Celebration Blondies! (dairy-free!)

It’s time to celebrate!!

…but what are we celebrating?

There’s always a reason to celebrate!

        • Birthdays
        • Holidays
        • Promotions
        • Awards
        • Engagements
        • Weddings
        • Anniversaries
        • New friends
        • Old friends
        • Buying a home
        • Moving into a new apartment
        • Crossing something off of your to-do list
        • Crossing everything off of your day’s to-do list
        • Working out, even though #thestruggleisreal and it would have been easier not to
        • Assembling a piece of IKEA furniture
        • Finishing reading a book
        • Making a new recipe & crushing it!
        • Football team win (ahem, Patriots)
        • Catching the metro and getting on the train right as it pulls up
        • What else??!? This list is just a sampling 🙂

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. This here– this blog post– is your excuse to take a deep breathe and remember why you do what you do and what you love. What makes you tick. What you appreciate the most. Whether big or small, I think it’s so important to celebrate all that is good, & savor it.

#sappysoapbox I know, you feel me though, right?

SO, with all of the things in life we have to appreciate, how about some fun blondies, yeah?!

I made these to celebrate Labor Day Weekend. That long weekend happiness that you get when you make up Monday morning and remember that you have 1 more day to revel in the weekend. Big inhale……Exhale…..ahhhhhhh. Love it.

These blondies are soft in the middle, with slightly chewy edges. They have a cookie dough flavor, while, of course, being baked. So, they taste like dough without being raw! A win-win!

Alsoo they’re made with olive oil, vegan chocolate chips, & whole wheat flour, making them dairy-free & whole grain! I won’t go as far to say they’re healthy, but they have more nutritional benefits that your traditional blondie or brownie, and still taste INCREDIBLE. So why not?!

You may be wondering..vegan chocolate chips? Are they any good? Or, where do I get those? Well, Wegman’s semi-sweet chocolate chips are conveniently vegan!! In other words, they aren’t the vegan version of their regular semi-sweet chocolate chips – they ARE their regular chocolate chips. I am a chocoholic and truly I cannot taste the difference between these and other brands of not-vegan chocolate chips. It’s amazing.

The bars aren’t vegan, because I use eggs in them, but if you wanted them to be you could totally replace the eggs with flax eggs and achieve very similar, no less delectable results.

Oh and I should mention, this recipe is ONE-BOWL and QUICK!! You’ll whip it together in under 30 minutes– no mixer required– and have super easy clean-up. Because even though we’re celebrating, life is still inevitably busy, #amiright?? They’ll give you some time back to spend with your friends & family 🙂

This recipe makes one 15×10 inch pan of bars, which’ll be about 35 bars (you can cut them smaller to create more, or larger if you’d prefer). They’re perfect to bring to a gathering (i.e. birthday party..), into the office, to a potluck, to your hungry family, or to freeze some for later!

I’ll be enjoying these with Cole tonight, served with Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy ice cream. I’ll keep some at home (so I can celebrate each day this week..), bring some into work (to celebrate having amazing co-workers), and freeze some, for future celebrating!!

I’m ready I’m ready I’m ready —> Are you ready?! Here we go!

Celebration Blondies! – DAIRY-FREE!
Makes one 15×10 inch pan – about 35 servings.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
3 eggs (or flax eggs)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 12oz bag chocolate chips – dairy-free, if you want the bars to be DF!
1/2 cup colorful sprinkles
Flaky sea salt, to sprinkle on top

Directions:
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 15×10 inch jelly roll pan (baking sheet) with non-stick cooking spray. Set that aside.

2) In a large bowl, measure in your olive oil and brown sugar. Using a whisk and your amazing arm-power, whisk these two ingredients together.

3) Add in the vanilla extract and the eggs. Whisk Whisk Whisk again – feel that burn in your arm! Just a little workout whilest we bake 🙂

4) Once you have a fully combined mixture, shake off the whisk. All done whisking. Your arm may rest.

5) Add in both flours, baking powder, and salt. To do this, try to sprinkle each ingredient over the top off the batter, distributing it, rather than dumping all in one spot. That way, you’re helping to distribute the drys, and preventing any big clumps.

6) Using a rubber spatula, gently mix in the dry ingredients. You’ll have a beautiful, smooth, light-brown colored dough.

7) Add in the chocolate chips and sprinkles. I like to reserve a small amount of chocolate chips to sprinkle on top, for looks. If you aren’t worried about that, then just dump ’em all in! Fold the mix-ins in with the rubber spatula. Your batter will look like this!

8) Spread the batter into your prepared jelly roll pan. Use the spatula to spread it evenly. If you reserved chocolate chips, sprinkle those on top. Sprinkle on some extra sprinkles if you have ’em too – they’re so pretty! Lastly, sprinkle on sea salt! I use Maldon Sea Salt Flakes. Any sea salt will do! This will REALLY bring out the flavors of the blondies.

Ready to bake!

9) Bake the bars in your preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until they’re a light golden brown.

10) Allow them to cool on a cooling rack or hot pad for about 20 minutes. I know, waiting is HARD! Especially when you can smell them..and you start salivating…

11) Ok, 20 minutes later, woohoo!! Cut the bars into you desired size, and ENJOY WARM, YASSSS!!! If you aren’t eating/serving them right away, feel free to wait until they’re completely cooled to cut them…I’m just obsessed with them warm 😀

12) Store the cooled bars in an airtight container. The fresher they’re eaten, the better, but they’ll be good for at least a week. When in doubt, freeze some! You can always pull them out of the freeze when you run out 🙂

EDGES or MIDDLES?! You know how some people love the chewy edges of brownies/blondies/bars, while others prefer the gooey-soft centers? Well, I have the solution! I cut ’em into just-the-edges and all-the-middles. WIN! Which do you prefer?! Are you #eagerforedges or all about those #mightymiddles ?! Comment below with your vote!

Happy Baking, and Happy Long Weekend!!

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