It may seem weird to bake in the middle of a heat wave. But baking, for me, is a way to chill out on an emotional level. This is especially true when it’s a recipe I know by heart, like blondies. (See here, here, and here.) There’s something about it being so mindless that allows me to be more mindful. What can I say? Creaming butter makes me feel calm.
So, even though turning on the oven feels like a ridiculous thing to do right now, I’m doing it (as sweat drips down my face). And the blondies I can’t stop making are these Paleo, gluten-free blondies from girl-baker Sadie Radinsky’s new book Whole Girl: Live Vibrantly, Love Your Entire Self, and Make Friends with Food.
You may have heard of Sadie Radinsky, the 19-year-old blogger and baker to the stars; if you haven’t you should definitely check out her blog and follow her on Instagram for tasty, low-sugar treats and the kind of real talk that young girls (and grown women) need to hear.
And you should definitely, definitely make this recipe.
Paleo, Gluten-Free Blondies Are My New Favorite Low-Sugar Treat
I admit to being pleasantly surprised by this recipe. In the past, I had experimented with using less sugar, swapping in whole wheat or rye flour for all-purpose, and using the darkest chocolate I could find, but I was a bit skeptical of a recipe that called for no cane sugar, no butter, and no flour. Could it really deliver the same chewy-gooey goodness? 100% yes.
The star player here is tahini, a sesame seed paste that fills in for butter and flour — how neat is that? The resulting squares, sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup, are chewy and chocolatey and, in my opinion, even better the next day.
Recipe Notes (to Take or Leave)
1. Don’t skip the parchment paper or the cool-down time.
Trust someone who has done both and just follow the recipe here.
2. Store in the fridge.
Sadie says you can store at room temp or in the fridge. I find they are pretty much perfect eaten straight out of the refrigerator and have a surprising longevity.
3. Make them sugar-free.
I have not done so, but if you want to make this recipe sugar-free, Sadie suggests replacing the coconut sugar with Lakanto golden monk fruit sweetener, the pure maple syrup with monk fruit maple-flavored syrup, and using stevia-sweetened dark chocolate like Lily’s.
The Better-for-You Blondies I Can’t Stop Baking
PREP TIME00 min
COOK TIME00 min
1 large egg
1 cup tahini
¼ cup coconut sugar
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp sea salt
½ cup dark chocolate chips
½ tsp flaky sea salt (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line the bottom and sides of an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and tahini just until combined. Whisk in the coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, baking soda, and sea salt. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Scoop the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish. Bake the blondies for 16 to 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and the center is just cooked through. Sprinkle the top with flaky sea salt, if using.
Let the blondies cool for 10 minutes. Slice into 16 squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.