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. When I was growing up, throughout elementary school I used to picture what my new classroom would look like at the end of each summer. When I entered school on the first Wednesday after Labor Day, I was repeatedly shocked that the setting in my mind didn’t look like the room I was standing in.
Life is a lot like that. Blind dates are what you least expect them to be, your first apartment is never what you imagined and sometimes the friends you’d thought you’d know forever become distant, a part of the past instead of the present.
Sometimes you form an opinion of a person before you meet them – and find that your predictions were completely and totally off base. And other times, you hear of a recipe that just makes you think, oh gross.
This recipe is far from gross, but I’ll admit that I was skeptical when I first found it over at One For The Table. I had noticed almond butter in my cabinet and had the urge to bake, so I gave it a go and was glad I did.
Almond Butter Blondies
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
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.