Today is a special day as it marks the release of my dear friend Ricki Heller‘s incredible book Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free. This fabulous collection 100 recipes will wow your taste buds with unique (and dare I say good for you) ingredients that come together to make some seriously comforting treats. This book wholly intrigues me as it’s an entire book of desserts that calls for no refined sugar--something I appreciate as a connoisseur of the sweet stuff myself.
Ricki’s publisher is kindly offering one copy to a lucky reader. Just leave a comment and you’ll be entered! I’ll randomly choose and announce a winner one week from today on September 19th. Open to US and Canada only.
Ricki is famous for her allergy-friendly, anti-candida approach to cooking and baking, and I’ve always been a fan of how she approaches desserts–so, this bad boy is right up my alley. The first time I got my hands on this book and flipped through the pages, these delectable looking blondies caught my eye, and I’m excited to share them with you today.
Just in time for Fall, these blondies pair beautifully with a steamy mug of apple cider or hot cocoa.
Butterscotch Blondies with Chocolate Chips and Goji Berries
(reprinted with permission from Sellers Publishing)
SF, CF, NF
These are a favorite dessert in our house. They are rich tasting and chewy, and the combination of lucuma with coconut sugar and coconut nectar is, I think, very reminiscent of butterscotch. I love using dried, super-healthy goji berries in these bars, but dried cherries or cranberries work just as well. In fact, feel free to stir in any additions you like, as long as you keep the same proportions. For instance, one alternative I really enjoy is pistachios and chopped dried apricots.
- 1 cup (135 g) Ricki’s All-Purpose Gluten- Free Flour Mix
- 3⁄4 cup (75 g) whole oat flour
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) lucuma powder
- 1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp (2.5 ml) baking soda
- 1⁄4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt
- 1 tsp (5 ml) xanthan gum
- 1⁄3 cup (25 g) coconut sugar
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) water
- 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) coconut nectar
- 1⁄8 tsp (.5 ml) pure stevia powder or 1⁄4 tsp (1 ml) pure plain or vanilla stevia liquid, or to taste
- 1⁄3 cup (90 ml) sunflower or other
- light-tasting oil, preferably organic
- 1 Tbsp (30 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 tsp (1 ml) rum, butterscotch, or brandy flavoring (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup (100 g) unsweetened carob chips or dairy-free dark chocolate chips
- 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) dried goji berries, cherries, cranberries, or dried fruit of your choice
Preheat the oven to 325 ̊F (170 ̊C). Line an 8-inch (20-cm) square pan with parchment paper, or spray well with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, lucuma powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum.
In a large bowl, mix the coconut sugar and water until the sugar begins to dissolve. Add the coconut nectar, stevia, oil, vanilla, and flavoring, if using, until well blended. Gently stir in the chips and gojis.
Pour the dry mixture over the wet ingredients and stir to blend. You will have a thick and sticky batter. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through baking, until a tester inserted in the center comes out just barely clean (a moist crumb or two is fine). Take care not to overbake, as these will dry out! The top may fall a little as it cools; this is fine. Allow to cool completely in pan before cutting into squares. See page 37, storing your baked goods. May be frozen.