These decadent vegan blondies are richly flavored with brown sugar, toasted hazelnut meal and vanilla. Lots of chocolate chunks in the batter and toasted hazelnuts on top take these treats to the next level of yum!
What Are Blondies?
Blondies are basically brownies but instead of a chocolate base, we use brown sugar for a rich butterscotch flavor. And just like there’s different kinds of brownies, there’s different kinds of blondies! Some people prefer cakey blondies, others prefer super gooey, fudgy blondies. These vegan chocolate chunk blondies fall somewhere in the middle. Thick, chewy and so addictive!
What is Hazelnut Meal?
Hazelnut meal is just raw hazelnuts that have been ground into a flour. The flour isn’t the same consistency as wheat flour, though – it’s a bit coarser. Another name for hazelnut is “filberts” so keep your eyes peeled when shopping for this nut product.
If you have whole hazelnuts that you’d like to use up, you can make your own hazelnut flour. Use 1 3/4 cups (half a pound or 227g) of hazelnuts. Place them in a dry high-speed blender or food processor. Blend them until they become flour. This doesn’t take very long though – the hazelnuts will quickly go from nut meal to nut butter.
Note: I tested these vegan chocolate chunk hazelnut blondies with nut butter and the results were tasty but the blondies were a bit oily. So stop blending as soon as you have flour.
How to Toast Whole Hazelnuts
If you’re making your own hazelnut meal for these blondies, you may prefer to toast whole hazelnuts in the oven rather than toasting the meal. The choice is yours, the oven is on anyway! Place them on a large baking sheet and toast for 8 to 12 minutes in a 350°F oven. Keep an eye on them – they go from perfectly toasty to burned in the blink of an eye and keep roasting for a minute or so once removed from the oven.
Let the hazelnuts cool completely before blending them into flour. Blending them while they are warm releases more oil so they are more likely to turn into nut butter before becoming an evenly blended meal.
How to Toast Hazelnut Meal/Flour
For this chocolate chunk blondie recipe, we toast the hazelnut meal so the flavors are richer and the hazelnut taste really shines! Toast the hazelnut meal in a dry skillet on the stove-top, stirring continuously over medium heat heat for 5-8 minutes. It will smell toasty when it’s ready. Immediately move it to a bowl to stop the toasting. The hazelnut meal will quickly go from toasty to burnt.
How To Make Vegan Blondies
These vegan chocolate chunk hazelnut blondies are easy to put together.
- Toast your hazelnut meal
- Mix the hazelnut meal with the wet ingredients
- Combine the dry ingredients
- Mix the wet ingredients with the dry
- Toss in the chocolate chunks, press into pan, top with hazelnuts
Making these blondies gluten-free is easy! Simply omit the all-purpose flour and use an all-purpose gluten-free blend in it’s place. Ensure that it’s a blend which contains xanthan gum.
If you make these Vegan Chocolate Chunk Blondies, be sure to let me know in the comments below and give it a rating in the recipe card! Visit me on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes. And follow along with me on Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for reading!
Chocolate Chunk Hazelnut Blondies
- 2 cups hazelnut meal
- 1/4 cup avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
- 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp unsweetened plant-based milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour*
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 6 oz vegan dark chocolate chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts roughly chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line an 8″ x 8″ square pan with parchment paper.
- Heat a large, dry skillet over medium heat. Add the hazelnut meal and stir continuously until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 5-8 minutes. Watch closely as the hazelnut meal will go from perfectly toasted to burnt very quickly. Immediately remove from the pan to a large bowl to prevent further toasting/burning.
- To the hazelnut meal, add the oil, plant-based milk and vanilla extract. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until barely combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks. Do not over-mix. The batter will be thick and sticky.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan. Press flat and even with a silicone spatula or the back of a greased measuring cup. Sprinkle the toasted hazelnuts over the top, pressing them into the batter (if using.) Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Do not over-bake – the center should be fudgy, not dry. Cool completely on a cooling rack before removing from pan or cutting. The blondies set up as they cool. Keep in an air-tight container in a cool place for 4-5 days.
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