A ‘blonde’ moment!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe here, so I thought this lazy Saturday afternoon is the perfect opportunity to get down to it.
We are quite familiar with brownies. Who doesn’t love a warm, gooey piece with some vanilla ice cream on the side? But when you consider its cocoa-free cousin, Blondies, they seem to pale in comparison (pun intended)! So when I decided I wanted to bake something ‘different’, the husband suggested Blondies. I gave it a thought and then another one. I’d never baked these and while I was curious how it would turn out, I was also apprehensive about how it would be received.
I decided to go vegan with these Blondies, for no other reason but that most recipes called for way too much butter than I’d have liked to add, so I subbed the butter with some Almond Butter. This is nothing but blanched almonds that have been ground to a fine paste and looks almost butter-like! I also added some cranberries and walnuts to the batter for some texture, which also gave it a beautiful contrast of flavours. These Blondies store well in the fridge and they’re great if you want to use edible gifting as an option.
Cranberry & walnut blondies (vegan)
2 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour
3/4 cup of almond butter
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
1 cup of sugar
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of flaxseed, ground and mixed with 1 tbsp of water
1/2 cup of almond milk or any other vegan milk
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
2 tbsp of walnuts, chopped
Pinch of salt
Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together. Keep this aside.
In a mixing bowl combine the almond butter, flaxseed mixture and almond milk. Mix well and add the vanilla essence. Add the flour mixture to this and fold well. If it seems a little dry, add some more milk or cold water.
Finally add the cranberries and walnuts and give the batter a couple of quick stirs.
Pour the batter into a prepared baking tray and bake for about 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
* You can use unbleached all-purpose flour or maida for the recipe too. In that case, reduce the baking powder by 1/4 tsp
* Go ahead and use regular butter, the same quantity, if you want a non-vegan recipe
*In place of cranberries and walnuts, you can stir in anything that you like – choco chips, almonds, sunflower seeds, apricots… just about anything!

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