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Chestnut Cranberry Blondies {gluten-free}

These chewy, gooey blondies studded with jammy cranberries and toasted pecans get extra flavor and tender texture from smoky chestnut flour. Look for chestnut flour at well-stocked grocers with other alternative flours, Italian markets, or order it online. My book Alternative Baker has more ways to use it! If you don't have chestnut flour on hand, I think you could trade in any gluten-free all-purpose flour blend in place of the chestnut and sweet rice flours. Or try using 1/2 cup oat flour in place of the chestnut flour. (I haven't tried these options yet, so please leave a comment if you give either one a go!) Organic brown sugar has more molasses than conventional, so if conventional is all you've got, go with dark brown sugar instead. Since these blondies get a lot of moisture from fresh cranberries, take care not to underbake them. I like to store mine in the fridge to keep them from getting too soft. Chilling them before you drizzle and slice makes them easier to handle and less prone to cracking.
Servings: 16 small but rich blondies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (95 g) pecans
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) butter, melted and warm
  • ¾ cup (155 g) packed organic light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) sweet white rice flour
  • 1/3 cup (40 g) chestnut flour
  • 2 tablespoons (15 g) tapioca flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (2 ounces / 60 g) bittersweet (70% cacao mass) chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) white chocolate (I like Green and Black’s) coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup (50 g) fresh or frozen cranberries, halved
  • ½ ounce (15 g) each melted white and dark chocolate, for drizzling

Instructions

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350º. Line an 8x8-inch square pan with parchment paper on the bottom and all sides.
  • Spread the pecans on a small baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, 10 – 12 minutes. Remove and let cool, then break or chop into coarse pieces.
  • Place the brown sugar in a large bowl and stir in the warm melted butter, then whisk in the egg and vanilla. Place a strainer over the bowl and sift in the sweet rice, chestnut, and tapioca flours with the baking powder and salt. Stir to combine, then stir vigorously for a few seconds; this will help the blondies hold together better when baked. Stir in the nuts, dark and white chocolates, and cranberries. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and spread evenly; it will be a fairly thin layer.
  • Bake the blondies until puffed, golden, shiny and slightly cracked on top, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with a few crumbs, 20-30 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature (or chill until firm, 1 hour, for cleaner cuts). Use the parchment handles to remove the blondies from the pan and onto a wire rack. Drizzle with the melted chocolate. Once the chocolate has set, cut into 16 squares.
  • The blondies are best the day they are made, but will keep, in an airtight container at cool room temperature or (better yet) refrigerated, for several days.
Making this? I'd love to see!Tag your snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet!