Vegan Hazelnut Blondies

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Vegan Hazelnut Blondies
From www.foodfanatic.com, by Natasha Merchant

Vegan Hazelnut Blondies Photo

I consider myself somewhat of a brownie connoisseur. As a certified chocoholic, I didn’t think a blondie could compare, but after I had my first blondie, I was hooked. Recently, I’ve started adding nut butters to the base for a different twist on the original, and so far, the hazelnut version has been my favorite.

You can find hazelnut butter at a lot of specialty grocery stores, but I’ve found it to be more cost effective to make my own. Toasting the hazelnuts before you process them really brings out the flavor. If you’re not a fan of hazelnuts, almond butter and peanut butter can easily be swapped out.

Most blondie recipes use only brown sugar, but when I tested this recipe with brown sugar only, the result as too soft for my liking. I ended up adding some white sugar just so that I could get the chewy crust that I like along the edges.

Vegan Hazelnut Blondies Picture

I’m also a fan of the “not too sweet” dessert, so I cut back on the sugar in the original recipe. However, you can increase the brown sugar by 1/4 cup if you like a sweeter blondie.

The great thing about blondies (other than the fact that they are super simple to make) is the fact that they are fully customizable. You can go crazy with the mix-ins. I added a mix of chopped chocolate and cacao nibs, but you could add up to 1/2 cup of anything you like. I recently found some vegan white chocolate chips online that would be great in these.

These blondies will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days. On the rare occasion that they aren’t gone by then, I wrap them individually in plastic wrap, wrap all of them together in foil, and freeze them for up to 3 months. You can pull a blondie out of the freezer anytime you want and just wait for it to come to room temperature

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Vegan Hazelnut Blondies Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs, or add more chocolate
  • chopped hazelnuts, for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on 2 of the sides (this will make the blondies easier to remove later).
  3. In a food processor, process the toasted hazelnuts until they begin to release their oils and become thick and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the food processor when necessary.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the hazelnut butter, oil, and both sugars.
  5. Add the almond milk and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
  6. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder and stir gently with a wooden spoon or spatula until the mixture is mostly combines but still streaky.
  7. Add the chopped chocolate and cacao nibs and stir gently until combine.
  8. Pour the batter into the pan and top with chopped hazelnuts.
  9. Bake for 20-22 minutes until the edges start to brown slightly.
  10. Cool completely and cut into squares.

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Source:
Recipe adapted from Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar.

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