproduced by permission of Simon Element, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.

Recipe: Dirty Blondies With Chocolate, Hazelnut, and Coffee


Want to spice up your standard blondies? This recipe for dirty blondies benefits from the addition of chocolate, hazelnut, and coffee.

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After spending seven years as Ina Garten’s assistant, Hudson Valley-based cook, food writer, and recipe developer Lidey Heuck built a loyal following of her own with the easy, flavor-packed recipes she posts to her blog, LideyLikes. Here’s a sampling from her new cookbook, Cooking in Real Life, which is all about creating great meals for any occasion—from busy weeknights to holiday celebrations.

Lidey Heuck

Dirty Blondies With Chocolate, Hazelnut & Coffee

Recipe by Lidey HeuckCourse: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


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If you ask me, blondies and brownies, like apples and oranges, should not be compared. They are distinctly different desserts, and blondies never benefit from the comparison. Brownies are a stand-alone treat, but a good blondie has a rich butterscotch flavor and chewy texture that makes it the ideal base for other add-ins—in this case, chunks of semisweet and milk chocolate, toasted hazelnuts, and a pinch of ground coffee. Add a generous sprinkle of flaky sea salt and these over-the-top delicious bars will have you asking, Brownie who?


  • Softened butter and flour, for greasing the pan

  • ¾ cup hazelnuts

  • 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

  • ¾ cup lightly packed light brown sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ¼ tsp ground coffee

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp kosher salt

  • 1 (3 oz.) bar good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • 1 (3 oz.) bar semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-by-8-inch baking pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pan.
  • Place the hazelnuts on a sheet pan and roast until the nuts are well-toasted and the skins have begun to split, about 10 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then roll the hazelnuts between your hands to remove the skins (it’s fine if they don’t all come off). Roughly chop the hazelnuts and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, whole egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and coffee and whisk until smooth.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add both chocolates and the hazelnuts and mix until just combined.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake until the edges of the blondies are golden brown and the center is just set, 23– 25 minutes. (Don’t overbake! See tip.)
  • Cool completely in the pan before cutting the blondies into 9 bars. Blondies are best eaten within 3 days. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator in a sealed container.


  • TIP› The key here is to slightly underbake the blondies, or they will turn out more cakey than fudgy. For neater slicing, chill the cooled blondies in the fridge for at least 2 hours before cutting them into large squares. You can also cut them into 1-inch squares to serve as part of a larger dessert spread.
Cooking in Real Life

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