Excerpted from BAKERITA © 2020 by Rachel Conners. Photography © 2020 by Rachel Conners. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
In June of 2018, my older sister, Shaina, went on an eight-day silent meditation retreat. Right after she came back, she called to tell me about her experience and one of the first things she mentioned was the food. She told me about how, without distractions, she could appreciate the food so fully, tasting all the flavors and texture each bite had to offer. The meditation center had orchards where they grew their own fruit and she described eating fresh figs every morning, drizzled in peanut butter. “An interesting combo,” I noted, and she requested that I create a recipe using those flavors. So here it is: peanut butter and fig blondies, a recipe we developed together just after her retreat. She was right—the fig and peanut butter flavors pair together in a beautiful way, with the richness of the peanut butter and the sweetness of the fig. The chewy blondies also feature the warm flavors of honey, vanilla, and cinnamon, which work together so wonderfully.
FOR THE BLONDIES
½ cup (128g) creamy peanut butter
¼ cup (50g) refined coconut oil, melted
¼ cup (36g) coconut sugar
5 tablespoons (106g) honey
1 flax egg (see Tip) or 1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1¼ cups (120g) blanched almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
About 8 fresh figs, halved
FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER DRIZZLE
3 tablespoons (48g) creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon refined coconut oil, melted
PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 × 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and grease it lightly with coconut oil.
FOR THE BLONDIES: In a mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter, melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, 4 tablespoons of the honey, the egg, and vanilla until smooth and well mixed. Add the almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and stir until incorporated. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Arrange the figs, cut sides up, on top of the batter to make a pleasing design. Press the figs slightly into the batter.
PUT the 1 remaining tablespoon honey in a small, microwave-safe bowl and microwave for about 10 seconds to liquefy. Use a pastry brush to brush the honey on top of the figs.
BAKE the blondies for 20 to 22 minutes, until golden brown. The blondies will rise a little and then collapse back onto themselves as they cool. Let them cool in the pan sitting on a wire rack. When the blondies are nearly cool, transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely.
FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER DRIZZLE: In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter and coconut oil. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag, or use a zippered plastic bag by putting the mixture in the bag and snipping a corner. Drizzle the mixture over the blondies. Return the blondies to the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set the drizzle, if desired. Cut the chilled blondies into 16 squares. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
T To make a flax egg, whisk together 1 tablespoon ground flax seed with 2½ tablespoons water. Set aside for about 10 minutes to gel.
· To keep these vegan, use pure maple syrup instead of honey.