You’ve gotta love a cookie/dessert that comes together in minutes and tastes like a million bucks – that’s blondies. These little squares of heaven are so rich and delicious you almost don’t need chocolate…almost. I needed to bring a little sum’n sum’n to a pre-Easter get together and I just didn’t have time for anything elaborate. I also didn’t have time to run to the store to buy ingredients. That’s the other cool thing about blondies. You probably already have all the ingredients you need to make them.
FYI…they’re called blondies because they don’t have chocolate in the dough, they use brown sugar instead.
Now about that gluten free thing I mentioned. I like to play around with new ingredients and boy did I find a cool one – banana flour. While gluten free desserts don’t necessarily mean lower in calories (like some people mistakenly think) and could actually be higher than their non-gluten free counterpart, this banana flour is pretty interesting. It’s made from green bananas which are full of resistant starch. Resistant starch “resists” breaking down into sugar and helps to lower your blood sugar levels. Unlike nut flours, it doesn’t up the fat content of your recipe. It really does mimic flour. It is higher in starch than regular flour, so you use 25% less in your recipes. Does it taste like bananas? No.
I made a couple batches of these blondies and the second one turned out much better than the first one. The thing I did different was add the melted butter to the sugar as soon as I took it out of the microwave. It seemed to make a big difference in the cakiness of the batter. It wasn’t grainy, like the first batch.
These blondies were a hit at the party. Everybody loved the pastel colored m&m’s instead of the usual chocolate chips. I tossed in walnuts, for Craig, and the added crunch was nice.
After everyone ate the blondies I told them they were gluten free. No one believed me. Then we got into the whole discussion about this “weird” banana flour thing. Need a conversation starter? Bring up banana flour!
Considering I’ve made gluten free desserts before, but tend to make them that way by making them flourless rather than using a gluten free flour, I’ll probably use this banana flour again. It won’t happen often as this stuff is still a bit pricey.
I got the basic blondies recipe from Smitten Kitchen. But blondies can be changed up about a million different ways, so don’t hesitate to have some fun with the base recipe and then go crazy with the add-ins.
- 1 Stick (8 tablespoons) Butter, melted
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- ¾ Cup Banana Flour (or 1 cup regular flour)
- 1 Cup M&M's (+ more for topping)
- ½ Cup Toasted Walnut Pieces
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Butter an 8"x8" baking pan and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix the melted butter with the brown sugar until it is smooth.
- Beat in the egg and once that's thoroughly mixed in, stir in the vanilla.
- Add the pinch of salt and stir in the flour. Make sure that the flour is well mixed then add in the candy and nuts.
- Once everything is well blended, pour it into the baking pan.
- Make sure that the batter is evenly distributed in the pan.
- Top with a handful more of the candy (optional...but really good).
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the middle is set.
- Let cool completely before cutting into bars.
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