Most of my baking is motivated by what I can justify eating as breakfast.
I'd feel naughty eating a slab of frosted layer cake, yet perfectly virtuous slicing off a hunk of glazed Bundt cake to have with my coffee.
If it comes from a loaf pan, then clearly it's bread. I'm squeaky clean.
And if there's a fruit or a vegetable in the name? Well, then slap a halo on my head for the rest of the day.
So when I had the urge for a wake-up-worthier version of my almond butter/fig jam/sea salt on Ezekiel whole grain toast go-to, I conjured up these blondies.
Except, because I made them entirely with whole wheat flour (pay no attention to the butter or brown sugar), I can call them wheaties.
And then rationalize eating two.
Salted AB & J Whole Wheaties
Makes 16 squares
- 1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1-1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup natural almond butter
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled; plus more for greasing the pan
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup fig jam, warmed slightly
- 1 Tbsp. chopped salted almonds
- a pinch of flaky sea salt (like Maldon)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter an 8" x 8" pan for chubby squares, or a 9" x 13" glass baking dish if you're after svelter squares.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt (which you ought to scale back to 1 tsp. if the idea of tasting the salt throughout doesn't thrill you the way it does me).
In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, almond butter, butter, and vanilla extract. Then, fold in the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated. Resist eating it all like this.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan and dollop jam over top. Keeps things willy nilly, or use a toothpick inserted just past the surface to swirl the jam around a bit. Scatter with the chopped nuts.
Bake the bars until a tester comes out showing off a few tantalizing crumbs--about 18-22 minutes in the 9" x 13" pan, or 22-26 minutes in the 8" x 8".
Bless the top with flakes of sea salt before leaving the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Leave the room if you need to, because cutting the squares too warm results in something far from easy to grab one-handed while rushing out the door in the morning.