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!
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
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:
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
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!
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! :)