Welcome back for the final (and possibly the most important) week of A Gluten-Free Holiday! Why is this the most important week? Well, because we’re sharing desserts! After all, children didn’t dream of casseroles and green beans while they were nestled all snug in their beds, did they? Hardly. The holiday season conjures up visions of sugarplums, and candies, cookies, and possibly even chewy apple cider blondies. Yes, chewy apple cider blondies. But we’ll get to those in a minute.
First, I have to share with you the details about this week’s A Gluten-Free Holiday Event. Maggie of She Let Them Eat Cake is hosting. She’s sharing a crave-worthy recipe for gingerbread cupcakes. In addition, she’s giving away some more awesome prizes – two, in fact. Maggie is giving away a copy of Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free by Karen Morgan, as well as a copy of Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts by Carol Kicinski.
I personally own a copy of Carol’s book and love it – there are all sorts of decadent desserts in there, including a recipe for this delicious mango sticky cake. Blackbird Bakery is on my wish list, so hopefully I’ll own a copy soon! Be sure to head on over to She Let Them Eat Cake to enter for your chance to win!
Back to these chewy apple cider blondies. These blondies are chewy like a good brownie, with caramel and apple notes, dotted with the occasional chocolate chip, just for fun. At first glance, you might think that they’re not nearly as festive as the average holiday treat. They’re unassuming and unadorned. No sprinkles, frosting, or decadent toppings here. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not deserving. Sometimes, it’s the rustic, homestyle treats that I cherish the most. These are an entirely new creation (for me, at least), but they taste like something that would come out of my grandmother’s kitchen. In my mind, anything that stirs up memories of Grandma’s kitchen is automatically worthy of holiday treat status.
Chewy Apple Cider Blondies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Grain-Free)
1 c almond butter (unsweetened)
1 c turbinado sugar (or other granulated sweetener)
1/3 c apple cider syrup (you can get the recipe to make it at Lexie’s Kitchen. Mine was thick, like molasses. You can substitute about 1/4 cup honey for a different flavor)
scant 1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t almond extract
1/4 c coconut flour
1/2 c dairy-free chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease an 8X8 inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper; grease the paper.
Put all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process for 1-2 minutes or until well-blended. The batter should be thicker than cake batter, but thinner than cookie dough. If it’s too thin, add a tablespoon of coconut flour and blend. Too thick, then add a tablespoon of water and blend. (Depending on your almond butter, the thickness of your batter may vary.) Stir in chocolate chips with a spoon.
Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth out on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.