Banana Hazelnut Blondies

blondies-5This is a personal spin on one of my favorite brownie recipes: chocolate hazelnut truffle squares, from The Clueless Baker by Evelyn Raab. Ground hazelnuts replace flour in these decadent, chocolate-chunk-filled blondies. Because hazelnuts are high in fat, this recipe calls for less butter than typical blondies. In addition, there are more eggs than usual. The protein in the eggs provides structure, compensating for the lack of gluten (wheat protein.)

Banana Hazelnut Blondies  

1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 medium banana, mashed
1.5 cup finely ground hazelnuts
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoons salt
3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9 x 9 inch or 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.

Place hazelnuts in a pan or on a cookie sheet, and toast in the oven until fragrant, for about five minutes. Let cool, and place in a food processor. Pulse until very finely ground. Set aside.

blondies-1In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in eggs, vanilla, salt, and mashed banana (make sure to mash the banana very well.) Stir in hazelnuts and chocolate chunks. Pour into prepared baking pan, and bake for about 40-45 minutes, until a light golden brown. The edges will appear darker than the middle.

Let cool, and cut into pieces. Store in the fridge. The blondies will be even more flavorful the next day.

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