Sunday afternoon baking sure makes the day go by quickly (and tulips make the day more lovely!) :)
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 VeggieGirlrecipes. 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.
Friday is my dear friend Beth's birthday. Beth and I met the summer before I started graduate school when she was an intern at the architecture firm I had been working for. We became fast friends because we shared many interests: design, food, running, yoga. We swapped recipes and design ideas for two years before she moved to Philadelphia to take a job with a fabulous firm. I miss her. She was the person who first introduced me to brussels sprouts and kale, both of which I now can't live without. She also introduced me to figs. I owe her many thanks for bringing dried figs into my life.
These fig almond blondies are for Beth. Happy birthday dear friend.
This recipe comes from VeggieGirl. I said last night that Jen @ Running With Food can cook...well, VeggieGirl can bake!!! This is the second blondie recipe I've tried of hers, and it is definitely a winner in my household. I will be holding both her Fig Almond Blondie and her Pear Pistachio Ginger Blondie recipes near and dear for a long time.
Fig Almond Blondiesadapted slightly from VeggieGirl's Fig Almond Blondie recipemakes 16 blondies
6oz plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup turbinado sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp blackstrap molasses
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour (next time I will try whole wheat pastry flour)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup sliced almonds
10 dried Turkish figs, chopped
soymilk, as needed
Preheat oven to 350* and spray 8x8 cooking pan with oil
In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, applesauce, sugar, vanilla and molasses together.
In the same bowl, add the flour, baking soda, almonds and figs. As the mixture combines it will thicken, add a splash of soymilk as needed to help mix. Don't add too much!!!
Spread batter into greased 8x8 pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 32-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove pan from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
A quick recap of today's eats so far...
Breakfast: Oats! I'm so in love with my normal combo, I just can't get enough! This morning I stepped it up an extra notch by adding dried figs. Yum! The fig seeds added perfect little bits of crunch.
Lunch: Leftovers! I know I promised another wrap, but when I opened the fridge this morning and saw a perfect lunch-sized portion of leftover pot pie and collard greens, I couldn't resist.
Snack: 1/2 cup Fage 0% and 5 lovely strawberries. I have to say, I'm really loving the Fage. Its making me miss my Oikos less and less each day...
Tonight the hubb and I are going over to our friend Amy's house for dinner, which is why I'm posting a bit early. I'm making a quick lasagna recipe that I'm really excited to try and can't wait to share the results with you tomorrow!
Be sure to check out Oh She Glows for a fabulous Honest Foods Giveaway!
Have a great night! :)