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!
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.