Bourbon Blondies with Pecans and Chocolate


08 Dec Bourbon Blondies with Pecans and Chocolate

Bourbon Blondies with Pecans and Chocolate Chunks

We ate on the living room floor, legs stretched out in front of us, leaning against the wall for back support. We’d finished unpacking the kitchen but the furniture wouldn’t arrive for days. Without so much as a folding chair, the room felt hollow. All my friend’s worldly possessions were unloaded in neat piles around the room, ready for the bureaus and cabinets. We all agreed it reminded us of our university days, when none of us owned anything more luxurious than a second-hand futon and a toaster oven that wouldn’t toast. Flopped on the carpet, we ate takeout pizza on napkins, and washed it down with red wine. Since the corkscrew was lost in the chaos, one ingenious friend  had uncorked the bottle with a power drill. On the plus side, we found the good wine glasses. And they were sparkling clean.

For dessert I brought blondies, laced with bourbon and studded with pecans and chocolate chunks. Jan Scott advices her readers not to try a new recipe the day of your party, which is sound advice. But I threw caution out the kitchen door and sneaked these in under a couple of technicalities. 1.) I made them the night before, even if it was pushing midnight. 2.) Moving is in no way a party.

Moving, however,  is a gathering, which is why I wanted to make something from Gatherings: Bringing People Together with Food by my friends and colleagues Jan Scott and Julie Van Rosendaal (Whitecap ©2014).  The practical part of me picked the blondies for their ease. One bowl, one pan. My sweet tooth saw bourbon, pecans and chocolate and said, “Look no further.” What does it say about me that I listen to my sugar cravings and ignore professional advice?

Regardless, I had nothing to worry about. Jan and Julie know what they’re doing. Even though I was tired and rushing — normally a fatal combination for baking — this recipe came together beautifully. It was ready for the pan in about 10 minutes, which was only slightly longer than it took me to get the uncooperative parchment to stay in place. You know you probably should step away from the kitchen when you lose a fight with a sheet of coated paper.

Bourbon Blondies with Pecans and Chocolate Chunks

But I won in the end. Briefly.  After they had cooled, I cut them into small squares, and transferred them to a box —once again having my ego handed to me by unruly parchment. I closed the lid and called it a night. I’m proud to say I didn’t steal any blondies after the mandatory test square. Jan doesn’t come out and say it in the book, but I’m pretty sure, “Stop nibbling and save some for others!” is an unwritten rule for gatherings.

Next time, I help someone move, I’m bringing these blondies. And a corkscrew. Just in case.

Bourbon Blondies with Pecans and Chocolate Chunks

#GatheringsBook – The Blog Tour

Before I share the recipe, below is a list of the other bloggers who are taking part in the #GatheringsBook virtual blog tour. Participating bloggers will be writing about the book through the week. You might see some familiar names. You might discover new voices around the web. (I’ll be updating this during the week with live links to the specific posts):


Mardi from made Spiced Mulled Wine


Amy from Family Feedbag hosted a giveaway
Jennifer from Seasons and Suppers made Pork Tenderloin with Maple-Balsamic Cranberry Sauce
Heather from The Tasty Gardener made Parmesan and Thyme Puffs


Isabelle from Crumb Blog made Cecelia’s Neshi Pie (a samosa)
Jenny from The Brunette Baker made Pear and Cardamom Cream Cheese Tart
Stephanie from Clockwork Lemon made Sweet & Spicy Mixed Nuts
Valerie from A Canadian Foodie made Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Parmesan


Brittany from My Daily Randomness made Pulled Pork (with real baked beans!)
Robyn from Planet Byn made Peanut Butter Honey Granola
Libby from Libby Roach Photography made Braised Beef Short Ribs and Yorkshire Pudding
Meg from Sweet Twist of Blogging made Peanut Butter Balls


Christina from Strawberries for Supper made Cracker-Coated Chicken Strips
Louisa from Living Lou made Proscuitto-Wrapped Prawns
Liliana from My Cookbook Addiction made French Onion Soup
Rhonda from Olive and Ruby made Sticky Cocktail Meatballs
Jenn from Chocolate Shavings made Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grainy Mustard Sauce

Bourbon Blondies with Pecans and Chocolate Chunks
Recipe type: Baking
Prep / inactive time: 
Cook / active time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9 to 16 blondies
This intoxicating the tasty treat is ideal for serving to a crowd of friends. The recipe comes together quickly, and the bourbon pairs perfectly with both chocolate and pecans. Feel free to use 1 tablespoon less of the booze, if desired, replacing it with extra vanilla extract.
  • ½ cup (125 mL) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) bourbon or whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla
  • 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 mL) salt
  • ½ cup (125 mL) chop chocolate chunks of chips
  • ½ cup (125 mL) chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and butter an 8 x 8-inch (20 x 20 cm) pan. Line it with parchment, leaving the excess to hang over the sides. This makes for easy removal and slicing.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the butter and sugar, the add the egg, bourbon and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until almost combined. Using a rubber spatula stir in the chocolate chunks and pecans and mix until just blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with the spatula.
  3. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides, and the middle is just set. Cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.
Party pointer: These treats travel well and are perfect for potlucks, ski weekends and road trips.

This recipe is excerpted with permission from Gatherings: Bringing People Together with Food by Jan Scott and Julie Van Rosendaal (Whitecap © 2014)



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  • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
    Posted at 11:07h, 08 December Reply

    Charmian, what a lovely post :) Thanks for joining the blog tour this week and hey, in a couple of weeks as I sit on the floor of my still to be renovated house in France, I will be thinking about these blondies. One day you will need to come visit and make them for me!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:53h, 08 December Reply

      If you invite me to France I’ll bring TWO pans of Blondies:-). Have a great time and be sure to bring a corkscrew. I hear French wine is pretty good :-)

      Thanks for organizing this blog tour and for including me.

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 12:18h, 08 December Reply

    Yum. And you are such a nice friend.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 12:27h, 08 December Reply

      They were tasty! To be honest, without furniture the move was pretty easy. It’s also easier when it’s not your move and you can go home to a fully functioning — albeit messy — home :)

  • Jan @ Family Bites
    Posted at 12:58h, 08 December Reply

    Thank you, Charmian! For making the recipe and sharing it with your readers. Also, if I ever have to move I’m definitely enlisting the help of a friend like you.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:01h, 08 December Reply

      I’m happy to help if you need it. As long as I’m not the one moving I’m just fine with it. And I’ll bring you Blondies :-).

      Congrats on the book. You should be proud!

  • Libby
    Posted at 13:53h, 08 December Reply

    Very nice! Such a special collection of recipes. This one looks like a gem!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:02h, 08 December Reply

      It is pretty tasty. I could have picked so many of the recipes. Can’t wait to see what everyone makes.

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  • A Canadian Foodie
    Posted at 13:14h, 10 December Reply

    Ah, moving day. Please never again – unless I live near you! This recipe reminds me of the amaretti I just made from Emily Richards soon to be published book – they are best savored when sipping Amaretto… as these, I am certain – best when sipping Bourbon. Unless it is moving day. Then chugging the bourbon is likely best.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 20:54h, 10 December Reply

      Funny, it didn’t occur to me to drink bourbon while eating these. Great idea! If we ever get together for an afternoon tea, we had better be careful. We could end up tipsy matching alcohol to biscuits.

  • Julie
    Posted at 20:11h, 10 December Reply

    Charmian! It makes me nervous that such a great baker as you would be giving these recipes a go – these bourbon blondies have become somewhat of a staple in our house over the years… I’m so glad you liked them! thank you!! xo

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 20:57h, 10 December Reply

      Really? I love your recipes and am nervous when you try mine!

      I can certainly see why these blondies a staple in your place. I’ve made them twice. And I’m looking for an excuse to make a third batch. Congrats again on your book. It’s a keeper!

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  • Robyn
    Posted at 18:15h, 11 December Reply

    Blondies are my favourite treat to make in a rush, and I love that the Js add bourbon to theirs! This looks like a great treat to whip up for a cozy night in over the holidays!

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