Killer Quinoa Blondies (and Gluten-Free Too!)

Killer Quinoa Blondies (and Gluten-Free too!)By Wendy Ruopp, Managing Editor of EatingWell

Confession time: I'm a brownie snob. For years I've turned up my nose at "blondies." (OK, maybe there's a little "brunettes vs. blondes" thing going on too.) Given the choice, I'd always pick a fudgy brownie over a wan beige blondie more defined by its lack of chocolate than the presence of any particular identity of its own.

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But recently I've reconsidered my prejudices. A story in the March/April issue of EatingWell Magazine, "Rediscovering Quinoa," brought Almond Butter-Quinoa Blondies into my life and that changed everything.

These beautiful squares mix up in 10 minutes with just a few ingredients--and best of all, one of those ingredients is chocolate chips. That means I get to have it all: a sweet little treat made with luscious almond butter and trendy quinoa flour (what a great discovery for people who are eating gluten-free!), for just 146 calories.

Almond Butter-Quinoa Blondies
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Makes: 24 blondies
Active time: 10 minutes | Total: 1 hour
To make ahead: Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

People won't even notice that these almond butter-chocolate chip quinoa blondies are a gluten-free dessert recipe. This healthy blondie recipe uses quinoa flour, which you can find in natural-foods markets. To make your own quinoa flour, grind raw quinoa into a powder in a clean coffee grinder. (Adapted from "Quinoa Revolution" by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming; Pintail Books, 2012.)

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup smooth or crunchy natural almond butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup quinoa flour (see Tip)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Beat butter and almond butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Whisk quinoa flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it, about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 45 minutes before cutting into 24 pieces. Let cool completely before storing.

Per serving: 146 calories; 9 g fat (3 g sat, 4 g mono); 21 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrate; 10 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 2 g fiber; 71 mg sodium; 100 mg potassium.

Tip: Look for quinoa flour in the baking section or near gluten-free flours in natural-foods stores. Or, to make your own, grind whole grains of quinoa into a powder in a clean coffee grinder.

Have you made a dessert with quinoa yet?

By Wendy Ruopp

Wendy Ruopp has been the managing editor of EatingWell for most of her adult life. Although she writes about food for the Weeknights column of EatingWell Magazine, her husband does the cooking at home.


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