Even though I’m not a vegetarian, I love to try out recipes that use different ingredients and accommodate different lifestyles. I’ve recently started reading a wonderful blog called Chocolate Covered Katie. This month, Katie is running a feature called Hug a Vegan Dessert. The feature reminded me of one of my favorite vegan desserts, Peanut Butter Blondies, from one of my favorite cookie cookbooks, Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar by Moskowitz & Romero. Be sure to check out Katie’s site for other great vegan recipes.
I find these peanut butter blondies are appealing because of their rich, satisfyingly peanut buttery goodness and the fact that I can make them with ingredients I typically have around the house. If you don’t tell anyone, they certainly won’t know that there is anything special about these bars, other than that they are delicious! These bars are also super-easy to make and only dirty one bowl. Since I love peanut butter and chocolate, I had to add some chocolate chips along with the peanuts on top of the blondies, but they would be perfectly delicious even without the chocolate if you’re a peanut butter purist.
Peanut Butter Blondies (adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar by Moskowitz & Romero)
Makes 9 – 16 bars
3/4 cup no-stir, creamy natural peanut butter
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup peanuts
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a metal 8×8 baking dish that has been lined with foil.
In a mixing bowl, use a fork to mix together peanut butter, oil and sugar. Stir in the non-dairy milk and vanilla. Stir in the flour, salt and baking powder. The dough will be very thick, so you may want to use your hands to knead the dough until smooth once the flour has been added. Transfer the dough to the pan and press it into place. Sprinkle on the peanuts and chocolate chips (if using) and lightly press them onto the top of the dough.
Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the edges are just barely darkened. The top will appear soft. Remove the blondies from the oven and cool completely before cutting into squares.