Marcona Almond, Cherry & Chocolate Blondies

Marcona almond blondies 2

Blimey these blondies are good. They’re so good that I only had time to snap a couple of incredibly dull pictures before I had to tuck in, my willpower falling to the wayside.

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The secret here, as in a lot of good things, is the almond butter. In much the same way as it adds richness to a bowl of overnight oats, here it adds an irresistible depth of flavour that blondies can sometimes lack.

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Crunchy almonds, dried sour cherries and chunks of deeply dark chocolate add just the right amount of interest and variety to every bite. (Chocolate, almonds and cherries are always a fantastic combo, see also my cherry chocolate frangipane tart, ridiculously good.)

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If you can’t find Marcona almonds, I’m sure that ordinary almonds would be just as wonderful (and a little cheaper!) and you could even try giving them a quick roast beforehand to enhance their flavour.

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Marcona Almond, Cherry & Chocolate Blondies
Adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingredients:
1 1/4 sticks butter (140g)
1 3/4 cups of packed light brown sugar
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup almond butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup marcona almonds
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 cup chocolate chunks
A sprinkle of sea salt (optional)

In a small saucepan melt the butter and then simmer it for 5 mins until it is browned and smells nutty. Pour it into a large mixing bowl and leave it to cool for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 165C / 160C Fan / 325F and grease and line a 9inch x 9inch baking tin.

After the butter has cooled, add the sugar, eggs, egg yolk, almond butter, vanilla, salt and cinnamon to the mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the flour and baking powder and  mix again until no flour is showing.

Add all of the cherries, most of the almonds and most of the chocolate chunks and fold them in. Spread the mix in the tin and smooth it over then sprinkle on the remaining chocolate and almonds and the sea salt if using.

Bake the blondies in the oven for 25 – 30 mins until golden. You can test whether they’re cooked by inserting a toothpick into the centre, if it comes out fairly clean you’re good to go.

Cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!

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