First, I want to thank Sara again for asking me to participate in the Cookbook Spotlight for Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. I really like the cookbook because it has a nice variety of recipes (scones, muffins, cakes, pies, cookies, and more). There are so many recipes I put on my “to-make” list. Most of the recipes can be easily veganized as well. I’m really curious to see what the other participants are going to make.
Originally, I was thinking about making the Blueberry Crumb Cake. I had Rob look up the recipe while I was writing out the grocery shopping list. However, Rob saw “Peanuttiest Blondies” listed in the index and told me I was keeping him in the dark about the cookbook containing a blondie recipe. Never mind the fact the cookbook has been out on the bookshelf and easily accessible since I got it! LOL I haven’t made blondies in a long time so I decide to change my plans and make Peanuttiest Blondies instead.
The recipe is pretty easy to put together and uses common ingredients. To veganize it, I used Earth Balance instead of butter and ENER-G Egg Replacer instead of eggs. I also used sea salt over regular salt but that’s just a personal preference. The recipe is true to its name – they really are the Peanuttiest Blondies. The recipe calls for both crunchy peanut butter and salted peanuts. If you have a Trader Joes nearby, you can pick up a bag of their salted peanuts for around $1.99. That’s what I used in this recipe and I also enjoyed eating the peanuts straight out of the bag. I chopped the peanuts in my old-fashioned chopper – the one with a glass jar base and a tall handle you have to press down on to chop.
The blondies turned out great. Rob felt they had excellent mix of peanut and chocolate taste. He actually likes this blondie recipe better than the previous recipe I was using. My mom is a big fan of blondies so I put some aside and froze them for her. The hardest part is waiting for them to cool completely. I’m guilty of trying to invert them a tad too early. I did have one corner of the blondies break off. That piece was quickly snatched up and eaten by….you guessed it…my husband Rob. So my best advice is to literally follow the directions exactly and let blondies cool completely before inverting.
Peanuttiest Blondie served with a cup of tea (the mug is a Fire King “Kimberly” Mug in blue).
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup peanut butter – crunchy or creamy (not natural)
5 tablespoons Earth Balance, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
Egg replaced equivalent to 2 eggs (I used ENER-G)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts
1 cup chocolate chips
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil, “butter” the foil, and put the pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and sea salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the peanut butter and Earth Balance together on medium speed until smooth. Add both the sugars and beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until well incorporated into the Earth Balance/Peanut Butter mixture. Add the egg replacer, one “egg” at a time, beating for 1 minute after each “egg” goes in. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the dough; the dough will be thick. Add the peanuts and chocolate chips and give the mixer a few turns to stir them into the dough. If the chunky ingredients aren’t mixed in after a few seconds, just finish the job with a sturdy spatula – don’t overmix the dough. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan.
Bake the blondies for 40 to 50 minutes, or until they turn a deep honey brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. (Emmy’s note: my blondies were done after 40 minutes.) Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature.
When it is completely cool, carefully lift the blondies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and turn them out onto a
rack. Peel away the foil and invert onto a cutting board. Use a long knife to cut into 16 bars, each roughly 2-1/4 inches on a side. (Emmy’s note: I cut the blondies larger.)
Storing: Wrapped well, the blondies will keep for about 3 days at room temperature or for up to 2 months in the freezer.