Friday, February 17, 2012

A Check in WIth You and Blondie Bites: A Sweet Treat for Your Weekend

Good morning! I'm so excited for the weekend ahead because I have almost NO plans. That means lots of time in the kitchen and behind the camera, which is total fun for me.

Last weekend we had four families over to our house for a pot luck. I wanted to make sure that there was one "alternative" dessert that was "relatively" healthy. And who doesn't love a blondie? So I decided to go out on a limb and adapt a dessert recipe that had beans in it. My track record with beans in baked goods has been pretty hit or miss. Sometimes I like the results, other times, not so much. But the recipe was so intriguing, I had to at least give it a try.

I also decided to keep the portions bite sized (well, maybe 2 or three bites), because even though I eliminated the oil and used the least processed form of sugar on the market (sucanat), I find it's easier to manage my own sweet tooth when portions are small and predetermined.

Blondie Bites
makes 48 "bites"
adapted from a recipe at Chocolate Covered Katie

Print Me!

1 cup quick oats
2 cans canellini or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups organic sucanat (it sounds like a lot, but it's only 1/2 Tbsp per "bite")
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 (or 4 if you have that many) 12 cup mini muffin pans by lightly spraying with nonstick cooking spray. If you don't have mini muffin pans, use a 9"x13" baking pan.

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the "s" blade and process until "smooth." (It may not get totally smooth, but the ingredients should be well blended.) Right into the food processor bowl, stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon 1 Tbsp of batter into each cup. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove bites from pan (they will be gooey on the inside), spray pan with non-stick spray and refill muffin cups with second half of batter. Bake for 20 minutes.

If you don't have mini muffin pans, spread batter into a greased 9"x13" baking pan and bake for at least 25 minutes (I haven't done this method myself, so I don't know an exact baking time, but it will be significantly longer).

The results were a success! Everyone liked these blondie bites (kids and adults), but not in a way where you would just want to keep eating one after another (if you know what I mean). I'd say they are a safe way to go if you want to bake a sweet treat.

One thing that I have found over the past many months experimenting with healthier baking has been that I can eliminate all of the oil or butter or Earth Balance in any baked good with no ill effect. I simply substitute all of the oil in a 1:1 ratio with unsweetened apple sauce, even if there is already apple sauce in the recipe. This has never failed me. I keep individual unsweetened apple sauce containers in stock in my kitchen (my kids love them) and each one is 1/2 cup. I never have a half-eaten jar hanging around my refrigerator growing mold.

My next experiments are going to revolve around eliminating the sugar in baked goods. The nice people over at NuNaturals sent me the most generous box of their products to test and try and I just can't wait. There's a virgin donut pan in my baking drawer just calling my name!

But what is going on with you? Where are you on this journey?What is coming easy to you? What are you struggling with? 

No matter what is going on with you and your food, I hope you are not beating yourself up over it.

Blogging tips