Slightly Better Blondie

To say I make a slightly healthier blondie is like saying I only drink a little wine. It’s still wine. This twist on my favorite recipe from the Taste of Home website still has a whole mess of chocolate chips, and sugar, but little things can help assuage some of that dessert guilt you may be harboring in the weeks before the holidays. The recipe is here and it is worth trying, with healthier swaps, or as is.

My favorite hack of all time is to swap a half of cup of applesauce for an egg (some places say a quarter cup, so play with what works best for your altitude, oven, taste buds, and recipe). Or if you’ve got little kids just grab the ever present applesauce pouch. I kid you not you can just squirt that bad boy into your batter instead of cracking an egg.

To make this applesauce magic work just treat the recipe EXACTLY the same. Same measurements, same technique, less egg. Nervous? Use one egg and one measure of applesauce. It will work out, promise.

Another swap would be to use one of those handy single serve Greek yogurt cups in place of one egg. Still tasty, but I personally find they make things a bit denser than applesauce.

If you want to be ballsy, or only have the apple and peach applesauce at home like I do right now, you can add some nifty flavored combos to your blondies without doing any extra work. The peach ones add a subtle tang that works well with the sweetness.

A second swap I make when baking for the family (not any fancy bakes or legit pasty) is to turn to my cholesterol hero Smart Balance. I swear they aren’t paying me, I’ve just seen how much swapping to their butter substitute has helped my dad’s high cholesterol. To be real, I’m genetically predisposed to this mess, so you gotta do what you gotta do to offset those deliciously bad habits. There are bakers who say margarine of any kind just doesn’t work the same as butter, and there is some validity to that. I wouldn’t use it in my pie crusts or choux. When I make a future (probably disastrous attempt) at puff pastry I will use real butter as well. If, however, you’re whipping up brownies, blondies, or cookies for around the house just use margarine. It’s fine.

One last change I made to this blondie recipe was to use 1 cup white sugar instead of 1 1/2 brown sugar. Two reasons: I’m currently out of brown sugar and that just seemed like a lot of sugar. That’s stupid for a blog entered A Little More Sugar to say, but with a decent amount of chocolate chips these blondies are sweet enough. Save your ingredients for a later day and leave that extra half cup of sugar behind. You won’t notice the difference.

These one pan wonders were whipped up in less time than it took my oven to preheat, and I topped my husband’s with some leftover chocolate coffee mousse from my choux mess (no caffeine after 3pm for this gal, sadly). My daughter loves chocolate chip cookies, so to save my sanity I cut some squares into quarters and tell her they are cookies; saves a ton of time baking a dozen cookies and she’s just as happy.

What sort of healthier (healthy-ish?) swaps do you make in your recipes? I’m game to try so let me know here or on Twitter.

Happy baking!


Holiday Baking (and More) Savings

In addition to baking I am a coupon junkie. I want the best stuff at the best price. In my quest to pinch the penny I’ve fallen madly in love with the app Ibotta. Right now you can get rebates on a lot of your Thanksgiving baking staples (pecans, karo syrup, stuffing mix, booze, and more) in addition to whatever store and manufacture coupons you’ve squirreled away.

If you want free money just for trying it use this link and get an extra $10 (the code is puouha).

Other decent rebate apps include Checkout 51 and Fetch (use code KU2WT), but I always turn to Ibotta. To prove it here is a screenshot of my savings to date.

They’ve got rebates for way more than food too (think amazon, Walmart, Gap, Groupon, etc). So if you want to get your money back, use a rebate app.

Happy shopping and baking!