Monday, August 1, 2011

Chocolate Cherry Almond Blondies

Have you ever tried to healthify a favorite cook book or family recipe? My mother-in-law makes some tasty blond brownies. The first Christmas I was in the family she made all of her daughters/daughters-in-laws a family cookbook of her most used recipes. I cherish that little cook book! However, half the ingredients list for the blond brownie recipe were either allergens or no-no ingredients in our house.

Yesterday, I was craving a blondie so I decided to use a "regular" recipe and see if it works with just a couple healthy changes. I took out the grains and swapped them for high-protien almond flour. I made some substitutions for the eggs, coconut (or palm) sugar for brown sugar, coconut oil instead of butter, and so on. We also had a ton of cherries that needed to be used up, and what could be wrong with a chocolate-cherry-almond combo? Absolutely nothing :) These blondies are both grain-free and vegan. We think these turned out great and hope you like them too!

Chocolate Cherry Almond Blondies

Yields" 9 blondie barsIngredients
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp chia seed meal
  • 1 tsp Xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar, sifted (to strain out bigger granules)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I sometimes use Enjoy Life, which does contain some cane sugar, or I make my own)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cherries
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Whisk all dry ingredients together- first seven ingredients, almond meal flour through sifted coconut sugar. (You can make your own almond flour from blanched almonds you purchase at the store, a cheaper option than buying it online. The kind of "flour" you buy at the store is usually meal/flour. However, I have also had some success using Bob's Almond meal/flour as long as I sift it first before measuring. To make your own, simply grind the blanched almonds about 1/3 cup at a time in a coffee grinder or high powered blender. Then sift and measure.)
  • In separate bowl, stir together the melted coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla and almond extracts. Then add these ingredients to the dry.
  • Then stir in the chopped cherries and chocolate chunks or chips.
  • Press into a greased 8" x 8" glass pan.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 F, or until toothpick comes out clean.

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Happy Blondie Making,

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