It's no secret that I'm a fan of Enjoy Life Foods, so when they gave me the opportunity to review two of their new products, I leaped at the chance. The Double Chocolate Crunch Granola will have to wait for another day, though, because I couldn't resist starting with the new semi-sweet chocolate Mega Chunks.
The chunks are a high quality chocolate made from only three ingredients, evaporated cane juice, natural chocolate liquor (non-alcoholic) and non-dairy cocoa butter, and are manufactured in a dedicated nut and gluten-free facility. Although they are free of all of the "Big 8" allergens, the facility does also process soy and dairy. The equipment, however, is dedicated allergen free, and Enjoy Life routinely tests ingredients for contamination. The Kid absolutely loved the chunks, and our only complaint was that we only had one bag!
Chocolate Chunk Blondies
(Click here for printable recipe.)
2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C plain or vanilla soy milk
2/3 C brown sugar
1/3 C granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbs (1/2 stick) melted dairy free margarine
1 C chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8" by 8" pan with aluminum foil. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl, whisk together and set aside. Mix soy milk, sugars and vanilla extract in a small bowl or large measuring cup. Melt margarine, then stir it into the wet ingredients, too. (Mix margarine in last to keep it from clumping up.) Stir wet ingredients into dry, then mix chocolate chunks into cookie dough.
Spread the resulting sticky dough into aluminum lined pan. Bake for 33 to 35 minutes and until the edges are slightly browned. Allow to cool completely, then slice into 16 squares.
A few notes about the recipe:
- I began with several browned butter chocolate chip cookie recipes when developing these bars, and it's important to use a dairy free margarine with a good flavor. I used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks.
- If you don't have an 8" by 8" pan, go ahead and use a 9" by 9", but shorten the bake time to about 30 minutes.
- The center has an almost marzipan like texture to it, and if there's not a tree nut allergy in your family, these would be absolutely fantastic with almond extract instead of vanilla. Back in my carefree, childless days, I used to occasionally splash some amaretto into chocolate chip cookie dough, and that wouldn't be bad, either!
- The cookies really do need to cool completely before being sliced, otherwise you'll have an incredibly gooey mess on your hands.
I'm grudgingly sharing my blondies with:
I was provided with free samples, but not paid for this review, although I did win the Enjoy Life Cookies for Everyone Sweepstakes a few years ago. My opinions are, as always, my own, though possibly suspect as a self confessed chocoholic.