Ah, a Tuesday after a Bank Holiday weekend, they always seem a bit glum don’t they? Even though you are one day further into the working week than you would normally be, they still have a hint of that Monday feeling. And, I don’t know about you, but they always send me a bit out-of-whack, as in, for the rest of the week I will have absolutely no idea what day it is or what I should be doing. Vacant space-staring shall ensue.
Also, this particular Bank Holiday always has a little bitter-sweet sting in the tail, because it is the last one until August. August . . . That said, I bet it will be here before we know it, especially as I seem to have fallen asleep and we are halfway through the year already. I suppose the massive gap until the next Bank Holiday is payment for the fact that we get two in May. We can’t have it all.
Anyway, whatever you did this weekend, I hope you enjoyed it. Mine was pretty quiet, which is no bad thing as the last couple of weekends have felt pretty busy. Besides, sometimes you need to spend almost a whole weekend slumming it around the house in your tracksuit bottoms and no make-up. It is good for the soul.
Would just like to point out that I was wearing other clothes along with the tracksuit bottoms, just in case you thought there was something a little weird going on . . .
But now for the main attraction, the reason you are here, a little something to cheer up an already short week . . .
Maple and macadamia blondies.
These little squares of squidginess are delicious (of course) and something I used to make in my pre gluten-free days. For some reason I had convinced myself that they wouldn’t work gluten-free. Unlike brownies there isn’t copious amounts of chocolate to help stick them together. And the flavours are quite delicate. But . . . but, I was wrong! They do work. And the texture is just like that of a brownie – squidgy and dense and moist with a crispy sugar crust on the top.
I admit that they are quite an indulgent bake thanks to the amount of maple syrup and macadamia nuts required (not one of the cheapest nuts around, but certainly one of the loveliest), but as these are two of my all-time favourites (yep, more favourites) they are worth making once in a while.
Whilst making these I tried to make a list of nuts in order of preference, because I was pretty sure that macadamias would be in the top spot, but then I remembered pecans . . . and cashews . . . and to be honest almonds are pretty high up there because of their versatility, so it became an impossible task, so I stopped.
But speaking of nuts, you would think that these little buttery chunks of nuttiness would automatically sink to the bottom of the blondies, but no, they somehow, in some weird baking magic way, all come to the top, hiding beneath the crust and laying on top of the blondie sponge in a manner similar to you or I on top of a memory foam mattress.
Yep, you read that analogy right, these nuts have their own memory foam mattress.
I told you Bank Holidays made me all out-of-whack . . .
Maple Macadamia Blondies
- 100g macadamia halves
- 170g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 150g caster sugar
- 180ml maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 180g plain gluten-free flour
- pinch of salt
- Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the macadamia nut halves and toast for 5 minutes or so, moving them around frequently, until they start to brown. Set aside to cool.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190 Celsius / 170 fan / 375 Fahrenheit. Grease a 20cm square cake tin well and line the bottom with non-stick baking paper.
- Melt the butter in a large bowl or saucepan. Add the sugar and maple syrup and mix.
- Whisk in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
- Beat in the flour and salt, making sure there are no lumps of flour in the batter.
- Tip the cooled macadamia nuts onto a chopping board and roughly chop. Add to the batter and mix to distribute.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.
- Test the blondies with a skewer, if they are still runny in the middle, return to the oven and reduce the heat to 170 Celsius / 150 fan / 340 Fahrenheit and bake for a further 15 – 25 minutes, until set and the skewer comes out more or less clean (a few clinging crumbs is okay). Reducing the temperature of the oven will help prevent the edges from becoming too dark.
- Leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out and cutting into squares.
- Store in an air-tight container.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2015