Who doesn’t love a blondie? I don’t know how I went for 33 years without ever eating one but after making my first batch I was hooked.
And, yes, they’re dairy free. In fact, they’re vegan. I know, coming from me that’s a mild shock. I love creme fraiche, fromage blanc, heavy cream, butter, yogurt, and cottage cheese. I’m not giving them up unless I have to.
So when Zoe from Z’s Cup of Tea announced this months Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free theme – Dairy-Free Delights – I knew I’d have to get creative.
I’ll be honest…I had a little help with this month’s Go Ahead Honey project.
My Secret Kitchen Helper
(boring full disclosure – I’m sharing this because I think it’s a great solution, not because I’m getting paid for it.)
Cooking dairy-free makes my head spin just like it did when I started baking gluten-free and sugar-free. Without any experience, it’s hard to know what will work and what won’t and in what proportions should be used.
Yesterday I downloaded a new iPhone app – Cook It Allergy Free. I decided to give it a try and played with Kim’s Butterscotch Blondie recipe. Within seconds, I had 7 substitutions for butter – and it even told me how much to use. I could do the same thing for eggs, milk, and a variety of other allergens.
Usually I spend some time researching what works well and in what amount. Not this time – I just pointed, clicked, and cooked.
Does it work?
I was a little skeptical. In fact, I looked at my blondie batter and thought I was going to have a big flop. Not so. These blondies are fabulous in every way.
Of course, cooking with different ingredients has a learning curve because the ingredients don’t behave in the same ways. Cook It Allergy Free can help make the transition smoother. Less baking disasters is always a good thing.
I did make a couple of modifications of my own – I subbed a half cup of palm sugar for the original cup of brown sugar. And, because I was worried about the batter I added two tablespoons of almond milk which was probably unnecessary. To make these a little healthier, I used 4 tablespoons of shortening instead of 8 and added 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce. The extra applesauce made these more cakey than chewy.
Instead of butterscotch chips, I searched my pantry and found the perfect amount of dried apricots which tastes fabulous with carob.
You can learn more about Kim’s iPhone and iPad app and find great tips for cooking allergy free on her blog.
- I’m guest posting at Ginger Lemon Girl’s 30 Days of Quick & Simple Gluten-Free Meals – go check out my Summer Chickpea Salad. Then make it in less than 10 minutes.
- You can still submit your Go Ahead Honey post to Zoe until Sunday, June 27th…you have all weekend to whip up a Dairy-Free Delight!
Got any allergy-free cooking tips?
Note: I totally forgot that Pamela’s contains dairy when I put together this post.I love Pamela’s because it’s quick, simple, and always gets the job done right. For those who can eat dairy, it’s a top-quality product.
Thank you to Anna, Alta, and Carey for reminding me.
So, I made a second batch with a different flour blend so you’d have a choice. You can use any dried fruit or nuts with the batter. On the second batch without Pamela’s I used raisins and cranberries because that’s what I had on hand.
So how are they different? I didn’t soak the raisins or cranberries so they’re not as moist as the Apricot Carob Blondies. The Cranberry Raisin Blondies are nice and cakey little chewiness. Both are delicious in their own way but next time I’m going to soak the raisins and cranberries. I like the texture of the Apricot Carob Blondies the best.
Serves: 16 blondies
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1 cup Pamela’s Ultimate Baking & Pancake Mix (not dairy free)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup palm sugar
- ¼ cup Spectrum Organic Shortening, melted
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ⅓ cup vegan carob chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degress F. Lightly mist an 8×8 pan with baking spray.
- Put apricots in a heat proof bowl. Cover with water and microwave for 30 seconds. Set aside.
- Sift together Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until evenly combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together palm sugar, shortening, applesauce, and vanilla until smooth. Drain apricots and chop into small pieces. Set aside.
- Dump dry ingredients into wet ingredients and fold until nearly incorporated. If batter is too dry, add a tablespoon or two of almond milk. Add chopped apricots and carob. Fold in until just combined. Turn batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until top is golden brown and blondies pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely before cutting.