Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Almond Butter Blondies - Gluten Free

If you're looking for a recipe that is only a few ingredients and a cinch to make, this one's for you. Additionally, if you are looking for something that is gluten free, this is also for you. That being said, if you don't like almonds you might not like this recipe. It would probably work with peanut butter, though - but I haven't tried that yet.
   I have made this a total of 3 times. The first two times I over baked them. They weren't bad, they just didn't say "Blondie" to me - they were more cake like (which is funny because there is nothing that even resembles flour in this recipe). The last time I made them I under baked them and they were too gooey. I think I have the time down now, but of course it might be different in your oven because ovens vary.
   My cousin in-law, Samantha (the same one who gave me the recipe for Samantha's Pancakes - another amazing gluten free recipe), gave me this recipe for Almond Butter Blondies. It's her variation of a recipe she found on Elana's Pantry. When she gave me it I thought, There's no way that these set up anything like a traditional blondie. There's zero flour and it's mostly just Almond Butter. I had to put it to the test.  The best place to buy Almond Butter is at Costco. But, since my Costco doesn't carry it and I wasn't about to shell out $12 for a little bottle at the grocery store I put off making this recipe. That is, until I went up to Montana to visit the in-laws. Their Costco has it, and I promptly purchased it (two big jars for the price of the little one) and baked a batch.
   They are magic. If there is such a thing as magic, these blondies personify it. It goes from a glob of almond butter, vanilla and eggs to a dessert that is cake-like and mind boggling. I don't know how else to explain it. My father in-law could not believe there was no flour! It's amazing. If nothing else, try this recipe just to see the magic happen for yourself.
   But these are pretty tasty too.

Here's what you do:
   You'll need 16 oz of Almond Butter. I had a big jar from Costco, so this was about 2/3 of my jar. It should be an entire jar of the regular size. This is your main ingredient so make sure it's good. (Mine had do salt or sugar added, so it was pretty hard to take all by itself, but in the recipe it was good.)

Dump the Almond Butter into a large mixing bowl and add 1 tsp Almond Extract. (This isn't in Samantha's version, but I found that the almond flavor was lacking in the final product. I know. Strange, but true.)
This picture is of my first batch, and I used vanilla extract. I wouldn't recommend that. It took too much away from the almond flavor. Use the almond extract and you won't be disappointed.

Next comes the honey. You can use anywhere from 1/2 cup to 1 full cup. The more you add, the gooey-er your blondies will be. I ended up adding 1/2 cup plus once extra squeeze. I'll say 2/3 cup, but in the recipe I'll just state the 1/2 cup that Samantha recommends. You do as you wish.

Next come the eggs. If you don't care about fat and calories, use 2 whole eggs. Otherwise, use 4 egg whites as I did - and as Samantha recommends. Just separate out the yolks and use them for something else (I used mine for my Stove Top Mac-n-Cheese).

Just pour the egg whites in with the almond butter and extract.

Whip it all up with an electric mixer until everything is very well combined.

Add the baking soda,

and the salt

and whip again until very well mixed and this starts to stiffen. - It will pull away from the bowl.

This is where you can add mix ins. Chocolate chips are always a must in my house. 1/4 to 1/2 cup depending on what you like. I say 1/2.

Just mix in the chocolate chips and pour it into a 9x13 baking dish.

Spread it out into an even layer and sprinkle on some more chocolate chips (again 1/4 to 1/2 cup - I say 1/2 cup)

Bake @ 325F for 20-30 minutes, or until it has darkened in color and pulled away from the edges slightly. This was my first batch. I did 30 minutes and it was way too long - see the crack down the center? Oh well. Live and learn.

Cut and serve. Aren't they pretty and cake-like? I told you. It's magic.
Here's the recipe:
adapted from Elena's Pantry

Almond Butter Blondies

16 oz Creamy, Roasted Almond Butter
1 tsp Almond Extract
1/2 cup honey (you can use up to 1 cup - more honey=more gooey)
4 egg whites  (or 2 whole eggs if you wish)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark chocolate chips

In a large bowl, with a hand blender, mix almond butter until creamy. Mix in extract, honey and eggs. Add salt and baking soda. Mix well with hand blender until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Mix half of the chocolate into the batter. Pour batter into a well greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Scatter the other half of the chocolate on top of the batter. Bake at 325° for 25-35 minutes. (If using a glass dish the cooking time will be more like 35 minutes, but a dark pan will only take 25 to 30 minutes.)

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