Flourless Coffee Macadamia Blondies

Okay, get ready for my absolute new favorite treat: decadent Coffee Macadamia Blondies that just happen to be flourless and vegan. Do you see that amazing fudgy texture??

Yes, it's true, miracles do happen. These are some of the most luxurious, chewy, sticky, sweet bars around. They're loaded with rich chocolate, crunchy macadamia nuts, and punchy coffee flavor. They're unbelievably satisfying and feel so naughty.

So what's the secret??

Dates! No joke, these bars get all their structure and sweetness from fruit. When I began working on this recipe, I wanted to make a blondie that was completely plant-based and naturally sweetened. But I also wanted a blondie that required only "normal" ingredients that most people either have in their pantry or can easily acquire.

After many attempts, I finally decided to try dates. And guess what? They make the perfect blondie batter! These are dense, fudgy, chewy, and don't at all seem like a "healthy" recipe. The dates provide so much sweetness that you'll never miss regular sugar. When combined with nut butter, they yield a bar that is surprisingly decadent and flavorful.

In terms of flavors, these beautiful blondies pair three of my favorite Hawaiian foods: macadamia nuts, coffee, and chocolate. Really, can there be anything better? The slightly bitter coffee tames the sweetness of the dates and the richness of the chocolate, and macadamia nuts add the perfect buttery crunch.

I'm very happy to be bringing this recipe to you in partnership with the wonderful folks at Mauna Loa, who grow the absolute best macadamia nuts on the big island of Hawai'i. If you're not already a MacNut lover, please give this recipe a try! They're my most favorite nut because they have such a rich taste and the perfect indulgent texture.

It's official, I'm MacNut obsessed.

In addition to being absurdly delicious, these blondies have some true nutritional power. Because they're loaded with protein, healthy fats, and fiber from the dates, they actually nourish the body. They're decadent enough for dessert, yet the ingredients make them totally fair game for breakfast, snacks, or lunch. Maybe we should call them "breakfast blondies" instead?? Yes, I'm liking this idea!

If you really want to take them over the top for dessert, melt some chocolate in a splash of Kahlua and drizzle it all over the top. You can thank me later.

One final point. Are these really a "blondie"? I'll leave that up to you. In my mind, "brownie" implies chocolate in the batter and "blondie" implies no chocolate (at least not in the batter itself, not counting chocolate add-ins). So using that definition, these are blondies. My husband Dave, however, argues that "blondie" isn't appropriate since the batter is dark-colored (due to both the dates and the coffee) rather than blond. So if that's the case, what are they? Date bars? That sounds too healthy though. Anyways, call them what you like.

I hope you'll give these a try. I love to have dessert in the evening, and I love even more when that dessert is as good for the body as it is for the soul. These blondies really fit the bill.

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mauna Loa. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running. 

Looking for another dessert that is really a protein bar in disguise? Then you'll like these Superfood+Vegan Unicorn Cheesecake Bites!

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
  • 2 c dates, pitted. Double check that they're pitted!
  • 1 c peanut butter. Any kind of nut butter will work here; I prefer using peanut butter since it's least expensive, and you won't really taste it anyways.
  • 0.5 c milk of choice. I like baking with soy milk most because of its richness, but anything will work. I prefer unsweetened and unflavored.
  • 2 tbsp flax seed meal
  • 1 tbsp espresso powder. King Arthur Flour makes this and it's absolutely divine; I highly suggest getting some and putting it in lots of different baked goods! Instant coffee is the best substitution, but I'd double the amount since it's a lot less strong.
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar. I know this sounds weird, but it helps to activate the baking soda, giving the bars some loft despite their dense ingredients. You can't taste it.
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder 
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 0.5 c chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 0.25 c chopped macadamia nuts, plus more for sprinkling on top. Always Mauna Loa!
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and thoroughly oil an 8x8 baking pan. Note that this is a sticky dough, so oiling is critical! Conversely, you can line the bottom of the baking dish with parchment paper, which is usually fail-proof.
  2. Measure all ingredients except the chocolate chips and MacNuts into a food processor. Process until you have a thick, sticky dough that's homogeneous throughout.
  3. Remove the blade from the food processor and add the chocolate and nuts. Mix everything together with a spoon or spatula until the add-ins are evenly incorporated.
  4. Spread the dough into the prepared baking dish with a spatula; it may need some persuasion. Try to create a layer of even thickness that goes all the way into the corners.
  5. Sprinkle the top of the dough with an additional generous handful of chocolate chips and MacNuts.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. Keep a close eye on it toward the end, since the edges will brown quickly due to the sugar content of the dates.
  7. Cool completely if you want to be able to cut the blondies neatly. If you don't care about messy squares, dig right in! They're lovely warm out of the oven.
  8. Store the blondies in a sealed container in the fridge; they'll hold their shape better. You can either enjoy them cold, or reheat them for a few seconds in the microwave. They also freeze nicely, as long as you keep them tightly sealed.


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