Sweet-Tooth Friday: Vegan White Bean Blondies

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

christine blondies photo 300x200Well, 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!

white bean blondies photo 1024x682

Vegan White Bean Blondies

Ingredients:

  • 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!

xoxo Christine

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Comments

  1. Thanks for this recipe! I’ve always wondered why chickpea blondies were a hit but noone had ever tried white beans. They’re a lot softer!

    *Recipe saved*
    .-= Danielle (Coffee Run)´s last blog ..Keepin’ it Real =-.

  2. OMG…those look so yummy! I have a question though. Do you think there is anything I can use to substitute the rum? I don’t drink rum and I can’t imagine buying a whole bottle just to make these! Any advice would be great! Thanks! :)
    .-= Aimee (I Tri To Be Me)´s last blog ..Humpastry Day – Pita Chips =-.

    • Hey guys, thanks for the comments. I don’t usually drink rum either but I do like it for baking. I got one of those mini 5 dollar bottles.

      If you don’t want to use rum, I would increase the vinegar to 2 tbsp, and then add 3 tbsp maple syrup. It will only be a little sweeter and will help bring the warmth of the rum.

      Let me know what you think! -Christine

      Thanks!

  3. yummmmmmmm! Love the idea behind these brownies! I tried another black bean brownie recipe and was really disappointed, I need to try yours instead! You are a vegan baking genius ;)
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..A Few of My Favorites & Protein Report =-.

  4. Those sound awesome! You are such a genius when it comes to thinking up all kinds of creative recipes. :D

    Quick question…I practically never have rum in the house, and was wondering if you know of a good substitute for it?
    .-= Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)´s last blog ..Soup(or) Salad =-.

  5. Looks amazing, as usual! I’ve got a long list of new baking I need to get to now :)

  6. Awesome, I’m so trying these this weekend. I was really impressed with your black bean brownies, they were way better then most other versions I’ve tried; can’t wait to try out the blondies.

  7. these are similar to mine, except I use fruit instead of nuts :)
    .-= happy herbivore´s last blog ..Giveaway: e-cookbooks =-.

  8. I cannot WAIT to try these!
    .-= Amber Shea (Almost Vegan)´s last blog ..Tofu-veggie breakfast scramble =-.

  9. These look wonderful! I love baked goods :-) If they’re anything like the black bean brownies – sign me up!
    .-= Megan (The Runner’s Kitchen)´s last blog ..The best vegan cookies…ever! =-.

  10. Can’t wait to try these..I need to redeem blondies after the chickpea blondie recipie circling around the blogworld that uses pb and fruit spread…ugh..they were gross!

  11. These were excellent! I ate the one you gave me the following day. It survived a 5 hour plane trip, in my purse all night and believe it or not, DELICIOUS when we had it tonight! Moist and tasty!

  12. Hey Christine, I made these this afternoon but they turned out pretty flat and a little dry. I was wondering if you think a Tbsp or two of canola oil would help that next time?
    .-= Amber Shea (Almost Vegan)´s last blog ..Tofu-veggie breakfast scramble =-.

  13. BellyLaughBaker says:

    Hey Amber! I’m sorry to hear that! What a bummer, mine were super moist and standard brownie-flatness. You shouldn’t need oil- I wonder what happened… Did you make any alterations? I used canned beans, did you use home cooked? The dates I used were big juicy medjool dates, maybe that made a difference if yours were packaged? Also, if you waited before sticking these in the oven, the vinegar and soda could react together too soon which could contribute to them not rising. Thanks for letting me know, hopefully we can figure it out so nobody else makes a dry batch!

  14. those look great!
    .-= Simply Life´s last blog ..Zucchini, Potato, and Feta Tart! =-.

  15. I did use canned beans, but you might be right about my dates being a little dry, I certainly wouldn’t say they were “juicy,” heh.
    You mention the vinegar/soda reaction, but I don’t see baking soda called for in the ingredient list – should there be some in there? Thanks!
    .-= Amber Shea (Almost Vegan)´s last blog ..Tofu-veggie breakfast scramble =-.

  16. oops! Nope, not baking soda, I meant baking powder.

  17. OMG Christine these are fan-freaking-tastic!! They came out some much better than my bean brownies, which where very dense, these seem to have a firmer structure. They have just made the short list for my son’s birthday party!

  18. Oh my goodness awesome recipe. I always make the black bean version but never thought of trying it with blondies. Thank you!

  19. I really enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for sharing. I did discover a really nice substitute for the rum that worked quite well. In place of the 1/4 cup of rum, I added 2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of water. The flavor was dead-on!

  20. I’m not vegan. I’ve just made a half-batch of these out of curiosity, convinced they wouldn’t work.

    Out of this world gorgeous.

    Seriously. They’re soft. Aromatic. Moreish. Can’t wait to try them on my friends just so I can see their faces when I say they contain beans.

  21. I just made these and they are good but something is off and I would like to troubleshoot with you. The main problem is that the rum flavor is SO overpowering. I put in exactly 1/4 cup of dark rum (not myers, some random really old foreign rum I found in the depths of the pantry…) For me who isn’t used to rum (I’m 17) I thought I must have messed up in the amount when I tasted it but my parents who are more used to the taste thought they were only “a little” too rum flavored. Another problem is that they seemed I little fudgier than your picture (yours seem to have more structure) and I was wondering if you weigh your flour or just scoop and level. I weighed my flour so perhaps I didn’t add enough. My last problem was that my blondies didn’t get a glossy browned top like yours. A toothpick came out clean before they really got browned around the edges so I didn’t want to cook them longer. Your help would be much appreciated!

    • Christine Frazier says:

      Hey Carlyn,

      Sometimes tops of brownies will come out less shiny if they have too much liquid or if they are cooked on too high of a temperature. If you have an oven thermometer you can check to see what you are actually cooking at. But, since you said they were too fudgy, probably the dullness is from the liquid ratio being too high, and there was not enough flour. I did scoop my flour, not weigh it, which may be the difference.

      As you can see from the picture, I used the canned bean option, which I drained and rinsed. If you used cooked beans, the moisture levels can vary.

      About the rum, I’m not sure what’s going on. One possibility is that the rum you used is higher proof than the one I did, but I don’t really know.

      If you don’t prefer rum, try increasing the vinegar to 2 tbsp, and then add 3 tbsp maple syrup. It will only be a little sweeter and will help bring the warmth of the rum.

      You could also reduce the rum first to burn the alcohol off and add water to bring the volume to 1/4 cup. You could also use rum extract (though just a tsp or two, not 1/4 cup).

      Thanks,
      Christine

      • Thank you so much for your input. I definitely want to try these again but use more flour and maybe use 2T rum and 2T water. I checked, and they are the same proof so I’m at a loss as to why it was so strong flavored, too! I used canned beans so it must have been the flour ratio (they also seemed a bit thinner than yours). Also, the rum flavor mellowed out a bit after a night in the fridge (:

  22. can you make these without the rum? is there a sub or do you think they would be ok without?

  23. I just made them subbing 1/4 almond milk, an extra TBSP of the vinegar, and a couple spoonfuls of honey (also added vanilla and cinnamon) and they were great!

  24. I just made these with the following changes:
    3/4 cup instead of 1 cup water
    “not quite” 2TBSP vinegar instead of 1 TBSP
    1 cup golden raisins instead of dates
    1/4 cup almond milk instead of rum
    1 cup chocolate chips
    no nuts/cacao nibd
    1 TBSP vanilla extract
    1 TBSP ground cinnamon

    I processed the honey along with the puree. I left out some of the water compensate for the extra vinegar and honey, and also my rather little food processor was reaching capacity- hah. I think I baked them around 30 mins? can’t quite remember. The verdict?

    PERFECT! Chewy, golden, a nice even and glossy top, sweet- with chocolate chips, I thought it tasted just like the famous pizzookie from BJs (“pizza cookie”=giant cookie baked in a pizza dish)!!! The chocolate created little pockets of goodness and also sort of melted into the batter…yum. The beans were not discernible even with my not-super-powerful processor, which I was afraid wouldn’t puree them well enough. My non-vegan roommate took a second helping that was larger than her first! Total success. :) I’m not vegan either, but a very close friend of mine is, and we love to experiment with baking. This is an easy and INEXPENSIVE recipe that would be great to share at a potluck or picnic. There -were- little bits of raisin that weren’t totally processed, but I liked that! Thanks so much! It’s going in the “for keeps” book. And the comments regarding your black bean brownies were so good that I already bought a couple of cans of black beans for the next baking adventure! [:

  25. Hey! I was just wondering if you could substitute the whole-wheat pastry flour for something gluten and wheat free?

  26. Looked great – did not use the rum – just extra vanilla and used coconut instead of nuts – the taste was ok – but the brownie was very spongy – ugh – not good or worth the extra calories!!!!

  27. I’ve got TONS of beans in the freezer and looking for a way to use them in my meal plan for the next two weeks. Dessert is perfect – thanks!!

  28. These blondies taste fantastic–I’m seriously in love with the taste. However, they came out gummy when I made them. I mean, I like my brownies fudgy, but this was just too much. I think I cooked them long enough; the edges were just browned and were starting to pull apart from the sides of the pan. The surface of the blondies is shiny, I guess, but also a little tacky (this seems to improve as the blondies cool). So… did I just under-cook them? I didn’t want the edges to burn.

    I also made a few substitutions due to the inability to get certain ingredients. I couldn’t get rum, so I took your substitution advice in the comments (more or less) and subbed in 1 extra tbsp of vinegar plus 2 tbsp + 1 tsp of maple syrup plus 2 tsp of rum extract, in place of the rum. I used all-purpose white flour because I couldn’t find the type of flour you mentioned at the grocery store. So, do you think my substitutions were what caused the gummy-ness? Could I change the ingredients I used or the proportions slightly to improve the blondies’ texture?

  29. Can I use a gluten free flour in here as opposed to pastry flour?? These look preety spectacular!

  30. I tried these today and I added a little bit of molasses to the mix, also, I used almond milk instead of water. All in all it was pretty good. It was definitely gummy but I didn’t mind that as some of the other commenters have. The texture reminded me of mochi, which I enjoy. Next time I might reduce the rum a smidge and add a little bit coconut oil to give it a little bit of richness & a little more moisture. In Hawaii we make butter mochi which is delicious and terribly unhealthy–it’s like mochi & blondie hybrid. With a few minor tweaks to this recipe I think this would be a really passable healthy vegan version of butter mochi…White bean butter mochi! Thanks for the cool recipe–it’s nice to have a guilt free snack around :)

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