I used to bake almost everyday. It was a hobby, a passion, a little thing that made my heart sing every time I did it. But then, I sort of just stopped. I would still do it from time to time, but rarely in comparison to my past. Sometimes we lose sight of the things that make us the happiest. When that happens, I’ve found that stumbling upon a smidgen of inspiration (a passage from a book, a quote you hear, a scene from a movie, an idol you follow on social media — it can come from literally anything) always steers me back onto the path. I feel like it’s the universe’s way of showing me my purpose.
When I’m baking I’m pretty sure I am THE happiest human being on the planet Earth. So why did I ever quit doing it so often? Well, shoot. Why do people ever do the things they do? That’s one of those questions ya know. They have a rational answer and also a philosophical, who-the-hell-really-knows kind of answer.
Well for me, my inspiration delightfully came from a stranger on social media. I found her on Instagram and I always felt slightly connected with her because she goes to the college I went to for my undergraduate dietetic program (Cal Poly SLO). Go mustangs! Her blog is amazing and totally #goals. She’s just the perfect reminder that happiness is right there inside of us, and the things we choose to do are the medium for expressing it. When I do certain things, like bake, write, make cards, or take beautiful photographs, I express happiness in its highest form.
Okay, enough with the happiness spiel, on to what you came here for!
Chewy, Gooey, Paleo Blondies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes (per batch; x2)
Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
- 1 cup cashew butter
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 oz. semi-sweet baker’s chocolate, chopped
- 3 dates, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 4.5″ spring form pan (or an 8×4″ pan; you can additionally use other sizes but baking time will vary so please note this).
- In a medium bowl, mix the cashew butter, egg, olive oil, coconut sugar, almond extract, and baking soda.
- Next, add the coconut flour, cinnamon, salt, dates, and chocolate you cut into chunks (be sure to reserve some chocolate for topping).
- The dough will be fairly thick, moist and almost shiny (see photo). Using a spatula, place dough into greased spring form pan, filling 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle with half of the remaining chocolate chunks (you will be making two batches with this 4.5″ spring form pan).
- Bake for about 30 minutes. Ovens differ so check with a tooth pick at about the 27 minute mark. Tooth pick should come out mostly clean.
- Let cool completely (about 45 mins to an hour) before cutting into six adorable triangles. The middles of my blondie sank in a bit, but once cooled they were set and able to be cut into. And perfectly delicious! Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Hungry Haley.
When I bit into these, I was astonished. I mean… I was seriously taken aback at how good they were! Randomly, while shopping last week at Walmart (of all places), I decided to buy the ingredients to make these. It was totally a whim thing. I had kept telling myself I wanted to try making something sweet off Haley’s blog and finally did. And boy oh boy Haley, you did not disappoint!
I hope you try baking these for yourselves. Have fun with it. Add things, take things out, experiment. Inspiration can come from anywhere. I really encourage experimentation with food in the kitchen in the form of cooking and baking. It should be fun, delicious and of course, full of nutritious goodness! So get at it.
Natalie, future M.S., RDN