Monday, October 18, 2010

Vegan Monday: Sourdough Peanut Butter Blondies.

Directly after finishing last Vegan Monday's Chocolate Sourdough cake, my fervor for all things sourdough led me on a quest for more sourdough desserts. Whilst looking at too much information, I found that I really can use sourdough starter in any baked good if I use this proportion: 1 cup of sourdough starter = 1/4 c. flour and 1/2 c. liquid. It seems logical to me, and it made this already great recipe into something even a bit healthier, at least in my own opinion.

I turned once again to Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero. (I still have these books on loan from Ginny, and it's embarrassing that I haven't even thought of returning them. You'll likely receive them back with some baked goods, Ginny - hope that makes up for my negligence!!) I am usually a chocolate person. I like chocolate with peanut butter, but not peanut butter with chocolate. Well, this recipe changed all that. It's fudgey and peanutty, thick and dense but not too rich. The perfect non-chocolate brownie.

I omitted the salt from the batter since I only had salted peanuts on hand for the top, and it was a horrible error. The blondies were still great, but missing that once nuance. Nothing a little homemade chocolate syrup (and *gasp*, a little homemade ice cream) didn't cure, but I won't omit it in the future.

Vegan Sourdough Peanut Butter Blondies (adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero)
  • 3/4 c. peanut butter (I used smooth, plain peanut butter from my co-op. Ingredient list: peanuts.)
  • 1 c. sourdough starter
  • half of a 1/3 c. measure of oil (I used coconut oil, and eyeballed it)
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/3 c. peanuts (for the top - I didn't measure)
Preheat oven to 350. The girls say to use a 8x8 square metal baking dish, but I don't have one, so I used an 8 inch cake tin, and it worked fine. Lightly grease your baking container of choice.

In a large bowl, mix together peanut butter, oil and brown sugar. Mix well, until well incorporated. Add the sourdough starter and vanilla, and blend in thoroughly.

Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dough (using your hands if you need to) well. The batter is very thick, and doesn't spread on it's own. Transfer dough to baking tin, press into sides, and press the peanuts into the top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set and lightly browned on top. Cool completely in tin before slicing.

There isn't much more to say about these beauties. They are what they purport to be, and they are delicious. No one would guess they are vegan, and any die hard peanut fans can rest assured that a peanut craving will be satiated. This pan is long gone, but I feel like I want to make another one.

Oh, it's so easy for me to fall head over heels for sweets during this time of year. From the first whisper of cool weather straight on til January, I feel like I'm entitled to make (and, by default, eat) any and all sweets my heart desires - and fortunately December allows me to give away to my hearts content. By the time January rolls around, I'm easily reconditioned. In time and solidarity with other resolution-makers, I want no sugar whatsoever, and I want to be a virtuous and healthy eater, free of the entrapments of my all mighty sweet tooth.

I have to make a serious pact with myself to eat less sugar, at least until Thanksgiving. Part of the problem, is that I just love to bake, and falling leaves and brisk, humidity free days only serve to add fuel to the fire. But now that I've made actual bread with my starter, I have less excuse to want to use up starter in hollow caloric and fleeting deliciousness, and can concentrate on more healthful endeavors. Wish me luck!


  1. Do you get any sour flavor in the finished product? And do you adjust the leavening at all? Looks good.

    And while giving up sweets baking is difficult, if you can make bread as gorgeous as that last post, you should be able to pull through.

  2. Deena: There may be a discreet tang, but nothing overpowering. I just like using the starter in stuff rather than wash it down the sink! (And you have to do it, or you'd be swimming in starter - unless you owned a bakery or something...) I like to suspect it's good for me, since it ferments naturally at room temperature as well. I made a second loaf of bread early on Sunday morning, of all white bread flour, and it was also delicious. It was sour, but not too sour. The wheatier loaf tasted more sour - maybe the grains enhance it?

    As for leaveners - it appears that you leave them the same. I did at any rate, and it worked fine. I haven't read anything to the contrary, but will likely bake more with starter, since I have it on hand, and keep track of the experiments. I'll keep ya posted!

  3. Wow, pretty amazing. You have been busy! What a fun project (obsession?). These look great! Anything peanut butter is a go in our house.

  4. Gasp. These look wonderful! I LOVE any dessert with peanut butter. You had me at me at that. xoxo

  5. WOW, these blondies look soooo luscious! I want a bite right now!!!! Love your story of the Lebanese lady in my comments. Isn't it wonderful having been exposed to different cultures when we are young?


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