White Chocolate Margarita Blondies
I love brownies just as much as any other chocolate lover, but blondies hold a special place in my heart. I’ve made plain blondies, butterscotch, chocolate chip, peanut butter and cranberry orange varieties (both gluten free and non-GF over the years) but never have I had a request for a booze blondie…until last weekend.
Chris and I were hanging out with his co-workers at a BBQ, and one person wanted a margarita brownie while enjoying her beer and dessert – the best of both worlds? Maybe so…I don’t drink alcohol but I will gladly cook with it! I was up for the challenge so I thought about making a regular cocoa brownie with a margarita cream cheese swirl – which I may get around to making in the future – but I kept coming up with different ideas based off her request.
Then I had it, white chocolate margarita blondies! I still incorporated a type of chocolate liked she asked but I felt that a blondie base would help bring out the citrus flavors better than the cocoa version. The white chocolate chips are unfortunately not refined sugar free, but you could make your own raw white chocolate like Tiffany (if you are extra adventurous) or substitute carob chips if you prefer. I only used 1/3 cup of high-quality white chocolate for the bars, so I thought that one test square wouldn’t hurt me too much These were ultimately going to Chris’s colleagues but of course I had to taste them! You could even go without the chocolate or substitute shredded coconut for a tropical flare.
I typically like to make things from scratch but instead of experimenting too much with the base, I used Amy’s yummy Apricot and Carob Blondie Bar as starting point to tweak since I had some Pamela’s Baking Mix lying around. These bars are moist with a hint of lime and you get a hint of tequila and the margarita essence from the drizzle of icing.
White Chocolate Margarita Blondies (adapted from Amy’s Apricot Carob Bars)
1 cup Pamela’s Ultimate Baking & Pancake Mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup palm sugar (or other granulated sugar would work too)
1/4 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening, melted (could probably sub coconut oil or butter if preferred)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
zest from one lime
1/2 Tbsp tequila
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1/3 cup white chocolate chips or chunks (or carob chips if you want refined sugar free, but will alter taste)
For Tequila Icing/Drizzle*
1 Tbsp coconut oil, in liquid form
3 Tbsp coconut cream (the thick layer in the coconut milk can, save rest of the can + the coconut milk for another use)
2 tsp tequila or to taste
2 tsp lime juice, more or less to taste
1-2 Tbsp honey or to taste (agave would work too, stevia might work but I haven’t tried)
Extra lime zest for garnish, optional
Sea salt for sprinkling, optional
1. Preheat oven to 35o F. Line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper or grease.
2. Sift together Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until evenly combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk palm sugar, shortening, applesauce, vanilla, zest, tequila and lime juice until smooth.
4. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients and fold until nearly incorporated. Add white chocolate chips and fold in until just combined (do not over mix).
5. Spoon batter into baking pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until top is golden brown and blondies pull away from the sides of the pan (ovens vary). Let cool completely before cutting.
6. When blondies are almost cool, prepare your icing/drizzle. In a small bowl, add all icing ingredients and stir to combine. It should be the consistency of a glaze so you can drizzle the icing over the cooked blondies. The icing will firm up a bit once refrigerated.
7. Drizzle over blondies and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and extra lime zest, if using. Refrigerate to set the icing (about 30 minutes) and enjoy!
* If you want a sweeter icing, you can make a glaze with powdered sugar instead of the coconut cream/oil if you do not care about refined sugar free. Use one cup powdered sugar, 2-3 tsp lime juice, 2-3 tsp tequila or to taste and a 1/2 tsp orange juice. Mix until forms a runny consistency and drizzle over bars. If too runny, add more powdered sugar and if too stiff add more liquid (lime, tequila, or orange juice)
Makes 16 bars