Hi! I'm hibernating under my electric blanket whilst perpetually sipping hot tea. Wing It Vegan is on hiatus until I'm willing to come back out. Happy holidays!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Almond Butter Blondies and More Vegan Crunk Testing

Phew! That's a big jar of almond butter, Mr. Costco! I have already gone through half of that gigantor jar, which has given my weight-gain-quest a big push! There's still a lot left though. What do you do when you have a surplus of almond butter? Make almond butter blondies, of course! :)

Almond Butter Blondies - Chunky Chunk
Look at that chunky chunk sitting there just teasing us!

These blondies are fudgy and moist with lots of soft chunky bits thanks to the addiction addition of chocolate chips and almond paste. The key to their fudginess is in adding just the right amount of milk. The batter should be just moist enough that it's not crumbly, but not too moist or they will be a bit more cakey. If your batter is a little too moist you might want to bake them for an extra minute or two.

Almond Butter Blondies

1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup rice or almond milk*
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (or 1/2 if you love it!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus a small handful to sprinkle on top
2 tbsp almond paste chunks, plus a few chunks to sprinkle on top**

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spray an 8x8 metal baking pan with cooking spray.
2. In a small mixing bowl stir together the almond butter, milk, oil, vanilla extract, almond extract, and sugar. Stir until a smooth creamy mix forms.
3. In a medium size mixing bowl stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gently stir in the chocolate chips and almond paste chunks.
4. Pour the liquid mix on top of the flour mix and gently fold until all ingredients are just incorporated. Take care not to over mix or stir too much! The batter should be very thick and stiff but not crumbly, if it's crumbly add an extra tablespoon of milk.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips and almond paste chunks on top. Give the almond chunks a little push so they sink a bit into the batter.
6. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry. They won't rise much at all. If you want to brown the tops a bit, you can broil it keeping an eye on it for a minute. Don't look away for a second or the pesky things will burn! Cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting it into squares. Or if you're me, start eating them right away even if you have to use a spoon.

* I have made these a few times, each time with a different type of milk. The ones with soy milk took a half cup, the ones with almond milk took a third cup, and depending on how soft your peanut butter is, it might take as little as 1/4 cup. Start with that and add more if you need it.

** The almond paste chunks are optional, but they really make these extra yummy! You can throw a handful of sliced almonds in there instead for an extra almondy crunch. I'm not a big fan of crunchy bits in my blondies though, gimme the fudgy bits!

Almond Butter Blondies With Almond Paste Chunks
I love those chunky bits of almond paste!

Now if only Mr. Costco would sell me some super cheap almond paste! That would be awesome! Maybe I'll start making my own from now on because that stuff is way too expensive for an almond-holic. Soon I am going to have to sell pictures of food-pornz to support my habit! :D

Almond Butter Blondies - Fudgy Fudge
Fudgy goodness!

Now that we've had dessert let's indulge in some savory treats courtesy of Bianca from the rock'n Vegan Crunk blog! As one of Bianca's very lucky recipe testers I get an exclusive preview of her awesome soon-to-be Southern/soul food cookbook. I'm cool like that. Have you checked out my previous crunky post? Every single one of Bianca's recipes has been amazing - every single one! Bianca develops recipes that are not only delicious, but also easy as pie to make. And the ingredients called for in all the recipes I've tried are either already in my pantry or they are easy to find at a regular grocery store. Even non-vegans will love her cookbook because the food is so flavorful and approachable. Case in point - last night's dinner:

Bianca's Fried Squash (Vegan Crunk Tester)
Bianca's Fried Squash

This fried squash is amazing! Again, super easy to make and so yummy! Crispy on the outside, tasty squashiness on the inside... *sigh* It's what breaded and fried dreams are made of. There's five slices on my plate there, but I had to go back for seconds! Really, Bianca, you need to create a recipe that sucks, you now, for balance purposes and yin yang and all that stuff! :P

Bianca's BBQ Black-Eyed Pea Burger (Vegan Crunk)
BBQ Black-Eyed Pea Burgers (sans bun)

I *LOVE* these black eyed pea patties! Too bad I didn't have any buns, because they really would have made a great burger. The barbecue sauce is practically life-changing! I'm not a big fan of barbecue sauce but I absolutely loved Bianca's! It's that good!

Bianca's Memphis-Style BBQ Sauce (Vegan Crunk Tester)
Memphis-Style BBQ Sauce

Mmmm *drool!* Even Mr. Wing-It who is very picky about his BBQ sauce gave it two thumbs up! We're not doing store-bought sauce from now on - Bianca's BBQ sauce is where it's at, y'all! That's right, I'm turning into a Memphian! :P

There's more crunky goodness on my previous crunky post, and check out Bianca's blog, Vegan Crunk, to hit the yummy mother-lode and to stay up to date with her cookbook progress! :)

45 comments :

  1. i've never had almond paste, but those blondies look great!

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  2. Ohhh I'm drooling over here. Suddenly I don't feel as sad that the halloweenie fun is so far away. Those blondies look INCREDIBLY fudgey, almost like delicious blondie dough. Yum. And all of the Vegan Crunk food looks tremendous as well. Yum yum.

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  3. I'm drooling right now looking at those blondies. The veggie burgers look great too. Thanks for sharing these delicious treats with us!

    jessyburke88@gmail.com

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  4. I am SO making those blondies! I have always liked almond butter but for some reason I can't stop eating it lately. I have a feeling your blondies will disappear quickly!

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  5. The blondies look so fudgey and delicious! I can't wait to make these, even though I can't find almond paste here! I will have to Wing-It! :D

    I'm wishing I was a vegan crunk tester too, that BBQ sauce sounds amazing.

    Thanks for making me drool on my laptop, yet again! >:oP

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  6. I have a confession: only upon my second visit to this post did I notice that there was more to it than the blondies. Wow. I am making those ASAP! I'm not a big fan of almond butter (though I love almond flavor) and I have a big jar I've been looking to use and this sounds perfect! Thanks!

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  7. My bf is a HUGE bbq sauce fan while I don't think it's that great. I think I'll have to by that book just to make the sauce!

    And your blondies look delicious, I love the golden colour!

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  8. Update: I made them. Yes, already. They are freaking amazing! Thank you so much!

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  9. Sara - I never had almond paste until only a few months ago! It's so yummy and I don't know why I'd never bought it before. Oh yes, I know - it's because it's so expensive! :D

    Kelly - YAY! These are lack-of-halloweenie-fun antidotes! Mmm. Blondie dough! Maybe I should make me some flourless blondie dough next time! Ooooh you're an evil genius! Isn't all the Vegan Crunk awesome?

    Jessica - My pleasure! And thank you! Now I wish I had taken a picture of a burger bite, to show what it looked like inside. Oy! I guess there's always next time!

    Kiersten - These almond butter addictions! It must be something in the air! I hope you love the blondies! :)

    Wabbit - Wing-It! Thanks, dude! Maybe I will figure out how to make almond paste and then I'll blog about it so everybody that has access to almonds+sugar will have access to almond paste! Aren't I nice? :P

    Jennifer - I just saw your update! YAY!!! I'm so glad you liked them! Thank you so much for letting me know that you made them! I'm glad you were able to use up some of your almond butter! :D

    Mandee - From one BBQ sauce avoider to another - this sauce is amazing! I've always disliked it, but now I have finally found a BBQ sauce that doesn't make me gag! Bianca's book is going to be awesome!

    Melisser - How long do you think it would take for them to get to Vienna? Someone needs to come up with a way to email baked goodies instantly! :D

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  10. Thanks River!!! You're sooooo kind! I'm really glad y'all like the sauce and the squash and burgers. I just had some fried squash a few days ago.

    On blondies: OMG! I'm always been a brownie over blondie person, but I think that recipe would totally convert me. I LOVE almond butter! Must make these!!

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  11. Confession - I've never had nor made blondies. I think this needs to be fixed.

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  12. Ummm... yum! To all. I love seeing what Bianca cooks up on her blog.

    I love the look of those blondies too. I am also on a big almond butter kick at the moment. I am very much enjoying apple slices and almond butter for a nummy snack during the day at the moment. I wish the damn stuff wasn't so expensive though.

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  13. Oh, chocolate and almond paste together? Drool!

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  14. I just made them! OMG! Amazing. <3

    I've never had success with blondies before, but these are perfect - beautifully crisp on top, moist and fudgy in the middle. Heaven!

    And the almond flavour was much more subtle after baking them (I tried a little of the raw batter, I admit it!).

    Now please take the rest of the batch away from me before I get fat! *I want more*

    I really struggled to wait for them to cool, I was very eager to try one, they looked so good! I think they could work well baked as cookies too, the batter was certainly thick enough, and I wouldn't have to wait so long for them to cool!! :-P

    Where's your cook book? Seriously. I have lot's of cook books (I mainly buy them to look at the pictures!) but have never had so much (consistent) success with anyone's recipes like I have with yours. You are my baking hero, and I want a Wing-It Vegan cookbook for my collection!

    Thanks for another favourite recipe! This one is getting laminated! :D

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  15. Bianca - You are the kindest! It was your sweet words that made me want to come back to wing-it! I know you had the fried squash a few days ago! I saw it on your blog and that's what made me want to eat it! Hee hee! :)

    Katie - Indeedy! I think we need to work on your lackofblonditis before it's too late! :D

    Susan - And the almond-butter addicts just keep on growing! I hear you about the cost though, if it wasn't for Costco I would have to control myself! :P

    Susan G - I know! They are such a yummy combo! I'm thinking a chocolate/almond paste filled croissant would be awesome!

    Wabbit - YAY!! I'm so glad you like them! My fingers were tightly crossed while I was waiting for your feedback! Did the raw batter taste good? I want to make some flourless almond butter dough next time! Should this blog be renamed Wing-It Almond Butter?

    Cookies would definitely cool faster! Faster cooling = sooner eating = you're a genius! :P

    Aww, thank you! You know how fickle I am about the cookbook (and everything else.) *sigh* I need a little more self-confidence methinks. Can I buy that from Costco? :D

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  16. Those blondies look. . . like. . . the blondies of my dreams! The blondies I want to marry! The blondies that will be my everlasting love! I. WANT. BLONDIES!!! Oh, and just btw (just ignore the drool on my mouth), you can make your own almond butter, easy-peasy and quite economically if you have a decent food processor. Just toast, cool, and process (for a while--like 5-10 minutes). Seriously, the best almond butter I've had! Now I just have to figure out where to get almond paste. . .

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  17. Cookbook! Cookbook! Cookbook!

    :D

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  18. But, Ricki, what would the HH say if you married the blondies! :P
    Funny you should mention making almond butter from scratch, because Mr. Wing-It has spoiled me rotten yet again - this time with the ultimate foodie kitchen appliance! How mysterious! :D

    Susan, thank you for the cheering! Hee hee! Do you think I could pull that off? A whole cookbook? With my fickleness and all? I have really been thinking about it, but it seems so overwhelming! Maybe I should start with a small e-cookbook just to see how it goes? :)

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  19. You are evil, you do know that...don't you? I am officially hungry and it is time for bed. Sooo not fair.

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  20. "Cookbook! Cookbook! Cookbook!"

    *Joins Susan's chant to make it louder*

    :D

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  21. I tried to post a comment earlier but blogger was being stupid.

    I am so glad Wing it is back!! I'm over a month late but SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

    I think those blondies look freakin amazing!!

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  22. You are a brownie mastermind! Yum! How far of a drive is it to your house? Hee hee.

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  23. Cooking Lady - Mwahahaha! That happens to me too when I read blogs just before bedtime! :D

    Becks - I'm sold! I'll do it! Just a few recipes to test the water *cleans dust off old recipe notebook* :D

    Sal - Blogger can be such a doofus sometimes! Thank you!! It's great to be back! Are you going to join MoFo this year? I hope you do! :)

    Krys - It's a long drive, but I'll be waiting for you with a fresh batch of blondies! :P

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  24. Wow, those blondies look so fantastic! I've had peanut butter blondies, but considering I'll take almond butter over peanut butter any day, I do believe these will be a winner!

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  25. Wow, those blondies look so fantastic! I've had peanut butter blondies, but considering I'll take almond butter over peanut butter any day, I do believe these will be a winner!

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  26. Thanks, Jodye! We should hold some sort of contest to see who wins in peanut versus almond butter battle! No hits below the shells! :P

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  27. Awesome pics and awesome vegan food! Will be following :)

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  28. I cannot wait for Bianca's book! Those blondies look really, really good! I make my own almond butter because the stuff is way too expensive over here. But I might splurge for this recipe.

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  29. i was on a war path for sweets last night...those blondies would have done just the trick! i've got some of said almond butter in my fridge....might have to prepare for sweet tooth attack part II tonight!

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  30. wow. this all looks amazing! i've never made my own bbq sauce, but that looks so thick and wonderful. mmm.

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  31. Oh my goodness those blondies look soooo good!!! And wait a minute, Costco sells almond butter????

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  32. DJ Karma - Thank you! I'm checking out your blog too...

    Mihl - That's how I feel about cashew butter! So yummy but so expensive. I have a homemade cashew butter planned for next week! :)

    Joanie - You can't fight the sweet tooth attack! I hope you love them if you decide to make them! :)

    Allularpunk - I am so serious when I say that this is the best BBQ sauce ever! I don't ever again want to eat spicy sweet potato fries without dipping them in this BBQ sauce!

    Carissa - That's how I reacted when I first saw the almond butter! I could not believe it! Now if only they would bring in cheap cashew butter and almond paste! :D

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  33. Mmm, the blondies look fantastic! It never occured to me to put almond butter in blondies, but I think it's ingenious!

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  34. Thank you, Carolyn! I think people put all kinds of nut (and seed) butter in blondies, which is making me wonder how they would be like with hazelnut butter and chocolate chips! Nutella style! :D

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  35. You see, here's the difference. YOU'RE trying to gain weight and I'M trying to lose it... But I'm still going to have to make these. They look SO tempting.

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  36. These look unbelievable! Blondies are one of my favorite things, in the world, ever...I must try this recipe.

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  37. Penny - You want to go down and I want to go up! Why can't we all just be happy with our weight and eat whatever we want, whenever we want? :P

    Amber - Thank you! Blondies are pretty freakin' awesome. I hope you love these blondies if you decide to make them! :)

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  38. I just made the blondies last night! My two year old helped me and she was very enthusiastic about it. Anything with almond paste in it is a-ok with her! They were amazing!! The whole family loved them and agreed that you are worship-worthy! Thanks!

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  39. Cindy - YAY!! I'm so glad you guys enjoyed the blondies! I'm with your little baker helper - anything with almond paste is a-ok! Thank you so much for letting me know that they worked out for you, you totally made my day! :D

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  40. I am so mad that I am not your next door neighbor/best friend right now! I want that! Now!

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  41. These blondies look SO good... I'll have to put them on my list. I've actually never made blondies before, but this looks like a great time to start. I've never heard of almond paste, and am not really sure where to get some or how to make it. Any suggestions?

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  42. What brand of almond paste do you buy? Also, where do you usually get it? I really want to try to make these, and must do it right!

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  43. Hey guys, I've already replied to Vincenza and Meggie's question about the almond butter, but just in case anybody else is wondering, my favorite brand is Odense and I buy it at our regular grocery store. They have it on the baking isle by the chocolate chips and baking nuts. There's a store locator on the Odense website: http://www.odense.com/

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  44. These were a huge hit in my Christmas goodie boxes! Thank you so much.

    meggieandben.blogspot.com/2010/12/blondiiiieeeee-or-almond-butter.html

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