By Chef: Amber Crawley
Posted: November 8, 2012
HAPPY NATIONAL BLONDIE DAY!
That’s right—today, January 22nd, is apparently National Blondie Day. Since I consider myself a bit of a blondie queen, I couldn’t possibly let it pass by unnoticed, now could I? I found out about this “holiday” on Thursday night, as I was riding the emotional high that your kind comments lent me. One particular comment stuck out to me. Brenda said: Now, go dream up some wonderful super easy recipe for me to try out. So I did. And wouldn’t you know, it was a smashing success on the very first try!
uses common ingredients
works with a variety of substitutions
takes less than 5 minutes to prepare from start to finish
requires only one piece of equipment (food processor)
conveniently makes just one serving
doesn’t require any advance prep
does NOT require baking OR dehydration
provides instant gratification
It also happens to be:
and frickin’ DELICIOUS!
So here it is, folks. This is the treat I spontaneously concocted in my kitchen on Thursday night, thanks in large part to YOU. Consider it my little way of saying “thank you,” again.
- ¼ cup dry cashews or macadamias
- ¼ cup dry walnuts or pecans
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (OR see substitutions below)
- 2 to 3 pitted dates
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Big pinch of sea salt
- Cacao nibs, for garnish (optional)
Combine the nuts and sugar in a mini food processor.
A mini one works best, but I think a regular-sized one would be fine. Or you could just quadruple the recipe and make a family-size blondie!
(A word of advice: since you’re processing various crunchy nuts, make sure that you don’t skimp on the food processor. A cheap one may succumb to the rigid exteriors presented by the nuts. PartSelect gets a lot of business from folks who “injured” their low-quality food processors trying to blend certain objects!)
Any combination of nuts and seeds totaling ½ cup. Choose from macnuts, cashews, pecans, or walnuts, as called for, or try Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, or even sunflower seeds.
2 tablespoons Sucanat, date sugar, maple sugar, unpacked brown sugar, evaporated cane juice, organic white sugar, or any other granulated sweetener in place of the coconut palm sugar. Or leave it out entirely for a sugar-free blondie!
Pulse the nuts and sugar together until the mixture is ground into a coarse powder.
Add the dates, one at a time, pulsing several times between additions, until each date is well-incorporated. (If you have fairly large dates, like Medjools, use 2. If you have small dates, or an insane sweet tooth, use 3.)
2 Tbsp of any sweet, soft dried fruit instead of dates. It would change the flavor a bit, but you could try raisins, golden raisins, prunes, dried figs, or dried cherries, for example.
After the last date is incorporated, add the vanilla and a generous pinch of salt. (I’ve always loved the salted-caramel undertones that good blondies have.) Pulse several more times to distribute the vanilla and salt.
Transfer the mixture into a single (unlined) muffin cup and use your fingers to pack it down tightly.
(Or, you could just as easily form it into a cake shape on a small plate! Just be sure to press it together very well so it doesn’t fall apart.)
Run a knife around the edge of the muffin cup and invert the blondie onto a small plate.
Garnish with cacao nibs, if desired. (My chocolate-hazelnut ganache would also make a perfect topping for this!)
And that’s it. It’s that simple, I swear!