Lidey Heuck’s Dirty Blondies with Chocolate, Hazelnut & Coffee

One of the most anticipated books of the season is Cooking in Real Life: Delicious & Doable Recipes for Every Day (Simon Element 2024) by Lidey Heuck. She strives to hit that sweet spot of cookbooks: recipes that are inventive but not overly complicated. Case in point, these blondies, which we’re so excited to make. Here’s what the author has to say about them:

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?

Dirty Blondies are a decadent treat when cut into big squares, but I also like to slice them into 1-inch squares to serve after dinner or as part of a larger dessert spread.

Makes 9 blondies


  • Softened butter and flour, for greasing the pan
  • 3/4 cup (105 grams) hazelnuts
  • 1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon ground coffee
  • 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (3-ounce/85-gram) bar good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (3-ounce/85-gram) bar semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling


Make the Blondies:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8 × 8-inch baking pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pan.

2. 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.

3. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, whole egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and coffee and whisk until smooth.

4. 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.

5. 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 to 25 minutes. (Don’t overbake! See Tips.)

6. Cool completely in the pan before cutting the blondies into 9 bars (see Tips). Blondies are best eaten within 3 days. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator in a sealed container.


  • 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 squares.

Recipe excerpt from Cooking in Real Life: Delicious & Doable Recipes for Every Day by Lidey Heuck. Reprinted by permission of Simon Element.


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Pastry at Home is a hub for elevated dessert recipes for home bakers. Our editors Tish Boyle and AnnMarie Mattila strive to bring you the best curated content to help make you a smarter baker and dessert maker. If you want to be a part of our community, please contribute on the Submit a Recipe page. Or if you have another contribution idea or product you think we would like, shoot us an email at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!

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