Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies
Oh people, I have to apologize in advance for this recipe. If you are a lover of anything sweet and salty, you will need an exit strategy for these blondies. Have friends and family standing by to take the extras off your hands. I’m giving you fair warning, these little beauties are a Level 10 addictive. Something about the combo of salty peanuts with sweet chocolate chips makes them utterly irresistible. Have you ever been able to eat just one chocolate covered pretzel? Same principal applies here. They are crazy good.
Imagine a soft peanut butter cookie studded with crunchy, salted peanuts. Now mix in a good helping of chocolate chips. Perhaps an extra sprinkle of salt for good measure and you’ve got the best salty and sweet combo around. Oh, and did I mention that they are made with whole wheat flour, naturally sweetened and completely vegan? This is the kind of dessert where you need a cold drink to wash it down as you reach for a second … or third!
You all know that I’m more than slightly obsessed with baked goods that rely on alternative sweeteners to processed white sugar (was it the Pumpkin Honey Spice Bread or the Maple Jam Thumbprints or the Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies that tipped you off?). It’s not that I’m against white sugar, all things in moderation after all, but I do like to have the option to substitute agave nectar, honey or maple syrup when I want something a little different. Most recipes just rely on heaping mounds of white sugar rather than the complex flavors (and added nutritional benefits!) of sweeteners like honey, agave nectar and maple syrup.
As an added benefit, these delicious bars are completely vegan. The recipe relies on coconut oil as the primary fat (which I just happen to have a jar of hanging around from that pie I can’t stop thinking about). If you don’t care about the vegan aspect of the recipe and don’t have a jar of coconut oil laying around, you can certainly substitute regular old fashioned butter for the coconut oil. They will be just as delicious and you won’t have to seek out an ingredient you don’t already have! If you do want to keep these vegan, just make sure that you are using vegan chocolate chips!
Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies
Yield: 16 bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon agave nectar (can substitute honey or maple syrup)
1/4 cup coconut oil (can substitute unsalted butter)
1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter, smooth
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup light coconut milk
1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup salted peanuts, chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 by 8 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving about an inch of parchment paper on each side to use as handles to remove the blondies.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine agave nectar, coconut oil, peanut butter, vanilla extract and coconut milk. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and fully combined.
- Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat on low until combined.
- Stir in chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until just golden around the edges. Let cool before removing blondies from the pan. Allow to cool before cutting into 16 bars.
Adapted from Fragrant Vanilla Cake's Sweet n' Salty Peanut Blondie Wedges