Chef AJ’s Caramel Blondies
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Yield: 16-20 cookies
8 oz pitted dates
8 oz unsweetened nondairy milk
3 tsp vanilla powder, divided
2 cups white sweet potato flesh
1½ cups rolled oats
½ cup millet, ground into flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups mashed banana (approximately 3 bananas)
Reduced-fat shredded coconut
Soak the dates in the nondairy milk for several hours or overnight so they are very soft. Create a paste by placing the dates, soaking liquid and 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder into a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, and processing until smooth. Remove ¾ cup of the date paste and place in the refrigerator to chill; this will be the frosting.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the remaining ingredients, including 2 teaspoons of vanilla powder, into the food processor with the remaining date paste, and process until smooth. Pour the batter into a 9-inch square silicone baking pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes (a shorter baking time will produce a moister blondie). Turn the oven off and allow the pan to cool in the oven.
Once the blondies are completely cool, frost with the chilled frosting. Sprinkling the cookies with reduced-fat shredded coconut is optional. Chill and cut into bars.
Chef’s Notes: White sweet potatoes are also called Hannah or Jersey yams. Japanese or Murasaki sweet potatoes, which have a purple skin and white flesh, could be used as a substitute. Orange and purple sweet potatoes are not recommended for this recipe. Millet helps mitigate the gummy texture of oats.
Recipe courtesy of Chef AJ from her cookbook Unprocessed: Revitalize Your Health with Whole Foods.