Almond Butter Blondies

by Maris Callahan on June 2, 2009

One of the most thrilling parts of life is also the scariest. Each day, we wake up not knowing what’s going to happen next. While most people have a fairly good idea if their immediate future includes working nine to five or backpacking through Europe, it seems frequent that the best laid plans have a tendency to fall through.

No matter how much you do or don’t plan your life, chances are things won’t turn out the way you expected. Recipes are like that. I have never been a fan of peanut butter but I do like the creamy texture it adds to sandwiches, oatmeal and even baked goods. I love discovering alternatives like cashew butter, sunflower butter and almond butter. Though they run pricier, they’re flavorful, versatile and tend to be high in protein.

When choosing a nut butter, the spread with the fewest ingredients possible, like nuts and salt, will have more health benefits and fewer hydrogenated oils and saturated fat.

These things are important when you’re eating baked goods. What is it they say about moderation?

This is one of those recipes that will seem fancy to whoever you’re serving it to, but in reality, if you can make Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies (and most ten year olds can), then you can make this dessert.

Or breakfast. Let’s keep it real and admit that these can and will be eaten for breakfast if they last the night in your kitchen. What I like most about them is the variety of textures — creamy almond butter, chewy dried fruit and crunchy sliced almonds.

If you aren’t feeling the almond butter, you can go back to basics and use peanut butter, just substitute the almond extract for vanilla extract and the sliced almonds for chopped peanuts.

Almond Butter Blondies

What You Need:

½ cup butter (I used unsalted)
¼ cup almond butter
1 cup light or dark brown sugar (I prefer light; dark will give you a stronger flavor)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup quick cooking oats
½ cup sliced almonds, roasted, plus ¼ cup
½ cup finely diced dried California apricots
¼ cup golden raisins

How-To:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. If you use foil, coat with non-tick cooking spray.

2. Cream butter and almond butter until fluffy, using a mixer. Add brown sugar, egg and almond extract and beat until light. If you don’t have almond extract, vanilla extract substitutes nicely.

3. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until just blended. Stir in oatmeal, ½ cup almonds, apricots and raisins.

4. Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth with table knife or small metal spatula. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup almonds. Bake 30-35 minutes or until firm and a toothpick comes out nearly clean. Let cool to room temperature before lifting foil out of the pan. Peel foil off blondies and cut into 16 squares.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

healthybaking June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

That looks amazing! Almond butter is delicious, and I bet it tastes even better with the almond extract + chopped almonds. Can’t wait to try this out!

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lisamichele June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

OMG, unlikely combo? Try a combo that drives me crazy..buttery almond anything! That photo is killing me, and now it’s time to add another bookmark, for when I can actually eat!

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Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

My husband would love these — almond in three forms! And as for predictability… well, it’s overrated. Though it’s been a long time since I’ve been on a blind date, so maybe that’s changed!

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kat June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

Nothing about that sounds gross to me at all

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VeggieGirl June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

SENSATIONAL blondie variety!

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Allie June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

I always like to try things made with slightly different ingredients – I think these look and sound delicious!

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pamela June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

I realized that I have almond butter in my pantry, too. Lucky me, because these look astoundingly good.

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Matt June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

” Each day, we wake up not knowing what’s going to happen next.”
Weird that you would say that. Today I find out if they are going to lay me off or not.

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Sophie June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

MMMMM…they look excellent, I say,…
Yum Yum Yum !

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Katie June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

We should go on an NYC blogger’s adventure through the West Village to find some treats like these!

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ksgoodeats June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

I’m glad you gave those a go because they look and sound DELICIOUS! Love almond butter!!

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Pearl June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

yum! looks delicious!

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Chrissy June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

Oooh, baking with almond butter sounds interesting. And the photo looks great! This one definitely doesn’t scare me. :-)

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Sara June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

This sounds great to me! I’ve never baked with almond butter before, but I do love the stuff.

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finsmom June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

These look amazing!
I bet the almond butter really added to them! I will be making these soon!
Thanks for sharinG!

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grace June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

excellent. i have all this stuff on hand, even the almond butter. i’ll take your highly-praised recipe and i’ll make it and i’ll love it, i’m sure. :)

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bodeloublogs June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

this sounds great. i grew up in the north and never heard of almond butter til i moved down south where they have all kinds of butter. i am such a fan (it makes a great flavor for banana and peach smoothies) i will have to try these!

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mandy June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

These aren’t something that I would just randomly try, but however, because of your recommendation, now i will!

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Erin June 2, 2009 at 3:00 am

YUM! I love almond butter.

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Daryl June 3, 2009 at 3:00 am

Matt – Oh no. How did it go?

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Cate O'Malley June 3, 2009 at 3:00 am

Haven’t had almond butter yet, but you make me want to. The blondies look divine!

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CookiePie June 3, 2009 at 3:00 am

Those look amazingly delicious — I LOVE almond butter! Must try this recipe.

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Kerstin June 3, 2009 at 3:00 am

Yum, they look great! We always have almond butter around, but I’ve only baked with it once – that needs to change :)

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Carissa June 3, 2009 at 3:00 am

I like almonds and I like blondies, so I am betting these are good. I don’t know if you watch Throwdown with Bobby Flay ever, but I saw this one episode that was a Blondie challenge and ever since then, which was a while ago, I have been craving a blondie! I’m thinking I would like them even better than a brownie (but I might be biased since I am blonde… haha).
p.s. love how you find a way to incorporate insightful commentary on life with tasty recipes! perfect!

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Rosa June 3, 2009 at 3:00 am

That sounds fantastic! a scrumptious recipe!
Cheers,
Rosa

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Leslie June 3, 2009 at 3:00 am

“far from gross” lol
It does looks delish!

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5 Star Foodie June 3, 2009 at 3:00 am

These blondies look scrumptious! I’ve got a bunch of almond butter right now and this is a perfect recipe! Thanks!

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girlichef June 3, 2009 at 3:00 am

Wow, these sound awesome, actually! I love almond butter…but for some reason I’ve never used it in baking…I’ll have to give these a try! YUMMY :)

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Juliana June 3, 2009 at 3:00 am

Almond butter! Sounds delicious…honestly never used for baking…it is time to try…thanks for the recipe.

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