Izy Hossack is the mastermind behind the popular blog, Top with Cinnamon. The talented recipe developer (and busy university student!) aims to create food with maximum flavor and minimum effort, without breaking the bank. Her second cookbook, The Savvy Cook, hits on these tenets and so much more. Meet Izy and read the story behind her banana peanut butter blondies below.
I first had a banana blondie from a place called E5 Bakehouse in London a few years ago. My brother had bought it so I only got a small taste of it, but it was something that stuck in my memory ever since. Usually adding fruit or vegetables to a baked good makes things cakey, thanks to all that extra moisture. In quick breads and cakes, that’s a desirable thing, but when it comes to bars and cookies, I’m a chewy gal through and through—there should be no fluffiness, in my opinion! This was the thing which struck me most about that blondie. Although it had the banana-y flavor, it was still as dense and fudgy as I want a blondie to be.
I tried to emulate the effect at home, but my first try came out more like a chocolate chip banana cake: delicious, but not what I was looking for at all. I upped the sugar content, added more fat in the form of tahini, and decreased the moisture level by using less banana and zero egg. The texture was spot-on, but I found the flavor of the tahini overwhelming (although if you are a tahini lover, you’d probably enjoy that substitute!). Next up I tried peanut butter, which I found much better. I mean, who could argue with peanut butter and banana and chocolate? Since then, I’ve even used cashew and almond butters, which are perfect if you want a more neutral blondie.
These are such a simple one to make since you don’t need a stand mixer or anything fancy to whip them up. I’ve found they’re a perfect snack to make on a Sunday to bring to uni with me through the week. They’ve saved me from many a mid-lecture hunger pangs! My pro-tip is that they’re also incredible warmed up quickly in the microwave with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an easy dessert. If you’re looking to pack them into a kid’s lunchbox and are worried about the nut butter, I’m sure a sunflower seed butter would also work just as well. As with any bar or cookie, the mix-ins are a simple way to make them your own. I love super dark chocolate here to contrast the sweet batter, but other nuts, seeds, or even dried fruit would be welcome additions.
- 1 tablespoon oil, for greasing
- 1/3 cup (3 oz. / 85g) nut butter, such as cashew or peanut butter
- 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup (5 ½ oz. / 150g) firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (if your nut butter is unsalted)
- 1 overripe banana, peeled (2 ¾ to 3 ½ oz. / 75 to 100g peeled weight) and mashed with a fork
- 1 pinch baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (2 ¾ oz. / 75g) whole-wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 cup (3 ¼ oz. / 90g) oat flour or extra whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/3 cup (1 ¾ oz. / 50g) coarsely chopped dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
Are you a blondie fan? Tell us below!