Chocolate chunk almond butter blondies

Chocolate chunk almond butter blondies

This post was created in partnership with Califia Farms.


Whenever anyone (read: usually an interviewer) asks me to describe myself in three words or less, my initial response is almost always chronic over-thinker. Which isn’t usually what they’re expecting – or looking for – so I’m asked to describe myself in three more words. Rather, three words that sum up OLC. And because I get annoyed when people try to manipulate answers by way of rewording the question, I always request to skip it because I JUST GAVE YOU THREE WORDS, DAMNIT (ok, two if you’re the kind of person who writes over-thinker as overthinker).

It isn’t any exaggeration to say I overthink a good 30% of the decisions I have to make in a given day. Which is pretty high considering a majority of those decisions have absoltuely no impact on my overall health or well being (or, you know, amount to anything that really matters). Let’s take the kitchen, for example. It took me a year and a half (!) to finalize the finishes.. yet I still find myself second guessing those despite the fact that our new kitchen will be far superior to the one we have now. Or how about the prelude for our wedding. We spent all of 30 minutes picking the songs.. and then I spent most of the eight hour plane ride rearranging the playlist because, for some crazy reason, that was more important than finishing the seating arrangements or trying to figure out who was going to make the overpriced bunch of flowers I was going to carry down the aisle. I mean, the fact that I’m a chronic over-thinker is why our mattress is still on cinder blocks even though those things shouldn’t have made the move from our industrial downtown loft to the place we currently call home. It’s why I’m terrible at meal planning because WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TACOS ON THURSDAY? And if you’re one of the people who’s been waiting and waiting and waiting for me to post this recipe, I’m pretty sure you know why it took me (almost) seven months to share.

Truth be told, the almondmilk to coconut oil ratio is what got me. After my first round of testing, there were three variations that I loved; three variations that felt like picking one was like I was asking myself to pick a favorite brother. In the end, I did what I always do: I made the world’s longest (and most useless) list of pros + cons and wound up settling on the version below. Because the beauty in this particular recipe is that you can achieve similar results to the other two, just by baking them a few minutes less (or by baking them at a lower temperature for the same amount of time). But the icing on the cake? The fact that the blondies from this recipe will stay fresh for up to seven days – meaning you can enjoy a blondie every day for one week. And, if you’re like me, you’ll spend way too much time trying to figure out when you should devour the eighth, so I’ll save you the trouble: keep it ’til the end and go out in a gluttonous bang.

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Notes: If you want a full pan, double the recipe and bake in an 8-9″ square baking pan. Or, if you’re down with thin blondies, you can bake the recipe below in an 8- 9″ square pan, too (but keep an eye on them because they’ll likely only have to bake for right around 20 minutes). If you’re not a fan of almond butter, feel free to use your favorite nut butter. We use Justin’s around here, but something tells me most of the natural varieties (that don’t have much oil separation) will work just as well. Brown sugar yields the best texture, but if you’d rather use sucanat or coconut/maple sugar, have at it. Just make sure, once you add the almondmilk, you give the liquid a good 10 minutes to break down the sugar. If you want to use gluten free flour, you can substitute your favorite blend in place of the unbleached flour – you’ll want to use 140g, which will be considerably less than 1 cup.

More almond butter goodness: double chocolate almond butter trail cookies, clumpy banana + almond butter granola with cacao nibs, and no-bake almond butter cookies (with goji berries). And, if you don’t like blondies: DOUBLE CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY BROWNIES.

This post is sponsored by Califia Farms, maker of my favorite non-GMO + carrageenan-free almondmilk (amongst other delicious beverages). All opinions are my own, and I think Califia rules.

CHOCOLATE CHUNK ALMOND BUTTER BLONDIES

3/4 cup (156g) brown sugar
1 tablespoon (10g) potato starch
2 tablespoons (22g) refined coconut oil, melted (but not hot)
1 1/2 teaspoons (6g) pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons (84g) Califia Farms original almondmilk
, warm
1/2 cup (128g) almond butter
1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3g) fine sea salt
1 cup (140g) unbleached flour

Toppings
Dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Raw almonds, roughly chopped
Pinch of sea salt flakes

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 5×8″ baking pan with parchment paper; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and potato starch, followed by the coconut oil and vanilla extract; mix for about 30 seconds to ensure the starch absorbs any excess oil. Whisk in the almondmilk, until completely combined, then whisk in the almond butter and mix until smooth (it should thicken to about the consistency of cake batter, but will depend on the almond butter you use). Add the baking powder, sea salt, and flour, and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula, just until combined.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan then level with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with chocolate chunks, chopped almonds, and sea salt flakes (if desired). Bake at 350˚F for 34-38 minutes (I baked mine for 36). For suuuupa chewy blondies, bake for 28-30 minutes. For blondies that are completely baked through, bake for the full 38 minutes. Once baked, transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. After 10 minutes, lift bars out of the pan (this is why lining with parchment is important) and cool completely. Cut into 8 squares and store in an air tight container. Will keep for up to one week (yes, ONE WEEK) though I prefer them on the third day.

Yield: 8 blondies

MOSTLY CHOCOLATE©

34 Comments

  • Reply Rita 27 January 2016 at 7:48 AM

    I’ll be making these on the weekend! And… I doubt they’ll last seven days. 😁

  • Reply Anna 27 January 2016 at 7:58 AM

    Ok. One time I spent 20 minutes trying to decide which pasta shape would be best for dinner, then wound up getting so frustrated that I left the grocery story and ordered takeout instead. I feel your pain but I’m pretty sure I reached a whole new level of overthinker-crazy that day. Can you start a support group? ;) We can’t be the only ones.

    • Reply Anna 27 January 2016 at 8:01 AM

      I forgot to add that I appreciate your blondie recommendation but I’m going deal with the one week expiration by being gluttonous and eating two a day. These look delicious and one just isn’t enough.

    • Reply Ashlae 28 January 2016 at 8:02 AM

      Hi Anna –

      HA! I think we’d all just enable one another. Hope you love the blondies! If you need recommendations on what brands of ingredients to buy, lemme know. I overthought all that stuff a looooong time ago and would love to help a sister out. ;)

  • Reply sophie // the cake hunter 27 January 2016 at 8:13 AM

    I’ve been eagerly awaiting this recipe since you posted the pictures on instagram. I know what I’m making this weekend :)

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full 27 January 2016 at 8:23 AM

    These blondies were well worth the wait, girl! But I hear you on the over-thinking thing. I’m the same way, especially about meal planning (WHAT IF I DONT WANT TACOS ON THURSDAY = my life hahaha) Chronic overthinkers unite!

  • Reply Ellie | Hungry by Nature 27 January 2016 at 8:23 AM

    Finally! I cannot wait to give these a try :)

    My only question is with respect to the almondmilk. I usually buy Califia Farms Unsweetened Almondmilk… will there be any difference in flavor if I use this instead?

    • Reply Ashlae 28 January 2016 at 7:59 AM

      Hi Ellie –

      There will not! Using unsweetened will translate to 2ish grams less sugar. No biggie at all! YAY FOR CALIFIA. <3

  • Reply valentina | sweet kabocha 27 January 2016 at 8:58 AM

    The pro & cons lists. I know them sooo well :D

  • Reply Erica 27 January 2016 at 9:10 AM

    I’ve been waiting for these and I’m so freaking excited now! Also can I just mention how thoughtful you are with recipes? Like making a recipe with 8 servings so you can have a little each night of the week – that’s brilliant.

  • Reply Madeline 27 January 2016 at 11:03 AM

    I’m also an avid overthinker. And that’s why meal planning is so hard just like you said!! Haha. These blondies were worth the wait–they look simply delicious and gorgeous!

  • Reply Katie 27 January 2016 at 11:16 AM

    YESSSSS. i’ve been checking religiously ever since you put up your pic on IG. SO EXCITED TO MAKE THEM. (ps, my GF sis martha *who you met at the CS event in Denver* says hi!)

    • Reply Ashlae 28 January 2016 at 7:58 AM

      Hi Katie –

      I hope you love them! Tell Martha I said OH HEY, GIRL. <3

      • Reply Katie 29 January 2016 at 4:52 PM

        welp they’re DELICIOUS but i seriously underbaked them. ah well – guess i’m making half-baked almond butter blondie ice cream tomorrow ;)

  • Reply Elizabeth 27 January 2016 at 1:06 PM

    these are amazing! legit the best.

  • Reply Marika 27 January 2016 at 1:50 PM

    YES, please! These look awesome. I’m such an overthinker, too #truth. LOVE that print, omg, WANT.

  • Reply Kate 27 January 2016 at 1:56 PM

    Thank God I’m not the only one. P.s. These look epic.

  • Reply Katrina 27 January 2016 at 4:13 PM

    I have the total opposite problem – I don’t give things enough thought! And always speak without thinking…oof, it can be terrible. Anyway, I can tell that I’d love these blondies at first glance! They’re just glorious!

  • Reply Heather 27 January 2016 at 6:28 PM

    Ashlae these are amazing!!!!!!!!! I doubled the recipe and over half the pan is already gone. Thanks for overthinking them. ;)

  • Reply Liz V. 28 January 2016 at 6:01 AM

    2 questions for some deets 😁:
    1. Is unsweetened almond milk going to mess with the sweetness?
    2. Can tapioca starch=potato starch?
    THANKS!

    • Reply Ashlae 28 January 2016 at 7:56 AM

      Hi Liz –

      Since there’s such a small amount of almondmilk in the recipe, using unsweetened will only alter the amount of sugar in the recipe by 2ish grams. So no, it’s not going to mess wit the sweetness. :) You can use tapioca starch, but I recommend using (non-GMO) corn starch or trying to get your hands on a bag of potato starch.

      • Reply Liz V 23 February 2016 at 5:55 PM

        Just curious…is tapioca starch bad news bears? Or just not the best for this recipe?

        • Reply Ashlae 24 February 2016 at 7:02 AM

          Hi Liz –

          Potato, corn, and tapioca starch are all (for the most part) interchangeable. I just happen to keep the potato variety toward the bottom of the cupboard, so it gets used most often. ;)

  • Reply Kate 28 January 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Ok. I’ve been craving something sweet and debating what I was going to make…banana bread? Chocolate chip cookies? Nope. These bars, they look amazing!

  • Reply Weekend Favorites: 1.29.16 | Ambitious Kitchen 29 January 2016 at 5:33 AM

    […] Almond butter blondies with chocolate chunks. Too gorgeous to eat? Nah. […]

  • Reply Weekend Favorites: 1.29.16 | Ambitious Kitchen 29 January 2016 at 5:33 AM

    […] Almond butter blondies with chocolate chunks. Too gorgeous to eat? Nah. […]

  • Reply Bethany @ Athletic Avocado 29 January 2016 at 6:54 PM

    WOW look at those chunks! Are these perfection or what?

  • Reply Linzy 29 January 2016 at 8:39 PM

    These are delicious. I split one with my husband when they were fresh out of the oven, and we were both tempted to finish off the whole batch. They have the perfect amount of sweetness.

    As a note, I didn’t have potato starch, so I used coconut flour with excellent results.

  • Reply Amy | Lemon and Coconut 2 February 2016 at 6:59 AM

    I’m an impulsive over-thinker… oh dear. God these look GOOD! :)

  • Reply Julia 11 February 2016 at 11:15 AM

    I made them gluten free with peanut butter some days ago and they turned out great! Will make them again now with almond butter! Great recipe, thanks for sharing Ashlae <3

  • Reply Kristen 21 February 2016 at 6:12 PM

    Hi! These look great – I love Justin’s. I found your blog via their Instagram page. What’s the point of the potato starch? Can it be omitted?

    • Reply Ashlae 21 February 2016 at 6:38 PM

      Hi Kristen –

      So cool! I love Justin’s, too. :) Unfortunately the starch is a necessary thickening agent/egg replacer (it also helps to absorb the excess oil), and should not be left out. You could use corn starch or tapioca starch, as well.

  • Reply Randle Browning 14 April 2016 at 12:52 PM

    I’ve made these 3 times now with peanut butter instead of almond butter and it works well too! (My husband has an aversion to all other nut butters??) If you use salted pb, I suggest holding off on the added salt in the recipe, but it’s tasty both ways.

    Thanks for the go-to recipe, Ashlae! Your overthinking paid off. Or is it over-thinking?? :P

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