Do you know how you can tell a professional blogger from a Mama? The professional bloggers get favorite holiday recipes out BEFORE the holidays.
Unfortunately, I am not a professional blogger. Maybe one day ;-) For now I will have to be content to share my favorite experiments AFTER the holidays. Today's recipe is a smash hit in our household and judging by the pan I brought to the GAPS circle chat last Sunday I think I'm onto something... Of course, it took me about five delicious iterations to get to this place so perhaps this will be a great jumping off place for you to do a few delicious iterations and find your own perfect blondie. I think it would be tasty with dried cranberries or something for a festive twist.
BTW, I call it a blondie (as opposed to a brownie) because it has the thick/chewy consistency like a brownie. I look forward to one day adding cocoa into this recipe (I'm sure with a heavy hand the first time I try - lol). If you try it that way definitely let us know how much you used and whether it needed more (because I am a firm believer in never needing less chocolate).
1 lb of sunflower seeds, soaked and dehydrated
1/4 cup of warmed coconut oil (or other oil)
6+ eggs (duck eggs are my choice, particularly for baking)
3/4 cup of honey, more if desired
2 tsp vanilla
Step One: Make sunflower seed butter
Put the pound of soaked and dehydrated (sometimes to save time I use the Go Raw brand instead of doing the soaking/dehydrating myself) into a food processor. Turn on the food processor and slowly drizzle in the oil as the sunflower seeds are whirling around. If you've not made sunflower seed butter before you spin it until it eventually clumps into a big ball in the food processor. Stick with it through this phase and it will smooth out afterwards. Sometimes I stop the food processor a few times and scrape down the sides but with the oil it is less necessary to do that step.
Step Two: Add everything else
Add the rest of the ingredients to your sunflower seed butter and run the food processor again. The perfect batter is one that is not sticky and firm but instead one that pours easily / drips from a spoon (although it will still be a little sticky from the honey).
NOTE: In my egg count, keep in mind I am using duck eggs which are a little bigger than chicken eggs. The most important thing to pay attention to is the viscosity of your batter - is it dripping off a spoon easily or is it thicker? If you are using chicken eggs you may find 7 or 8 eggs is the ideal number. Also, if you use chicken eggs when you pull it out of the oven and it cools, it may sink compared to how fluffy it looked when hot. That is not a "problem" it is just because the chicken eggs do not have the same quantity of raising / levening agent in the duck eggs. If you want baked goods to be the ultimate in fluffy you'll have to give a duck egg a try!
Step Three: Bake
Grease an 8x11 pan (I particularly like duck fat but have also used bacon grease and plan to try palm shortening next), pour in the batter, lick the spoon, and put it into an oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Step Four: Catch it when it's perfect
The key to a good blondie is to cook it just perfectly. You do not want to overcook it or it gets quite dry (and these ingredients are just a little more expensive than the average experiment I care to throw out). Start checking it around 30 minutes by putting a knife in the middle and pulling it out. If it pulls out cleanly then you are done. If it is not done, check again in the next 3-5 minutes or so. Don't go by visuals since sometimes it can look a little "wet" on the top but actually be finished - I got fooled with one batch by the dessert mirage so just throwing that out there.
So how is THAT for a whole food? Five ingredients or less? No problem! This is such a tasty option filled with protein that I wouldn't have a problem giving it for breakfast on a special day. Maybe the next sleepover we won't have to serve butternut squash soup to some kids who look at me like I'm crazy.
This is a large batch so be sure to show a little restraint since eating the whole pan *might* be a little much unless you are a family of 12. I think it would freeze pretty well but we've not yet had an opportunity to test that. Again, if you do let us know how it goes.
p.s. If you are comfortable with your egg source enjoy licking the pan, the spoon, and be careful with that food processor blade as you lick it too.