Cashew or Pecan Blondies
This morning, VegKitchen is participating in a virtual “potluck” to launch Sweet and Easy Vegan, Robin Asbell’s new book. Filled with delectable treats made with whole food ingredients, this book is packed with easy recipes for scones, muffins, quick breads, cobblers, cookies, pies, cupcakes, bars, and more. A full review is ahead in the next few weeks. Robin has generously supplied an extra copy to be given away to one VegKitchen reader; all you need to do is share this post on Facebook or Twitter, and comment below that you have done so. Contest closes on Friday, Oct. 26.
In the book, this recipe is called Cashew Blondies, but I realized at the last minute that I had no cashews, though I did have a very nice batch of pecans. Of course, they worked just as well. I was originally attracted to this recipe due to the sprinkling of coarse salt over the top. As someone without much of a sweet tooth, but with a penchant for salt, I knew that this would send this treat over the top for me, and indeed, it did! My family enjoyed this quite a bit, too, proof being that it was practically inhaled shortly after coming out of the oven Here’s what Robin has to say about this recipe:
In these chewy bars, the caramel notes of both brown rice syrup and palm sugar paste will convince your taste buds that you’re eating butter, and the crunchy cashews only add to the sensation—not a bad trick! The sprinkling of coarse salt may seem kind of trendy, but it really brings out the sweetness, so give it a try. If you must gild the lily, a melted dark chocolate drizzle would take these over the top. In a pinch, you could substitute peanuts (or pecans) for the cashews.
Makes 12 bars
- 1/4 cup nondairy milk
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4teaspoon salt baking soda
- 1/2 cup palm sugar paste, granular palm sugar, or Sucanat
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup cashews, toasted and coarsely chopped
- Kosher salt for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas 4. Line a 13-by-9-in/33-by-23-cm baking pan with parchment paper and oil the parchment paper.
In a cup or small bowl, whisk the nondairy milk and flaxseeds together and let stand for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the pastry flour, salt, and baking soda and whisk until well mixed. In a medium bowl (or a food processor if the palm sugar is lumpy), combine the palm sugar, oil, and brown rice syrup and stir (or process) until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Stir the vinegar and vanilla into the flaxseed mixture. Add to the sugar mixture and stir (or process) until well combined [note: if the batter doesn't come together, add just a little non-dairy milk, but don't make the batter too wet]. Pour into the flour mixture.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it in an even layer. Sprinkle the cashews evenly over the top, then gently press them into the batter. Bake for 25 minutes, until the edges are golden and the center looks dry. While still hot, sprinkle a few pinches of kosher salt evenly over the top.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut 4 by 3, to make 12 squares. Stored at room temperature, tightly covered, the blondies will keep for about 1 week.
Recipe reprinted by permission from Sweet and Easy Vegan: Treats Made with Whole Grains and Natural Sweeteners by Robin Asbell, © 2012, Chronicle Books.
- Here are more of VegKitchen’s Easy Vegan Cakes and Pies.