This is posting a day earlier than normal so that you have it in time to get ingredients for a New Years Eve celebration if you decide to bring this tasty treat to share with a group. This is one of our family’s new favorite non-sugar treats. These blondies are so yummy and wonderful and no one can tell they’ve been sweetened with dates (I never tell anyone until after they’ve eaten something and liked it). Also, if you’re gluten-free and/or vegan, which I am not, though I have a sister who is, these blondies will work for you.
If you’ve never cooked with dates before, here are a couple pictures I took to help you feel a little more comfortable, but it’s really not scary. I buy my dates from Costco in the produce section, but you can also get them from health food stores. The dates contain a hard pit in the center that you’ll want to remove. Take a sharp knife and slice it down one side and remove the pit. Once you have your 3/4 c of dates, pitted, soak them in hot water for about 5-10 minutes. I usually do this by putting dates in a small sauce pan with about 2 c water(or enough water to cover the dates), bringing it to a boil and then removing from the heat and letting sit another 5 minutes.
While the dates soak, place aluminum foil in the bottom of a 11x 7 inch baking dish (or an 8×8 inch). Spray with cooking spray and set aside. Combine the flour, soda and salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Once the dates have soaked in hot water, add them to your blender or food processor along with your melted coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup and vanilla. You’ll want to blend them up until they form a ‘paste’ consistency. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula and then blend again.
Add the date paste to the flour mix and combine. Add in your carob chips (or white or chocolate chips) and stir to combine.
Use your rubber spatula to pat into your prepared baking dish (you may have to use your hands as well).
Bake for 10 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in pan. Cut into squares and serve.
Date sweetened Blondies(vegan and gluten-free)
*makes 1, 11×7 or 8×8 inch baking dish
¾ cup Medjool dates(about ten), pitted
2 1/4 c whole wheat flour (or gluten free by using 1 ½ cup oat flour & 3/4 c almond flour)
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
3 TBSP almond butter
3 TBSP maple syrup
3 TBSP coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup carob chips (or white, or chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pitted dates in a saucepan and cover with water (about 2 c water). Turn on high heat and bring to a boil; immediately remove from heat and let the dates soak in the hot water for another 5 minutes. Place aluminum foil in bottom of a 11x 7 inch baking dish (or an 8×8 inch). Spray with cooking spray. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and stir until combined. Drain the dates and place in high powered blender or food processor and add in almond butter, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and vanilla. Blend until fully combined(you might need to scrape down sides with a rubber spatula and go again). Stir wet ingredients into dry until barely combined (still a bit dusty looking; I alot of times will stir with a spoon and then get my hands in there and finish mixing because it’s not liquidy). Add in chips and stir to combine. Put batter in pan, should be thick. Spread out with a spatula and press down with hands until it fills the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in pan. Cut into squares and serve.