White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Before I left for Portland, I made a lot of food. Sometimes, I would spend all day in the kitchen creating recipes, and by the time I left I was pretty sick of the inside of my kitchen. The best day, though? The day I blasted my newly purchased Matilda original cast recording, sang Revolting Children at the top of my lungs and made all lemon desserts. It was literally the best day.

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Lemon pastries have always been one of my favorites. The tart lemon pairs perfectly with the sweetness of almost any dessert, but it needs to be a pastry for me. Cookie, cake, blondie, etc. Not lemon creamy things. They don’t do it for me. Lemon bars? Meh, take ‘em of leave ‘em. I shied away from creating my own because I am so in love with the way lemon and butter taste together. I didn’t think I could recreate a genuinely delicious lemon pastry without rich, flavorful butter. I was wrong. You may want to take note, because I don’t admit to being wrong too often. Just ask my husband.

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Maybe it’s the melted white chocolate? Maybe it’s the tiniest bit of butter flavored extract? It’s optional, but when you don’t use butter, I find it can be magical. And that is how I would describe these bars. Magical. I know that’s a bold statement, but when you create a blondie that is ultra soft, gooey, and not the least bit cakey without using even a hint of butter, I call that magic.

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

These babies are a full on indulgent treat without any of the guilt. They do have quite a bit of sugar that you could absolutely cut down on if you have less of a sweet tooth than me, but other than that, they are 100% whole wheat and fairly low in fat due to the nonfat Greek yogurt. The Greek yogurt is a must. It adds the perfect flavor and texture, and I wouldn’t try to sub it out for applesauce or any other type of fat substitute. If you love lemon pastries even half as much as I do, you will not be able to get enough of these blondies!

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 16 small, or 9 large blondies

Serving Size: 1 blondie

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Ingredients

  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 5.5 oz white chocolate, melted
  • 1 x 5oz container (or about 1/2 cup) nonfat lemon Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp butter extract (optional)
  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9" square pan with parchment paper or tin foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together lemon zest and sugar until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in melted white chocolate, yogurt, and lemon juice. Add eggs 1 at a time, whisking until combined. Add vanilla and butter extracts. Gently fold in flour until just combined.
  3. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted about 2" from the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 25 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Store in a loosely covered container for 5-7 days.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://arismenu.com/white-chocolate-lemon-blondies/

S’mores Blondies

S'mores Blondies

I have a confession. I’ve been trying to hide this little secret, but it is coming to the point where you will figure it out, so I’m going to spill the beans…

S'mores Blondies

Raise your hand if you guessed I was pregnant? You know like everyone else I know in life and stalk in fake internet life? That’s always the first thing people assume when I say I have a secret. You see, I’m an old married lady now who posts obnoxious pictures of her 4 legged kids all over the internet, so everyone seems to think it’s the “next step”. Sorry to disappoint (I’m not pregnant). In fact, my secret is pretty lame.

S'mores Blondies

I haven’t been eating dessert. That’s the whole secret. (See? Tolda ya I was lame.) You see, this whole going on 2+ months of no running has been doing me no favors, and I’ve gotten to a, um, less than ideal place with my weight. Nothing crazy, but nothing I wish to continue. So I’m trying to be pretty diligent about my eating, and kick my sugar addiction to the curb. This means I only got one tiny bite of these soft, gooey, sweet and drool-worthy blondies. Life is hard sometimes, friends.

S'mores Blondies

I had to take just the tiiiiiniest bite to make sure they were good, and so I could tell you all about them, and holy cow, they are beyoonnnnd good. I used my favorite graham cracker crust, topped it with smooth and creamy white chocolate blondie, then topped the whole thing with browned marshmallows for my favorite white chocolate and marshmallow lover.

S'mores Blondies

So things might get a little dinner and savory heavy over here until I am back to double digit long runs that burn off all the cookies, but I promise to test a few more sweet bites like this one, so that you guys can still get your health(ier) dessert fill. :)

S'mores Blondies

 

S’mores Blondies

yield 16

For the crust:

  • 8 oz old fashioned graham crackers
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

For the blondies:

  • 5.5 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9″ square pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. To make the crust, place graham crackers in your food processor and pulse until fine crumbs. While food processor is running, stream in coconut oil and continue to process until combined. Press crust mixture into the bottom of your pan and bake until lightly browned and set, about 12 minutes.
  3. To make the blondies, in a large bowl mix together white chocolate and yogurt. Beat in brown sugar until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until combined. Add vanilla. Add flour and mix until just combined.
  4. Transfer blondie batter to prepared crust and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove blondies from the oven and turn to broil. Evenly spread mini marshmallows on top, and return to oven to broil for about 5 minutes until the marshmallows have browned. Cool completely before serving. Blondies are best the same day, but can be kept in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

 

Sunflower Butter Cocoa Crispy Treats

You may remember me stating my recommitment to healthy eating with a focus on whole foods with a short list of understandable ingredients. If you know me even a little bit, you know that I definitely didn’t mean I’d be giving up on dessert! Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day; I say it’s dessert. We can agree to disagree. Luckily, I returned home to Phoenix to this awesome package from Annelies at Attune Foods.

I was super excited to try both cereal, but it was the Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice that really caught my eye. They have a very small list of  natural ingredients.

And they have more protein than any rice cereal I’ve ever label stalked.

As a kid, I was obsessed with rice crispy treats. Legit obsessed. My mom didn’t make them. She doesn’t really bake. There are some things (cookies, cupcakes) that you can buy at the store, and they will do the trick, but have you tried the store bought rice crispy treats?! Gross. Even Little Kid Ari knew those were no bueno.

LOOK!!! Big Kid Ari can make her OWN rice crispy treats!! Okay, I’ll stop talking in the third person now. Sorry, that was weird. I guess I just got really excited. It’s one of my all time favorite desserts we’re talking about, and we all know I get a little crazy about food. So does Clementine. It’s like I’ve genetically transfered my food agression to my mini dachshund. I believe that’s totally possible.

Okay, okay, maybe not genetically, but parentally. Or something like that. Wait, how did we get here? Oh yeah, if you tried to steal my Sunflower Butter Cocoa Crispy Treat, I would probably growl and give you the stink eye while all of the hair on my head would stand up straight to let you know that we had crossed the line from playing to fighting.

Wow. Sometimes I say such strange things that I even weird myself out. It’s okay, though. I make awesome desserts. That’s why Steve married me. I’m convinced.

Now, I want to tell you about how ridiculously easy these are to make. I spent about 5 minutes. Maybe 6. Then they cooled for a couple of hours while I caught up on trashy reality tv. Let’s be real, I’m lazy and the less work I have to do, the better! Also, I washed a total of a pot and a spatula. I hate dishes. If I had a million dollars, I would throw away every dish I dirtied and immediately buy new ones.

I love this recipe because, not only is the cereal made from only real foods, but the bars are as well. They’re vegan (if you use agave, or if you’re one of those vegans that eats honey), gluten-free, and only require 4 ingredients. I hate to be one of those cliche healthy living bloggers that talks about how much more satisfying real food is, but these bars satisfy my sweet tooth with just a tiny 1″ square. Maybe that’s your normal dessert portion size, but I think we’ve covered the fact that, for me, dessert portion is generally as big as my head. I love sugar. It’s a problem I’m trying to curb, but until then I think I can be happy eating small satisfying treats like these.

And fro yo. Obviously.

Sunflower Butter Cocoa Crispy Treats

Inspired by Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

yield approx 32 bars

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey or agave
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter (preferably TJ’s brand–it is by far the best, in my opinion)
  • 3.5 cups Erewhon Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice Cereal

Directions:

  1. Spray a square 8×8 baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small sauce pan, whisk brown sugar and honey/agave over medium high heat until thoroughly combined and no sugar lumps remain–about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a spatula, stir in sunflower butter until well combined. Slowly add in cereal one cup at a time stirring constantly with a spatula until cereal is evenly coated.
  3. Transfer to prepared pan and press with wax paper until evenly spread. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours to set and cool. Once they’ve cooled, feel free to leave them out to be stored at room temperature.
Thanks again Annelies for the awesome package!!

 

Cookie Butter Brownie Bars

Please don’t tell me you’re sick of the cookie butter already. You can’t be. This is only recipe #2. In fact, recipe #1 happened because the first time I tried this recipe it absolutely failed. I mean, it was delicious, but the brownies didn’t bake all the way through, and you couldn’t get it out of the pain, so you kind of had to sit there with a fork chowing down on a 9×13 pan of gooey half baked goodness. It kind of became a problem, and I had to give them away–well give it away, since it was kind of like one big bar. Anyway, I knew I was onto something with the taste, so I tried again.

Try #1 went brownie batter on bottom, cookie butter bar layer on top, bake. Try #2 included baking the brownie layer a little bit first, but still somehow came out looking like try #1. Third time’s a charm, I guess ;)

Cookie layer on the bottom because brownies cook more slowly–duhhh, Ari! The result? Gooey, brownie, cookie butter deliciousness that can actually be plated and served. See?

 

Cookie Butter Brownie Bars

yield approx 32 bars

  • 1 box TJ’s reduced guilt brownie mix or No Pudge Brownie Mix
  • 6oz nonfat vanilla yogurt (some other flavors also taste good mixed with brownie like red velvet–yum!)
  • 1 cup cookie butter
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • white chocolate and caramel for drizzling (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray to 9×9 baking pans with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine brownie mix and yogurt. Set aside.
  3. Beat together cookie butter, apple butter, brown sugar, Splenda, vanilla, milk and baking soda. Slowly beat in flour.
  4. Divide cookie butter dough in half and press into the bottom of each 9×9 baking pan. Smooth out the top as much as possible.
  5. Evenly divide the brownie batter between the two pans, using a spatula to smooth on top.
  6. Bake for 18-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Careful not to over bake–you still want a little gooeyness in the middle, but you want everything set enough to come out neatly.
  7. Cool on a wire rack, then slice and drizzle with white chocolate and caramel if desired.

 

Cookie Butter Bars

Did you hear the news??? Trader Joe’s cookie butter is back! Please don’t ask how many jars I’ve gone through. It’s a little embarrassing. But, honestly, with bars like these, can you blame me? With cookie butter and apple butter, who needs actual butter? These bars have all of the delicious flavor of cookie butter and come as a cross between a cake and a cookie. Like a cookie cake. Cookies + cake + cookie butter. Yes, please.

These were my birthday treat to myself. And everyone (including our waitress) at Barrio Cafe ;) I hope you enjoy them too!

 

Cookie Butter Bars

yield approx 30 bars

  • 1 cup TJ’s cookie butter
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbs Splenda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Beat together cookie butter, apple butter, brown sugar, Splenda, vanilla, milk and baking soda.
  3. Slowly, beat in flour.
  4. Press batter evenly into pan. Use a rolling pin to smooth out top.
  5. Bake for 18-22 min until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Do not over bake.
  6. Cool completely on wire rack, then top with white chocolate cream cheese frosting and sprinkles if desired.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

yield enough to cover 9×13 pan of baked goods

  • 14 oz reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tbs light, whipped butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup Sunspire white chocolate chips, melted
  • dash almond extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (you may add more–I don’t like my frosting to be too sweet)

Directions:

  1. Beat together butter and cream cheese. Beat in white chocolate and almond extract.
  2. Slowly add and beat in powdered sugar, scraping down sides of bowl when necessary.
  3. Spread evenly on top of desired baked good, and enjoy!