Luckily, I had some Chocolate-Almond Bars on hand to keep me company. There's nothing better than a sweet chocolate treat when we're not feeling too well, is there? Well, a snuggly cat maybe, but I don't live with any cats so chocolate will have to do! These little bars are a variation of my trusty old blondies, and they feature my favorite ingredient in the whole world-almond paste! Chunks of almond paste are scattered all over the top of these chocolate bars, along with gooey chocolate chips and crunchy sliced almonds. They are barely chocolatey to allow the almond flavor to shine without being completely overpowered by the mighty cocoa. May I interest you in one or three?
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup diced almond paste chunks
a handful of sliced almonds
a few extra chocolate chips to sprinkle on top
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spray an 8x8 inch 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 sized mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.
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. It should be fairly hard to spread. Press the diced almond paste down into the batter, as evenly distributed as possible. Scatter a handful of chocolate chips and sliced almonds around and press them down into the batter too.
6. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a couple of crumbs. Try not to over bake them to keep them from drying out in the oven. If you want to brown the tops a bit, you can broil it keeping an eye on it for a minute, but don't look away for a second or they will definitely burn! Cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting it into squares.
Woody the Hairy Woodpecker wants to remind you that there's still time to enter the Daiya giveaway!