My favorite soft & chewy peanut butter blondie recipe, lightened up with less sugar and whole wheat flour – without sacrificing any of the peanut butter taste!
Yes, this is peanut butter + chocolate recipe #2 this week. TGIF.
There are two reasons for all the peanut butter madness recently, I swear. First, there was a sale at my grocery store. Stock up when you can, folks.
Second, Happy National Peanut Butter Day! Yes, January 24th is the perfect day to celebrate all that is… peanut butter. You don’t think I’d miss the opportunity to celebrate this imperative holiday, right?
This recipe may look familiar to you. I’ve actually made something quite similar before. Two years ago, Kevin and I celebrated Valentine’s Day by going out for Mexican food and margaritas. Mexican food (tacos and quesadillas) was our first date – totally romantic, I know.
I remember buying him a leather wallet, making a few chocolate covered strawberries, and these blondies for dessert. I’m pretty sure the two of us ate nearly the entire pan. If there’s anyone who loves peanut butter more than I do, it’s my fiancé.
I made the peanut butter blondies again this week, not necessarily as an early Valentine’s Day treat, but to celebrate today’s glorious peanut butter holiday. That’s right, today’s heart-shaped recipe is a little ode to peanut butter.
Because we all know…
To fit into my healthy January efforts, I lightened-up the original blondie recipe. I substituted whole wheat flour for the all-purpose, I reduced the amount of sugar, and I used melted coconut oil instead of regular. Perhaps not quite as healthy as a plate of broccoli, but hey – it’s ok to live a little.
The few dark chocolate chips and chocolate drizzle on top are both completely optional, but well… highly recommended for obvious chocolate-peanut-buttery reasons.
The beauty of this egg-free recipe is that it’s made in only 1 bowl. That’s right, no extra dishes to wash. Less time cleaning, more time eating. The recipe will take you 5 minutes to mix up and 25 minutes to bake. Not too shabby at all.
This whole wheat peanut butter blondie recipe is a great “base” recipe. It’s highly adaptable to fit whatever you’re craving or have on hand.
Here are some suggestions:
- Feel free to leave out the peanuts if nuts in desserts aren’t your thing.
- Use honey roasted peanut butter or your favorite variety. (Natural or non-natural)
- Add dried fruits like raisins, dried cranberries, or sprinkle dried banana chips on top before baking.
- Add peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips – really anything your blondie-lovin’ heart desires.
- Use almond butter instead of peanut butter and chopped almonds instead of peanuts.
I used a heart cookie cutter to make the adorable heart shapes. I got 5 blondies (and a lot of edges and scraps to eat!) because my heart cookie cutter is large. Use any shape cookie cutter you want. If you don’t want to use one, just cut into regular squares. You will get about 12 large blondies if you cut them into squares.
One very important note! Be sure to wait until the blondies are completely cool before cutting. If you don’t wait until the blondies cool off completely, they will crumble. I let mine sit out overnight to be extra sure. You can always stick in the refrigerator for a few hours to speed up the process.
By the way, waiting for the blondies to cool off before cutting is the hardest part about this recipe. You’ll be waiting, anxiously, with the smell of peanut butter goodness wafting through your kitchen. Torture.
But the good news? The wait is well worth it, my friends.
They’re soft, they’re dreamy, they’re chewy, and they’re loaded with peanut butter flavor. Even with whole wheat flour and a reduced amount of sugar, they’re still plenty as good as the originals. Kevin didn’t even notice.
Love it when that happens.
Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Blondies
My favorite soft & chewy peanut butter blondie recipe, lightened up with less sugar and whole wheat flour - without sacrificing any of the peanut butter taste!
Yield: one 8-inch pan; yield depends on size of heart cookie cutter
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes (includes cooling)
- 3/4 cup (185g) creamy peanut butter*
- 1/3 cup (80ml) melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup (90g) loosely-packed light brown sugar (or dark brown sugar)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) milk*
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (126g) whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup (42g) peanuts
- 1/3 cup (60g) dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Optional Chocolate Drizzle
- 1/4 cup (45g) dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, making sure there is enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the blondies. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together peanut butter, oil, and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the milk and vanilla. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix until combined. Use your arm muscles - the batter will be very thick!
Transfer batter to baking pan and press it into place using the back of a spatula. Sprinkle the top with peanuts and dark chocolate chips, pressing them gently into the batter.
Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until the edges are just barely browning. The top will look very soft. Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing into squares or hearts. The first batch I made two years ago, I cut into the blondies too early and they all crumbled. Be sure to cool for at least 3 hours or overnight (preferred) before cutting.
For the optional drizzle: melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together. Drizzle over cut blondies. Blondies stay fresh in an airtight container for up to one week at room temperature.
*These whole wheat, egg-free blondies are vegan if you use non-dairy milk of choice and dairy-free chocolate chips.
*Recipe tested with unsweetened almond milk. Use whatever milk you prefer.
*Use your favorite peanut butter, natural or non-natural. Make sure it is not oily in the slightest or your blondies will be greasy. Blondies were tested with Skippy Natural and homemade honey roasted peanut butter. Use almond butter instead of peanut butter and chopped almonds instead of peanuts, if desired.
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A few more ways to celebrate the peanut butter holiday…
And yes, even more peanut butter recipes.