Happy Sweet-Tooth Friday everybody! It’s Christine again with your weekly fix of sweet animal-free goodness! Yep, you asked for it and finally here it is: Vegan White Bean Blondies!
Out of darkness comes light
Well, that’s what the Mayans said, but they probably didn’t know they were predicting the future of my vegan brownies. When I posted my recipe for Vegan Black Bean Brownies, I knew how much I loved them but had no idea how much you would enjoy them too! The response to that recipe alone has been overwhelming and has provided me with a lot of encouragement to keep up with my vegan baking experiments.
Naturally, my next step was to explore the brownie’s lighter half, the blondie. But I’ve been nervous about blondies from the beginning— could the beans taste good without the disguise of chocolate? I think the exact words to describe my first trial run of white bean blondies were this: they totally sucked.
I had simply veganized a full-fat-butter-and-eggs version of blondies; after all, that had worked for the Black Bean Brownies. What went wrong then? Well, I hadn’t thought about what the true flavor of a blondie is. See, a brownie’s flavor is deep chocolate along with richness from butter and eggs. In the black bean version, the cocoa powder provides the same amount of chocolate, and the addition of coffee and hazelnuts brings the richness.
But what’s the flavor of a blondie? The answer is more than just “not chocolate.” I thought about it, and decided that blondies should have all the sweetness and saltiness of a chocolate chip cookie but with a denser, gooey-butterscotch flair. I analyzed my black bean brownie recipe and came up with some changes.
First, I knew I needed to add some more structure to the blondies to make up for the cocoa I was removing. I chose to use dates for their thickness and to add a sense of dimension to the sweet flavor. For the rest of the warm-sweetness I was imagining, I added brown sugar. I also relied on the flavor of good quality dark rum to achieve some of the butterscotch tones, along with some extra salt to trick the tongue. Finally, for that buttermilk-style tang, I threw in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
I had a tough time deciding on the stir-ins for the blondies— pecans? coconut? chocolate chips? Pretty much anything goes, but after serious contemplation in the grocery store, I chose chopped macadmia nuts for their light buttery flavor, and a small amount of cacao nibs. The sharp earthiness and crunch of the cacao nibs is a nice complement to the smooth and sweet blondie.
So, after many months in the making, Behold! I give you Vegan White Bean Blondies!
Vegan White Bean Blondies
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 15 oz can or 2 cups cooked white beans
- 1 cup or about 10 large chopped dates
- 1/4 cup dark rum, such as Myers’s
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup chopped macadmia nuts
- 1/2 cup cacao nibs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and brown sugar; set aside.
Rinse and drain the can of beans. Process in a food processor with the chopped dates and rum. Add the water and vinegar and process until a smooth puree forms.
Fold the bean puree into the dry ingredients. Stir in the macadamia nuts and cacao nibs.
Grease a 9×13 baking dish with baking spray and spread the batter evenly into the pan. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, turning the pan around in the oven halfway through. A knife stuck in the center should come out clean. Mine took 28 minutes to get nice and brown along the edges and golden on top.
Let cool, then slice into 24 squares.
These vegan white bean blondies are just DELISH! They are everything I want out of a blondie, minus the guilt of eating empty carbs and animal products. You’ll never believe how good your beans can taste until you try this recipe! And if you haven’t yet, be sure to give the Vegan Black Bean Brownies a whirl too!
Thanks again for all your encouragement, feedback, and requests! As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
See you next Sweet-Tooth Friday with a new healthy vegan treat!