Everyone needs a quick and easy bar cookie recipe up their sleeve, and this is mine. It's great at any time of year, but the combination of maple flavor with walnuts seems perfect for fall.

Make these for your next celebration, or bring them to a potluck. While not overly sweet, they are impossibly fudge-like, and no one will ever guess they’re vegan.

The recipe notes gluten-free and oil-free substitutions, too.

Maple Walnut Blondies

Makes 12

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (14 g) ground flaxseed mixed with 4 tablespoons (56 ml) warm water
  • ¼ cup (54 g) coconut oil, melted (*use pumpkin purée, if oil-free)
  • ¾ cup (108 g) coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (132 g) whole-wheat pastry flour (*use gluten-free baking mix, if gluten-free)
  • ½ cup (50 g) walnuts (or nut of your choice)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Prepare an 8 x 8-inch (20 x 20-cm) square baking pan by covering with parchment paper. It’s okay if it bunches up in the corners. If the paper comes up a bit over the top of the pan, it’ll help you remove the blondies.

2. Add the flaxseed mixture, oil, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt to your stand mixer and mix well. (Note: You can certainly do this in a bowl, by hand, if you don’t have a mixer.)

3. Add the flour about ⅓ cup (42 g) at a time and mix until just incorporated. When you’ve added the full cup of flour, the batter will be extra thick. Add the walnuts, mix, then scrape into the prepared pan.

4. Spread the batter as evenly as you can in the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. You want to slightly underbake these to keep the fudge-like texture, so pull them out before a fork comes out of the middle completely dry.

Tip: Switch out the nuts for chocolate chips if you can’t live without chocolate in your blondies.

This recipe was excerpted from The Easy Vegan Cookbook.

Photo courtesy of the author with illustration by Chloe Bulpin for MBG


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