Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Maple Butter Blondies

My vegan Maple Butter Blondies were a big hit at Justin's Christmas party over the weekend. They're one of my favorite recipes to make, from this fantastic cookbook (I highly recommend it! It was a gift from Teddy a while back). They're pretty quick and easy to make, so they would be a great treat to take to a holiday party!

The recipe is actually for "Macadamia Blondies with Caramel-Maple Topping", but Teddy doesn't like nuts, so I've tweaked the recipe a little to create:

Maple Butter Blondies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces firm silken tofu (this is a half-package of the vacuum-packed kind; I know they sell it at Giant on the Organic/Specialty aisle!)
1/4 cup soy milk
1/3 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups finely chopped macadamias (or walnuts) *optional

1/4 cup margarine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I use walnuts) *optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

To prepare the dough:
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a blender (or if you're like me, and you don't have a blender, you can use a mixing bowl and a whisk, just make sure you beat it to very smooth!) whiz the tofu with the rice milk until smooth. Add the oil, sugar, and vanilla, and blend again. Pour the tofu mixture into the flour mixture and use a firm wooden spoon to combine everything well. Fold in the nuts. The batter will be thick and have a cookie dough consistency. Spread in the baking pan and bake for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the topping.

To prepare the topping:
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the margarine, brown sugar, and maple syrup, and heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to bring to a boil for 1 minute. Stir in the nuts. Remove from heat.
Remove the blondies from oven and pour the topping over them (*I usually keep the topping separate, the blondies are easier to re-heat and don't get soggy, either), return to oven, and bake for 10 more minutes.
Let cool completely before serving. The topping should harden to a caramel-like consistency. Cut into squares and serve!

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