November 20, 2008
I’ve been intrigued by almond butter for a while and within about five seconds of screwing off the lid of the jar I bought for this recipe, I was half-a-spoonful in and ready for more. That stuff is absolutely delicious. Where have I been? It’s grown-up peanut butter, basically, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a kid who would turn the stuff away. And it’s addictive, too, so I’m glad I had a recipe to fold almost the whole jar right into. I am fully aware of the holiday-induced caloric uptick in my near future; no need for a head start by way of almond butter straight from the jar.
Just like almond butter is a more grown-up take on peanut butter, these bars are very similar to—but a bit more sophisticated than—the peanut butter-chocolate chunk blondies that I completely love and previously thought could never be rivaled.
But swap out the peanuts (in both nut butter and chopped form) for almonds, and these new bars give the peanut butter blondies a run for their money. The almond version is sweet and rich and dense and chewy, with a slightly salty edge. In short, bite-sized bliss.
While I’ll never truly forsake the peanut butter blondies, these bars also have the advantage of being easier to make. Just whir the almond butter, sugar, butter and egg right in the food processor. Fold in the chocolate and chopped almonds, press into a pan and bake. That’s it. As we head into the (holi)days of elaborate food (particularly in the dessert category), this recipe will be a welcome quick go-to.
Food & Wine
1 cup salted almond butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup salted roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-by-13 inch metal paking ban with foil.
In a food processor, combine the almond butter with the sugar, butter, baking soda and egg and pulse just until creamy; don’t overmix or the fat will separate. Transfer the dough to a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips and almonds.
Press the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the top s shiny and lightly browned and the center is a bit soft. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Slide the bar with the foil onto a work surface. Discard the foil, cut into 1-inch square bars and serve.