I am not going to sugar-coat it, last week was a tough week. If you haven’t figured this out about me by now, I have tendencies. Flights of fancies. Notions of romance. I overestimate the amount of perfect in the world and underestimate reality. It can be a bad combination, especially on moving week. Moving is not something to be underestimated. It’s a force to be reckoned with. And last week I wrestled with reckoning…a lot! What I’m trying to say is…moving is hard. Dang hard! And we’re not done with it all yet. But I’m at least settled enough to spend some time chatting with you about these delicious Vegan Walnut Blondies with Peanut Butter White Chocolate Topping. This is one area where I can be plumb full of happy, perfection centered, romantic thoughts…and it’s all good!
I used to love Applebee’s Walnut White Chocolate Blondie dessert. Geesh, that stuff is out of control good. I used to get that to share with a friend, and secretly wanted to eat it all. Well, I probably did eat a bit more than my fair share.
It’s good to have generous friends.
But when I became vegan, I put aside my White Chocolate Blondie ways. White chocolate is in the “not too easy to veganize” category.
At least that’s what I thought…until recently.
I’ve made more than a few failed attempts at veganizing white chocolate, but I think I’ve landed on something that is working quite nicely. It’s made with coconut butter so it has more of a coconut flavor than the white chocolate you buy in the store. But it still tastes delicious.
Having a dessert ready after a big move can be very rewarding after a hard day’s work. These blondies are easy to make ahead and refrigerate (or freeze).
To quote Annelle from Steel Magnolias, the best recipes are, “in the ‘Freezes Beautifully’ section of my cookbook and I want to make something that freezes beautifully.”
I’m glad to know I’m not the only one looking for a little perfect in the world.
This recipe is rich and elegant, but not so pretentious that you wouldn’t have it on a Tuesday afternoon with a friend. The good news is…you can each have your own piece. No sharing required!
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons margarine
- 1½ cups light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 6 tablespoons soy milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons rum or rum extract
- ½ cup walnuts in addition to the 1 cup above, chopped
- ½ cup coconut butter I used Artisana Coconut Butter
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon PB2
- 3 -4 tablespoons powdered sugar
Heat your oven to 350F. Line a 9X13 baking pan with foil. Select a piece that's long enough to extend beyond the end of the baking dish on both ends. That will help you get it out of the pan once it cools.
Place the 1 cup of walnuts in a food processor and pulse. You want the texture to still be course, but not flour-like. Combine the processed walnuts, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and stir.
In a separate bowl combine the margarine and brown sugar and use a mixer to beat until light and fluffy. Create a well in the middle of the mixture and combine the ground flax seeds, corn starch, soy milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and rum (or rum extract). Stir this together until combined and then using the mixer slowly incorporate it into the rest of the batter.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and then stir until just combined. Fold in the half cup of chopped walnuts.
Pour the batter in your prepared pan and bake for 30 - 35 minutes, or until lightly brown. Place on a rack to cool.
While you're waiting for the blondies to bake, go ahead and make the Peanut Butter White Chocolate Topping. To do this, combine the coconut butter and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 8 second increments until the mixture has melted. Stir together and add the PB2 and 3 tablespoons powdered sugar and stir again until combined. Take a taste. This is plenty sweet for me, but if you like it a little sweeter, you can add another tablespoon of powdered sugar. If you don't have PB2 on hand, feel free to sub with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
When the blondies have cooled, grip both ends of the foil and lift them out of the pan. Cut into bars and serve warm topped with ice cream drizzled with the Peanut Butter Coconut Topping.