I suppose these are technically blondies, but I get a bit confused by the terminology I see floating around these days. It doesn’t take much perusing to find recipes for lemon “brownies” (sans chocolate) or “blondies” that are actually loaded with chocolate. Between the chocolate topping, the tahini, the cashew butter, and the salt, I decided the title was already long enough and I’d nix a few letters. These are bars.
Make sure to stir the tahini very well. The same is true if you’re using natural cashew butter that separates into layers. Storing the jars upside down in the refrigerator can make this process a bit less cumbersome when the time comes, but I’ve learned the hard way that this can lead to a mess if you’re not careful!
Because I’ve gone 50/50 on the cashew butter and tahini, these bars have a milder tahini flavor than you might be seeking. You can swap the recipe to use all tahini or all cashew butter. It has been my experience that some brands of tahini are thinner than others, so this could impact the consistency of the batter. I am a fan of Whole Foods 365 brand tahini, which is definitely more on the thin side. If necessary, you can thicken tahini by cheating: remove some of the oil from the jar before stirring.
- 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup well-stirred tahini
- ½ cup crunchy or smooth cashew butter (see notes)
- 7½ ounces (approximately 1½ cups) all-purpose flour
- optional: ½ - 1 cup chopped unsalted cashews, toasted or raw
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted (see notes)
- 1½ teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes or kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 sides to hang over the edges. Lightly grease the top of the paper and sides of the pan (I use baking spray with flour).
- In a stand mixer fitted the the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed for several minutes until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer off, add both sugars and the vanilla extract, and turn the mixer on low to combine everything. Turn the speed back up to medium-high for an additional 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to fully incorporate before adding the next, scraping down the sides after the 2nd and final egg.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the tahini and cashew butter until evenly combined. Scrape down the sides.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the flour in 3 stages until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, all the way to the bottom. If using, add the chopped cashews.
- Using a spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan. It will be thick and almost sticky. Spread it evenly using a regular of offset spatula.
- Drizzle the melted chocolate over the batter (see notes for melting options). Sprinkle the salt evenly over the top of the bars.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Allow to cool completely, then lift the parchment overhangs to remove the bars from the pan. Slice into bars and serve.
To quickly melt the chocolate, I recommend placing it in a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup. Microwave in 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until just melted. You can also use a double boiler.