Chocolate Chip Pecan Blondies

Gluten-free baking is tricky. The slightest adjustments can change the consistency and flavor vastly. I used to just purchase gluten-free baking mixes and then doctor them, but when I started playing with paleo baking recipes I found new gluten-free flours that tasted better than the mixes. I enjoy baking! I want to make sweet treats but I’m also going to pack as much nutrition in them as possible. After weeks of tinkering, this recipe finally fit the bill.

These blondies are endlessly variable, have fairly low sugar and high protein, contain plenty of healthy fat to slow the sugar absorption, and are free of gluten, soy, peanuts, nightshades, hydrogenated plant oils, and weird chemicals. They’re also dense, rich, and suitable for lunch boxes, cookie jars, and office holiday parties.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Blondies

6 tbl butter
1/2 c almond butter
1/2 c raw sugar
1/4 c cane syrup (or honey, maple syrup, or agave)
2 farm-fresh eggs
1/4 c coconut flour
1/4 c mochiko (sweet rice flour)
1/4 c tapioca starch
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c soy-free vegan chocolate chips
1/2 c pecans, chopped

Heat the oven to 350. Grease a 8×8 glass pan lightly with butter or coconut oil.

Put the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until the butter is barely melted. Stir in the almond butter, cane syrup, and granular sugar and stir until the almond butter is softened and everything is combined smoothly. Add the eggs and stir again.

In a separate bowl combine the coconut flour through baking powder and stir with a whisk until thoroughly combined. Coconut flour can be sticky, so if it doesn’t seem to be combining smoothly you can sift it all together. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The batter should be soft enough to stir easily. Add the chocolate chips and pecans and stir into the batter. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 20 minutes and check. The sides should be golden, barely pulling away from the edge of the pan, and the center should be barely firm to the touch. Check every five minutes for doneness. Overbaking will make the bars dry!

Let cool completely, at least 4 hours, before cutting. Overnight is best.

The possibilities for flavors are endless. I’m going to try slivered almonds, a teensy bit of amaretto, and dried apricots. And maybe dried cranberries and orange zest! What flavors would you add?

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