Grandma Birdie’s Blondies

With springtime in bloom, I realize people are probably craving summer-fitness foods more than sweet-tooth snacks, but I recently received a recipe that apparently was my grandmothers. My grandma Birdie apparently made really awesome blondies, so good in fact that my mom and my aunt were reminiscing about them a few weeks ago wondering if anyone still had the recipe. The reason this is a big deal to me, and the reason I keep using the word “apparently”, is because growing up from third grade through college my grandma Birdie lived with me and my mom. Yet, I don’t remember her baking anything…ever! So, imagine my surprise!

Overhead view of a batch of cut up blondie squares with melted chocolate chips on top.

Yes, my grandma cooked dinner for us often, but it was the 80’s and we relied heavily on the exciting convenience foods of that decade. There wasn’t a whole lot of scratch cooking happening in our house. Visit this post about asparagus for further proof.

I don’t hold a grudge, in fact, I totally get it. My grandma was a busy lady, as was my mom, and boxed foods seemed like a great solution at the time. However, it’s not lost on me that for all the love I have for cooking, none of it was passed down to me from my grandma. So, now, to have a recipe of hers, something she was known for? Honestly, I just feel really excited about this!!!

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The day I got the recipe, I ran home and made it straight away. Apparently, my grandma and I are a lot alike when it comes to baking because we like it to be simple! A few bowls, a whisk and some measuring tools is all it requires. Plus, the ingredients are as standard as standard can be.

The one thing I felt was missing was vanilla extract, which might have been a cost thing or availability thing back then, but since it’s pretty much a staple in every household these days, I added it to the mix. Measure, measure, whisk, whisk and voila! Blondie batter.

Overhead shot of ingredients used to make Grandma-style Blondies - walnuts, vanilla extract, one egg, melted butter and flour.

I’ve made these a few more times since just to ensure it’s all tested and good to go, and let me tell you they are the easiest of crowd pleasers. Birdie’s blondies are a bit crispy on the outside, super chewy and tender on the inside, with a slight crunch of walnuts and pop of chocolate from those chips. I love this recipe, and I’m beyond thrilled to have an archive of my grandma’s to share with you all. Cheers to Birdie and her blondies!

Overhead view of a batch of cut up blondie squares with melted chocolate chips on top.

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Overhead view of a batch of cut up blondie squares with melted chocolate chips on top.

Grandma Birdie’s Blondies

  • Author: Emily Wilson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16 Squares 1x
  • Category: Sweets
  • Cuisine: American


Basic ingredients make up the most delicious Blondie’s recipes, just like Grandma used to make.


  • 1 stick butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg, large
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour, plus extra for dusting the dish
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips, I like to use mini chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly butter an 8×8″ baking dish on the bottom and sides, then dust with flour. Shake and rotate the dish to coat evenly with flour, then dump out the excess.
  3. Heat the stick of butter until just barely melted.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  5. In a second large mixing bowl, crack the egg and whisk. Stir in the brown sugar, the melted butter and the vanilla extract.
  6. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture, then fold in the walnuts. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and spread in an even layer to the edges and corners. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top.
  7. Place in the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center, about 35 minutes.
  8. Allow blond brownies to cool in the baking dish for 15 minutes.
  9. Run an offset spatula or dinner knife around the edges to loosen. Set a cutting board over the top and flip the dish so the blond brownies fall out onto the cutting board. Carefully flip them back over and slice into 16 squares. If the blond brownies crumble as you cut, allow them to cool further.

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