Banana Coconut Cookies

Gluten & dairy free, vegan, grain free & super delicious.

These light and tasty cookies remind me of a macaroon. This recipe is from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, one of my favorite food blogs.

 These cookies are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. They are only slightly sweet and high in protein, making them a nutritious after school snack served alongside carrot and celery sticks. You can add mini chocolate chips to some of them if desired though this will add a little bit of cane sugar (this cookie is a great choice for diabetics if you leave out the chocolate chips). You could replace the 2 tablespoons of maple syrup with more banana if you don't want any sweetener.

Wet Ingredients:
1/3 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon organic almond flavoring

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups blanched almond flour
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

In a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and mix together using a fork. Form dough into ball and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Form dough into small balls (about 15) and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie ball with the palm of your hand. Bake for about 15 minutes. Cookies will be soft straight out of the oven but will firm up once completely cool. You can place them onto a wire rack to cool and then place the rack into your freezer for quick cooling. 

Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

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Chocolate Cherry Almond Truffles

A Valentine's Day delight! These delicious truffles don't sacrifice taste for nutrition! Gluten free, dairy free, and vegan. And with almond butter and chickpeas (the secret ingredient), you're still getting plenty of protein and fiber. 

 

This recipe makes about 30 truffles (about the size of a melon baller).

Ingredients:

·       1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

·       1 tsp vanilla extract

·       1 tsp almond extract (for the cherry flavoring)

·       1/8 tsp baking soda 

·       4 tbsp of almond butter (or any other "nut" butter you'd like to substitute)

·       2/3 cup coconut palm sugar (low in glycemic index aka won't spike your blood sugars!)

·       1 tablespoon chia seeds 

·       1 cup chocolate chips (I use "Enjoy Life" brand for gluten free and dairy free reasons)

·       2 teaspoons coconut oil

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients (except chocolate chips and coconut oil - which will be used for outer coating) to food processor and blend until smooth.  Then form into balls and chill in the fridge.

2. Melt coconut oil and chocolate in double boiler (or be really careful not to let the pot get too hot and stir consistently otherwise the chocolate will burn). Take the balls from fridge and cover in chocolate.  Return to the fridge to allow outer coat to harden.  

3. ENJOY! .. just try not to eat them all yourself... they're pretty addicting :)

 

This recipe has been adapted from "Cookie Dough Truffle" recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie's blog.

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Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds are a wonderfully nutrient dense food - with 0 net carbohydrates (1 tbsp provides 6 grams of fiber, however!), omega 3 fatty acids, and a complete protein! 

They also contain an abundance of minerals to keep your bones strong. 6 times more calcium than milk, 64% more potassium than a banana, 32% of your daily magnesium (more than broccoli), 6 times more iron than spinach, and more niacin than corn, rice & soy!

And just for an added benefit, chia seeds have powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are incredibly important in cancer prevent! Chia seeds have double the amount antioxidants found in blueberries.

While there are an infinite amount of possibilities of ways to enjoy chia seeds, this is one of my favorite!

Ingredients:

·       4 TBSP chia seeds

·       3/4 cup coconut milk

·       1 tsp vanilla extract

·       1/2 banana, chopped

·       1/4 cup cocao nibs

·       1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Soak coconut seeds in coconut milk for 15-30 minutes - making sure to stir a few times. The chia seeds will begin to form a sort of "gel" that makes a perfect pudding!

Add vanilla extract and banana and top with cocao nibs and cinnamon. 

Enjoy for breakfast, lunch a great snack any time of the day!

Other variations: Include apples, berries, dried fruits, almonds, walnuts, nutmeg, etc.

Banana Bread

I was pleasantly surprised by how great this texture (and taste) turned out!

Sometimes I struggle with getting gluten free breads spongy and moist without overbaking, but this came out perfect. 

Ingredients:

1 cup mashed banana

1/2 cup coconut palm sugar

4 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs - or egg replace (I use Orgran "no egg" - 2 tsp mix + 4 tbsp water)

1& 3/4 cup gluten free flour (I used Pamela's Baking Mix)

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup walnuts (optional to top)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend together oil, mashed banana, coconut palm, vanilla and egg replace.

Mix in flour and cinnamon.

Pour into greased (can use the coconut oil) 8" x 4" loaf pan. Sprinkle with walnuts and top with cinnamon. 

Bake for 1 hour, or when inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

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Chocolate Cranberry Cashew Treats

Ingredients:

·       1/2 cup cashews

·       1/4 cup cranberries

·       1/4 cup dates (about Medjool 4 dates, pitted)

·       1/2 lime juiced, freshly squeezed

·       + 3 tbsp cacao nibs for outside coating

Directions:

Blend cashews, cranberries, dates and lime juice in blender.  

Moisten hands (to prevent sticking) and use teaspoon to roll mixture into balls. Mixture should make about 20 one inch balls.

Place cacao nibs in separate bowl and roll balls to coat with cacao nibs.

Refrigerate and enjoy! :) 

Nutrition information, per  treat:
Calories: 30
Carbohydrates: 4 g
   Fiber: 0.75 g
   Sugar: 2 g
Protein: 0.75
Fat: 2 g

   

*Recipe adapted from the "Lara Bar" recipe at DAMY Health.   

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Delicious Creamy Vegan Ice Cream in less than 5 minutes!!

*Pictured above (from left to right): Banana Almond Butter Ice Cream, Banana Blueberry Ice Cream, and Banana Spinach Ice Cream (I swear, still yummy)! 

Ready to cool down from all of this summer heat?!  This ice cream is the perfect, delicious snack!! I was really happy with the consistency - it really is thick and creamy like soft serve ice cream! Choose whatever toppings and add-ins you enjoy - heck, even make it a meal with the protein packed almond butter.  You can even add in some spinach for a mineral infused treat :)  

Base Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas (when your old bananas are going bad, take the skin off and freeze the inside)

2 tablespoons almond butter (or peanut butter if you prefer)

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla

*Variations pictured above: add in 1 cup blueberries or 1 cup spinach. 

 

Directions:

BLEND & ENJOY! 

Get creative and make some fancy garnishes - with berries, mint leaves, coconut whipped cream, cherries, etc!

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Delicious Gluten Free Vegan Carrot Muffins with Coconut Icing

Ingredients for muffins:

·       3 cups gluten free all-purpose flour (like Bob's Red Mill)

·       1 tablespoon baking soda

·       1 tablespoon baking powder

·       1 teaspoon xanthan gum

·       1 1/2 teaspoons salt

·       1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

·       2 teaspoons ground ginger

·       1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

·       2/3 cup coconut oil

·       1 cup agave nectar (or honey)

·       1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened - in BOX, not in can)

·       1 tablespoon vanilla extract

·       1/2 cup hot water

·       3 cups shredded carrots

Directions:

·       Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.

·       Mix dry ingredients together well with fork or whisk: gf flour, baking soda, baking powder, xantham gum, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  

·       Melt coconut oil and mix in vanilla extract, coconut milk, and agave nectar.

·       Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well. Add hot water and continue mixing until batter is smooth.

·       Using a spatula, fold in carrots until evenly distributed.

·       Pour 1/3 cup batter into each prepared cup and cook for 25 minutes.

·       Cool for twenty minutes.

·       Top with Vanilla Coconut Icing and enjoy!

*Recipe adapted from Baby Cakes

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Vanilla Coconut Icing and Fruit Dip

Vanilla Coconut Icing and Fruit Dip

This simple and natural recipe is a GREAT topping as whipped cream or icing on cookies, pies, puddings, fruit and anything else you can think of! ;) 

Ingredients:

·       1 can (15 oz) full fat coconut milk

·       3 tbsp honey, agave syrup or maple syrup (or to taste)

·       1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator and leave it there until well-chilled; at least a few hours. 
2. Open the can of coconut milk. There will be a firm, waxy layer on top.
3. Scoop out this firm layer coconut cream that has solidified at the top of the can.
4. Stop as soon as you reach the water at the bottom of the can; don't include anything but the solid cream. (You can use the water in smoothies, or just drink it straight.)
5. Place this cream in the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl.
6. Turn your mixer or hand beaters to high speed, and whip the coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes.
7. Whip until it becomes fluffy and light, with soft peaks. Mix in maple syrup and vanilla, if using.

Enjoy on whatever your heart desires, including muffins, such as carrot muffins!

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Sweet Potato Icing

Ingredients:

3/4 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (still warm)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Mix together in a blender or food processor and ice your favorite cupcakes or cake, or use as a fruit dip!

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GF Vegan Pumpkin Pie

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There are few things that I love more than pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving!!! And I must say that I have been less than impressed with the gluten free, dairy free pies I've had in the past.

This year I've adapted a recipe I found and was delighted with how it came out! I am such a fan of the coconut pecan crust that I am hoping to create new pies just to re-use the crust :) 

Ingredients for crust: 

·       1 Cup Shredded Coconut

·       1 1/4 Cup Pecans + Extra for Topping

·       1 Cup Pitted Dates

·       1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Crust Directions: 

·       Grease pie plate or pan with coconut oil or another healthy oil.

·       Use a food processor to grind all ingredients together for crust to a fine mixture.

·       Scoop crust mixture from food processor and press evenly into baking dish.

·       Refrigerate while making filling ingredients.

Filling Ingredients:

·       1 Cup Pumpkin Puree

·       3/4 Cup Cashew Butter

·       2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

·       1 Tsp Cinnamon

·       1/4 Tsp Ginger

·       3 Tbsp Maple Syrup ( or honey, agave, or stevia)

·       Dash of Salt

Filling Directions:

·       Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth.

·       Pour into crust and make sure it is evenly spread over crust.

·       Add extra pecans and cinnamon for decoration and top with coconut whip for a sweet finish! 

*Recipe adapted from: Damy Health.

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Super Food: Chocolate Berry Pudding

Ingredients:

·       3 tbsp chia seeds

·       1/2 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)

·       1 tbsp cacao nibs

·       1 tbsp goji berries

·       1 tsp vanilla extract 

·       cinnamon, sprinkled to taste

Directions:

Pour 3 tablespoons chia seeds into bowl and mix with coconut milk.  Add vanilla and stir.  Let soak for about ten minutes before adding cacao nibs and goji berries.

Extras to include: nuts, coconut flakes, and fruits! Store in the fridge or eat immediately... and ENJOY!

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Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffles

Great Dessert to Share with Friends or the Office.

*Gluten Free and Vegan (Coconut Cinnamon version is also refined sugar free!)

*Gluten Free and Vegan (Coconut Cinnamon version is also refined sugar free!)

The basic "cookie dough" ingredients:

o   1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

o   3 tbsp peanut butter (check to make sure there are no added sugars)

o   2 tbsp almond butter

o   4 dates, pitted and chopped

o   2 tablespoons cacao nibs

o   2 teaspoons stevia powder

o   1 tablespoon chia seeds

o   1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

o   1/2 tsp vanilla extract

o   1 & 1/2 tsp almond extract (gives it a slightly "cherry" taste)

o   1/8 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until well blended.  Mixture will take on a dough consistency when finished.

Scoop out with a teaspoon and form until 1" balls.  The dough should make about 35 balls. And now you have some options for a "topping." 

Option 2: Chocolate Covered   This new recipe is a reduced sugar revision of the old recipe,  Chocolate Cherry Almond Truffles . This Valentine's Day, show someone you really love them by giving them a healthy treat to celebrate your love!

Option 2: Chocolate Covered

This new recipe is a reduced sugar revision of the old recipe, Chocolate Cherry Almond Truffles. This Valentine's Day, show someone you really love them by giving them a healthy treat to celebrate your love!

Option 1: Coconut Cinnamon Truffles  (lower in sugar)

Option 1: Coconut Cinnamon Truffles (lower in sugar)

*This is a great option for someone who needs to watch their sugars (like for diabetes or someone who is trying to lose weight). It has a delightful light coconut and cinnamon flavor!

Directions:
Mix 3 tablespoons of shredded coconut (unsweetened) with 3 teaspoons of cinnamon. Roll balls until covered in coconut and top with sprinkled cinnamon.

Nutrition Information(per one treat):

Calories: 34
Carbohydrates: 4 g
     Fiber: 1 g
     Sugar: 0.5 g
Protein: 1 g
Fat: 2 g

Option 2: Chocolate Covered


For anyone who loves chocolate, this is a great chocolate covered treat! Full of nutrition - and healthy fats from coconut oil.

Directions:
Using a double-boiler, melt 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life -gluten, dairy and soy free) in 1 tbsp coconut oil.  Mix together until forming a liquid consistency.  Dip cookie dough balls into chocolate mixture, until well covered. Store in refrigerator to allow the outer coat of chocolate to harden.

Nutrition Information (per one treat):
Calories: 45
Carbohydrates: 5 g
    Fiber: 1 g
    Sugar: 1.5 g
Protein: 1.2 g
Fat: 3 g

ENJOY! :) 

If anyone is searching for the Chocolate Cranberry Cashew Treats <- here is the link for the recipe and instructions. 

 

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Creamy Peanut Butter Smoothie

Blend all ingredients and feel free to adjust coconut milk ratio for thicker/thinner smoothie.

Ingredients:

·       3 cups spinach

·       1 cup coconut milk

·       2 tbsp peanut butter

·       2 tsp vanilla extract

·       2 ripe bananas (can be fresh or frozen)

Genius Idea!

For Us Peanut Lovers~

Lemon Lavender Coconut Treats

     Ingredients:

·         1 cup cashews

·         1 cup walnuts

·         1 cup dates

·         Juice of 1 & ½ lemon

·         Zest of 1 lemon

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·         1 tsp vanilla extract

·         2 tsp dried lavender

 

Directions:

1. Blend ingredients together in food processor.

2. Roll in 1 tsp size balls and coat with unsweetened coconut flakes. 

3. Enjoy! Makes about 3 dozen treats. 

Vanilla Almond Joys

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Ingredients:

·       1 cup of natural almond butter

·       3/4 cup coconut palm sugar

·       1 large egg, lightly beaten

·       1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

·       Coarse sea salt

 

Directions:

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.     Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3.     In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients except the sea salt until well combined.

4.     Spoon tablespoons of the mixture one inch apart onto the parchment paper.

5.     Flatten the mounds with a fork.

6.     Sprinkle coarse salt on top of the cookies.

7.     Bake about 10 minutes, switching the position of the pans about half way through.

8.     Transfer freshly baked cookies onto a cooling rack and let rest. 

9.     Enjoy! :)

 

Pumpkin Banana Bread

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Ingredients:

·       1/3 cup pumpkin

·       2 brown bananas

·       2 eggs

·       1 teaspoon vanilla

·       1 tablespoon maple syrup

·       1 teaspoon baking powder

·       1 teaspoon baking soda

·       1/2 cup coconut flakes

·       1 cup almond flour

·       1/2 cup Bob's Redmill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour

·       1 teasooon cinnamon

·       1 teaspoon "Pumpkin Pie Spice" (from Trader Joe's, or use 1 teaspoon nutmeg)

 

Directions:

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.

2.     In a medium sized bowl, combine the pumpkin, bananas, eggs, vanilla, and maple syrup.

3.     In antoher medium sized mixing bowl, baking powder, baking soda, coconut flakes, almond flour, all purpose flour, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.

4.     Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Stir until well mixed.

5.     Optional: add chocolate chip cookies for taste. 

6.     Spray a small bread pan evenly with non-stick coconut spray. Put mix into pan. 

7.     Bake for 35 minutes and enjoy. :)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Ingredients: 

·       1 cup of coconut flour

·       1/2 cup of coconut sugar

·       2 tablespoons almond flour

·       1 teaspoon cinnamon

·       1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

·       1/4 teaspoon salt

·       1/4 teaspoon baking soda

·       1/2 cup chocolate chips

·       1/4 cup coconut oil, + 2 teaspoons

·       1 cup canned pumpkin puree

·       3 eggs

·       1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Directions:

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.     In a medium sized bowl, combine the coconut flour, coconut sugar, almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda.

3.     In another medium sized mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil, pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla. 

4.     Combine the wet and dry ingredients together. Stir until well mixed.

5.     Stir in chocolate chips.

6.     Bake from 12-14 minutes and enjoy! :)

Delicious Creamy Raw Carrot Cake (Gluten & Dairy Free, Vegan)

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This delicious cake was inspired by a friend's birthday that happens to fall during our annual cleanse each summer. But tastes SO much better than #cleanseworthy! No refined sugars, gluten, dairy or eggs! And an extra bonus, during these hot summer months, no oven needed :) 

LEMON CASHEW FROSTING

 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla
½ cup - 1 cup coconut oil

METHOD

  1. Blend together cashews, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, adding filtered water until nice and smooth.

  2. With blender running, slowing pour in coconut oil.

  3. Let set in fridge for 30 mins for easy spreading while you make the carrot cake layer.

CARROT CAKE LAYER

  • 1 cup almonds

  • 1 cup cashews

  • 2 cups shredded coconut

  • 1 cup almond meal

  • 2 large carrots, peeled & grated

  • 1 cup currants

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 tsp nutmeg

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

  • ½ cup Medjool dates

  • ¼ cup maple syrup

  • ¼ cup coconut oil

METHOD

  1. In the food processor, pulse the almonds, cashews, and half the coconut to a crumble. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

  2. In the large bowl, add almond meal, remaining coconut, grated carrot, currants, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and lemon zest to the nut crumble.

  3. In the food processor, pulse dates, sweetener and coconut oil.

  4. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture in the large bowl and mix together.

  5. Line a 20cm springform cake tin with parchment paper.

  6. Remove the cashew cream from the fridge and begin to layer your cake, starting with the carrot cake mix. Smooth with the back of a spoon and add a layer of cashew cream. Smooth and place back in the freezer for 15 minutes.

  7. Remove from freezer and add another layer. Continue until you have used all of the carrot cake and cashew cream.

  8. Replace in the freezer to set.

Recipe from: Food Matters.

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Spring Strawberry Smoothie

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This tasty smoothie is a perfect meal replacement with 12 grams of protein. Just a few simple ingredients that makes for a quick and easy (and delicious) smoothie!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup strawberries (frozen is great)

  • 1 banana

  • 4 dates (take pit out)

  • 1/2 cup spinach

  • 2 tbsp peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened hemp milk

  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds (to add on top)

Use high speed blender to blend all ingredients together (besides hemp seeds) until a smooth texture emerges. Can add more/less hemp milk, depending on your desired thickness.  Top with hemp seeds for a nice little crunch and added protein! Enjoy!

Grain-free Chocolate Chip Blondies....(with Chickpeas)

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Most people would never guess that these delicious gluten & dairy free (also vegan) blondies are made with chickpeas! No one would ever notice the extra fiber with this nice thick & chewy density. If you're a fan of a more of a cakey-consistency, add an egg!

Ingredients:

  • Cooking Spray

  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 1/2 cup all natural almond butter or peanut butter

  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave nectar (you can also use honey if you're not vegan)

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/3 cup vegan (or regular) chocolate chips plus 2 tablespoons

  • sea salt, for sprinkling

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray 8x8 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. In a food processor, add all ingredients except chocolate chips and process until batter is smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips, I like to use dark chocolate because it has less sugar but it's up to you. Note: Batter will be thick and super delicious, so you could actually just eat it on it's own!

  3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top. (The batter may stick to your spatula, so I like to spray my spatula with nonstick cooking spray first.) Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are a tiny bit brown. The batter may look underdone, but you don't want them to dry out!

  4. Cool pan for 20 minutes on wire rack. Sprinkle with sea salt then cut into squares. Makes 16 blondies.

Enjoy! Your biggest challenge will be to share these delicious treats :) 

Brilliant recipe from:  Ambitious Kitchen .

Brilliant recipe from: Ambitious Kitchen.