Friday, February 8, 2013

Almond Butter Blondies

You know when you have that love-at-first-bite moment? You tell yourself you're going to have just one piece. And then you (quietly) go back for a second. And before you know it, you want to hoard the whole pan all to yourself. Yeah...I had that moment when I made these Almond Butter Blondies. Thankfully, I did NOT hoard the whole pan (although I did keep a few extra slices for myself), because these blondies are definitely worth sharing with others.

Almond Butter Blondies
Throughout my January detox, I wasn't allowed sugar. Or carbs. And that meant no baking for me. Which is totally fine post-holidays, after I had spent the previous month and half baking non-stop. But after three weeks of salads, raw vegetables, and green smoothies, I was more than ready to bring out my mixer and turn on the oven again. I had this recipe flagged for some time, as they came highly recommended by a coworker, and I thought a gluten-free baked good would be a great reintroduction to sweet treats.

I'm not usually a big blondie fan. I much prefer a brownie over a blondie. Maybe it's because I haven't had a stellar blondie before now. They were always good or "eh," but never blow-my-mind good—always a little too sweet, or just a tad bland, or never quite as moist as I wished they were a day or two later. Then these happened.

I can’t stop raving about these blondies—incredibly rich in flavour, with the right amount of sweetness and a touch of chocolate just enough to curb your cravings. With the large amount of almond butter used, these are delightfully chewy and stay incredibly moist for days—even a week later.

Almond Butter Blondies
Best of all, they are gluten-free—brownie…er…blondie points for that. I have baked with a gluten-free flour mix before and was never quite satisfied with it. It always left my baked goods with a very odd texture—gritty and yet slightly pasty at the same time (how the heck is that even possible?!?). However, with the quinoa flour in this recipe, you couldn't even tell the difference. Plus the quinoa flour really helps enhance the flavour of the blondies, adding its own distinct nuttiness. I also threw in a handful of slivered almonds for some added texture. If you don’t have almond butter.

Don’t let the fact that these are gluten-free make you a skeptic, because trust me, one bite and you’ll instantly become a convert to these blondies as well.

Almond Butter Blondies
From Quinoa Revolution by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming
Makes 24 squares

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup smooth or crunchy natural almond butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup quinoa flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chip

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or spray with cooking oil an 8-inch square cake pan and line pan with parchment.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and almond butter. Beat in the eggs, sugar and vanilla.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix into the almond butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Do not overbake. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before cutting into 24 squares.

Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Recipe excerpted from:Quinoa Revolution: Over 150 Healthy, Great-Tasting Recipes Under 500 Calories by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming. Copyright © Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming, 2012. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Group (Canada), a Division of Pearson Canada Inc.


Sarah R February 9, 2013 at 1:54 p.m.  

Oooh those look great bon!

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