Look no further for a blonde brownie recipe that will knock your socks off. Pistachio Blonde Brownies with Chocolate Ganache are unique, easy to make, and guaranteed to be a crowd favorite.Jump to Recipe
This recipe is sponsored by ALDI. All opinions are my own.
Dessert is a great idea any time of the year, but this recipe for Pistachio Blonde Brownies with Chocolate Ganache is particularly nice in the spring time. With a hint of green from the pistachios and a pleasantly sweet, not overwhelming, flavor, it fits perfectly on a brunch spread, shower dessert tray, or even holiday meal (like Easter or St. Patty's Day).
This was inspired by love of pistachios (see 5 Reasons Pistachios Make Healthy Easy) and the texture of pistachio pesto in this recipe for Grilled Green Beans with Pistachio Pesto. I recently tasted a chocolate pistachio bar at an event and decided I too should create a delicious pistachio dessert recipe. Did you know that you can easily turn pistachios into pistachio butter? Read on.
Pistachio Blonde Brownies use just 8 total ingredients.
I chose to use ALDI Specialty Select Belgium semi-sweet chocolate chunks for the chocolate ganache. It's a perfect choice of slightly sweet chocolate.
- Southern Grove Shelled Pistachios
- Melted butter
- Brown sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Baking Powder
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate for melting
See recipe card for quantities.
Make pistachio butter by pouring all but 2 tablespoons of the pistachios into a food processor. You could also use a high powered blender.
Turn the food processor or blender on and keep it running until a nut butter consistently forms, about 4-5 minutes. Stop occasionally and wipe down the sides or the bottom.
The pistachios will go through 3 stages: chopped, sandy texture, nut butter texture.
When it clumps together in a soft ball, you have pistachio butter.
Measure out ½ cup of pistachio butter, which should be just about all of it.
In a mixing bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar with an electric mixer until well combined.
Add the ½ cup pistachio butter and mix again until smooth.
Break the egg into the bowl and mix again until well incorporated.
Add the flour and baking powder to the bowl and mix well.
Spray 8x8 square baking pan with cooking spray then line with parchment paper. Do this by cutting a strip the thickness of the bottom of the pan and long enough to drape over 2 of the sides.
Dump the Pistachio Blonde Brownie dough into the prepared pan and use your fingers to press it into an even layer.
Bake for 20-22 minutes at 350 degrees F. Edges and center will be golden brown and fully set. Let cool to room temperature.
Make the chocolate ganache by heating the heavy cream on the stover over medium low heat until very hot, but not simmering - about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it as it needs to be stirred occasionally so a "skin" doesn't form on the top of the cream. You're looking for it to be heavily steaming and just about to start bubbling.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate in a heat safe bowl (glass if possible). Let sit for 1 minute to soften the chocolate.
Stir or whisk the chocolate slowly to blend it into the cream. Stir until full melted and the ganache is smooth and shiny, about 3 minutes.
Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Pour the ganache over the cooled Pistachio Blonde Brownies and smooth to fully cover.
Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of pistachios that have been finely chopped. This step is optional.
Put in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, lift the bars out of the pan using the edges of the parchment. Set on a cutting board and slice into 12 or more bars using a sharp chef's knife.
(Note garnish of chopped pistachios on pictured here.)
Hint: If your blonde brownies are not quite cool enough when it's time to pour on the ganache, stick them in the freezer for 15 minutes. It works like a charm to get them to the right temperature.
Here are ideas for substitutions should you need them.
- Pistachios - you can swap out pistachio butter for store bought peanut butter, almond butter or other nut butter in this recipe.
- Nut free - I do believe you can use a soy or Sunbutter in place of the ½ cup of pistachio butter. I haven't tested that but I believe it should work. If the batter is very dry, add a little milk.
- Dairy-Free- you can use a plant based butter in place of the dairy butter as well as coconut milk for the heavy cream in the ganache.
- No chocolate - you do not have to make the chocolate ganache. The bars by themselves will also be great.
- Food Processor - since you cannot buy pistachio butter, you do have to make it. See below for suggestions on equipment.
I do prefer a food processor to make the pistachio butter. My trusty food processor is this Cuisinart 14-cup model but a smaller size is also completely acceptable. I know not everyone has this piece of kitchen equipment so a really strong blender could do the trick too. If you need a recommendation there, I love my Blendtec blender.
An unnecessary, but very helpful, piece of equipment is a butter pot. I use this to heat the heavy cream on the stove. It's a really nice size for small amounts of liquid like this. I also use it to reduce balsamic vinegar, simmer sauces or marinades, and enough other uses to justify it's spot in my cupboard.
Store the blonde brownies in the fridge covered or in an airtight container for up to 1 week. You can make the pistachio butter ahead of time and store in an airtight container for a few days before using.
These Pistachio Blonde Brownies can be doubled and made in a 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 5-10 minutes longer, checking at regular intervals for doneness.
Pistachio Blonde Brownies with Chocolate Ganache
- Food processor or blender
- 1 8 x 8 baking pan
- Parchment paper
- 6 ounce Bag of Southern Groves Shelled Pistachios
- 6 tablespoon Unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup Light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ cup Heavy whipping cream
- 6 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate (1 cup chocolate chips or chunks)
- Measure out 3 tablespoon of pistachios, finely chop, and set aside for garnish.
- Add the rest of the pistachios to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse continuously until smooth consistency is like peanut butter, about 4-5 minutes.
- Measure out ½ cup of pistachio butter, which should be about the whole amount. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, add the melted butter and sugar. Use an electric mixer and mix until well combined and smooth, about 1 minute.
- Add the pistachios butter to the bowl and continue mixing until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Add the egg to the bowl and mix well.
- Add the flour and baking powder and mix on low speed until fully combined.
- Spray an 8 x 8 square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Then line with parchment paper, leaving two edges overhanging.
- Scoop the dough into the prepared pan and press it with your fingers to create an even smooth layer.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, until edges and middle are golden brown. Let cool.
- Prepare the chocolate ganache by heating the cream in a saucepan over low heat until rapidly steaming, but not simmering, about 10 minutes. Add the chocolate chips to a heat safe bowl then pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit for one minute then stir until smooth, combined and glossy.
- Let ganache sit for 30 minutes. (This step is optional.)
- Pour chocolate ganache over cooled bars and spread evenly to fully cover brownies. Sprinkle reserved, chopped pistachios on top. Chill in the fridge until set, at least 4 hours.
- Gently wiggle the bars out of the pan using the two sides of parchment paper. Set on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut 12-16 bars.
- ½ cup of peanut butter or other nut butter can be substituted for pistachio butter. Flavor will be different.
- If the baked blonde brownies are not quite cool enough when it's time to pour on the ganache, put them in the freezer for 15 minutes to cool them down.