I posted these such a way long time ago that I had forgotten about what a delightful little yummy they are, so let me bring you up to speed on this gem of a treat. What I am particularly partial to about these guys is that you can satisfy your sweet tooth, reel in some chocolate love and still get a substantial kick of fiber and protein, all wrapped up in a crave busting square of goodness.
Got an issue with gluten? Trying to cut back on the processed carbs? Then these will make you happy. Now I won’t make any claims that these are HEALTH FOOD per say, and no, you won’t find them on the menu of any detox diet plan……but hey! I know I need a goodie every once in a while, and these fit the bill without wrecking too much havoc. Works for me!
Let’s talk about the quinoa.
Quinoa of course has outlasted it’s fifteen minutes of trendy fame, and that says a lot. It is a complete protein (providing all nine essential amino acids) and sports some pretty nifty vitamin and mineral accoutrements to boot! Lets’ see, like vitamin E, all the B’s, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and various antioxidants. Good things do come in small packages and this tiny little seed lives up to its reputation. Swapping plain old (not particularly redeeming) wheat flour with ground quinoa in these blondies will give you a valid excuse to celebrate the health conscious smarty pants that you are.
And every celebration deserves dark chocolate. Right?
Of course I’m right.
If you have a coffee grinder, you can grind raw quinoa into flour, it’s that stinkin’ easy. I used my nutribullet (finally have a use for that milling blade – hey, what do ya know?, I wondered what that was for….), but a blender or Vitamix would certainly do the trick. Keep in mind that the volume of the quinoa increases as you blitz it into flour…… so start with 1/2 cup of quinoa. Once it’s sufficiently ground up, it should measure out perfectly to 3/4 cup, which is exactly what you will need. Add 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to your pulverized quinoa and set this aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, blend together 1/4 cup of room temperature butter (I love Kerrygold grass-fed butter…why wouldn’t you eat happy cow butter if you had the choice?) with 3/4 cup of almond butter. Whiz that around a bit until it’s nice and creamy.
In go two (room temperature) eggs, a splash of vanilla extract, and 3/4 cup brown sugar. Beat this together until you have a nice homogenous mixture…….it’s gonna start getting really thick and almost stretchy-like. Yes, I said stretchy-like. I mean it, too.
Tip the dry ingredients into the wet. Give this a quickie buzz with your beaters, just enough to introduce everyone, you don’t want to over mix at this point. Now’s the time to grab a wooden spoon or spatula and go manual.
Fold in a cup of dark chocolate chips. Yum! Your batter will be as sticky and thick as wall paper paste by now……do not be alarmed!
Plop the whole mess down into a 9×9 inch baking pan that you have greased, then lined with a sheet of wax paper (let it pop over the edges on either side a little) and lightly greased again (use more happy butter!). Spread your batter out evenly as best as you can. It will fight with you just a little but I have faith that you will prevail. Into to your preheated oven this goes for 30 minutes.
Once you remove the pan from the oven let it rest for about twenty minutes. Use the wax paper tabs that you left hanging over the sides of your pan to help gently pull the whole thing out in one perfect square. Place it on a cutting board and leave it for a bit to cool down completely.
Use a serrated knife to cut this into squares…….can you even STAND it?
Get the milk.
RECIPE BELOW: I’m going to go out on a limb here and figure you’ve guessed this makes 16 squares. How many servings that equates to is completely up to you. This will take you ten minutes to mix up, and thirty in the oven. And if you don’t demolish them all at once, oddly enough they are even better the next day. Breakfast!!!
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup smooth or crunchy natural almond butter
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup brown sugar*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup quinoa flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan with butter or cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment (or wax) paper allowing it to slightly overhang the opposite ends. GIve it another light smearing of butter.
- 2. Beat butter and almond butter in a mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs, sugar and vanilla.
- 3. Whisk quinoa flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- 4. Bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs on it, 25-30 minutes depending on your oven. Do not overbake!
- 5. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes, and then using the parchment paper, lift the whole panful out and place on cutting board. Cut into 16 squares, or even 24, if you want to be like that. Let cool completely before storing.
- * light or dark brown sugar is fine. Coconut sugar is even better, if you have it on hand.