I was really excited when Sarah picked dates for this week's secret ingredient. I'm a big fan of dates. Especially dates filled with peanut butter. You've probably seen them pop up on my blog more than a couple of times. I also like dates paired with bananas, hence my morning pancakes. :) For my actual BSI submission I wanted to find a way to pair two of my favorite ingredients, PB and dates, into a baked good. I first thought of peanut butter date cookies, but after a quick internet search discovered that Tina had already made a similar recipe. I really try to be original for BSI, coming up with my own idea and own recipe, so I crossed the PB date cookies off the list of possibilities. That led me to the next idea on the list, peanut butter date blondies.
I'm relatively new to the world of blondie baking, in fact I've only made blondies two other times and both were inspired by VeggieGirl recipes. I spent the early afternoon researching blondie recipes to be sure that I had the right ratios of flour, fat and liquid to get the right consistency.
I used natural sweeteners (turbinado sugar and the dates, of course) and whole wheat pastry flour to make the recipe a bit healthier than some of the others I was looking at. But don't let that fool you, they still aren't light in calories. Next time I'll experiment with replacing some of the butter with yogurt, and maybe add in some applesauce. Also, eliminate the egg yolks? But overall, I am very happy with the result. The rest of the batch is going to my co-workers and my hubb's co-workers. Unhealthiness problem solved. :)
The sweetness of the dates complements the saltiness of the peanuts perfectly. I thought about adding semisweet chocolate chips to the mix, even had them portioned out and ready to go in the mixer, but decided at the last moment that they might overpower the dates so I left them out. I'm so glad I did. The dates are subtle and delicious and would have been lost with the addition of chocolate.
My inspiration came from here and here. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Date Blondies
makes (16) 2" square blondies
[250 calories, 12g fat, 4.8g sat. fat, 31.6g carbs, 2.7g fiber, 5.3g protein]
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 1/2 cup natural, crunchy, unsalted peanut butter
- 1 cup turbinado sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts, chopped
- 8 medjool dates, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350*. Spray 8x8 square baking dish with oil.
- In stand mixer, blend butter and peanut butter until creamy. Add sugar and blend until combined.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add vanilla extract.
- In separate bowl, sift together flour and baking powder.
- Add dry ingredients to mixer and blend until just combined.
- Fold in peanuts and dates.
- Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread, smoothing top.
- Bake for 30-32 minutes, until edges of blondies are beginning to brown. Cool in pan on rack. Let cook completely before cutting.