Monday, August 22, 2011

Trail Mix Blondies

When I'm apprehensive about something, I bake. When I'm nervous about an upcoming medical procedure, I bake. When I'm anticipating surgery, however minor, I bake A Lot. Fortunately, as the days slipped past while waiting for the removal of a mercifully benign small chest mass last week, I found at least one recipe that's both remarkably speedy and has nicely healthful qualities, so I didn't inundate our kitchen in too much indulgence or become utterly incapable of attending to more mundane household chores...

Really, this is a delightfully cleaver little recipe. I'm not usually much of a recipe follower, preferring to read my beloved cookbook collection novel-style, using the instructions for inspiration rather than for literal following, but the idea, found in The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook, of using whole grain pancake mix for healthy blondies, struck me as so brilliant that I made very few changes to the recipe, as the technique is very basic. The end result, though, is enchanting. Much more textured than classic blondies, certainly, but pleasantly so given all the chunky good things stirred into the batter, and the dark chocolate and dried cherries add a grand, grown-up richness to the not-too-sweet treat. Even friends of ours with devoted sweet teeth gave these high praise, and asked for seconds!

So, with the gentle guidance of blondie baking, I faced my procedure, and am now gratefully back to normalcy, whatever that may be. Isn't it wonderful, however rare, when life simply lets you pick right back up again...

Trail Mix Blondies

(Adapted from The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook)

2 cups buckwheat pancake mix
1 cup raw turbinado sugar
1/2 cup SmartBalance Light, melted
2 egg whites, beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (at least 60% cacao)

~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8X8" baking pan with foil or parchment paper, and spray the lining with cooking spray.
~ Stir together the buckwheat pancake mix, sugar, melted SmartBalance Light, egg whites, and vanilla until well combined.
~ Fold in the dried cherries and dark chocolate chips.
~ Spread the batter into the baking pan. Bake until set and cooked through but not dry - approx 30 min.
~ Serve warm or cool...


bellini said...

Healthy indulgences Astra!

Shri said...

Sinful, Astra

Shaheen said...

I can only echo what Bellini has said 'healthy indulges' and this one is good!

Jamie said...

Oh Chava, I am so sorry you had to endure this. And I am so glad you are well. I miss you - let's chat soon xoxo

Joanne said...

Your baking habits sound identical to my baking habits..which means these must be made immediately!