By late this past Sunday afternoon, I was at a complete loss for what to do with Owen. We had already been to the park, the playground, and the pool that weekend, and earlier in the day we’d gone out for a pizza lunch and built a house out of a cardboard box for his Paw Patrol characters. I couldn’t think of anything, and I could tell he was about to start begging for the TV.
So we hit the kitchen, where we found carrots in the back of the vegetable drawer, a half-eaten pint of blueberries in the fridge, and a package of white chocolate chips. Perfect.
I baked these–as I do most desserts these days–with Owen’s toddler palate in mind. I wanted to make him a treat and keep him entertained, and I also wanted to get in a little fruit and veg. I’m generally not a fan of “hiding” vegetables in food, so I think these blondies are a nice compromise. Anyone can see the bright orange flecks of carrots and the juicy pockets of blueberries. Hopefully, I am teaching him that plants are delicious! But, baby steps. He took a few bites of my blondie, and then asked for a Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookie. Knife to the baking cookbook author’s heart!
I don’t mean to suggest that these whole wheat blondies are strictly toddler food. On the contrary, their nutty, toothsome flavor would be perfect with a cup of coffee or a mug of chai tea. The whole wheat flour makes them taste a bit like graham crackers, and I added the white chocolate chips because let’s live a little, right?
This recipe makes 16 small or 9 large bars. I think they taste best when stored in the fridge–somehow it makes them more dense and fudgy. This is also an ideal recipe for freezing. Just wrap them well in a layer of plastic wrap and then foil. They will keep for several months.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup grated carrots
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-x-8-inch pan with foil so that it extends up the sides. Line the bottom of the pan with a square parchment. (You could probably get away with only the foil or parchment, but I always err on the side of caution. Plus, it makes for easy cleanup.)
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined. Gently fold in the carrots, blueberries, and white chocolate.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Bake until they are set in the center and a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
- Cool, then cut into bars. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.