After the success of my super-chocolatey Best-Ever Beet Brownies, I was super pumped to make a vegan blondie recipe using gold beets, especially since there doesn’t seem to be one online. Fortunately it didn’t take quite as many trials as the brownies to get these right! Where the earthy, deep flavor of red beets enhanced the intense chocolatiness of the brownies, the gold beets also bring a sweet, nutty flavor.
Gold beets, which are a gorgeous yellow-golden color and don’t bleed, are a lot less messy to prepare than red beets and have a less iron-y flavor. They have a milder, very sweet, smooth flavor, which makes them perfect for blondies.
Since beets are one of the sweetest vegetables, and also contribute to the moisture in the blondies, there is a bit less sugar and oil than is necessary in “regular” blondies. And because the beets replace the flavorless fat of canola oil, they also increase the flavor in the blondies. I used an amount of melted vegan butter (Earth Balance) to replace some of the remaining oil to likewise increase the flavor.
Walnuts are essential in blondies – they give a great crunch and pair wonderfully with the rich flavor. They are toasted first to bring out their sweet, aromatic nuttiness and then folded in with a mixture of dark chocolate and white chocolate chips before baking.
So don’t be fooled, these are definitely dessert – moist, sweet, dense, and totally decadent with bits of melty chocolate and walnuts throughout.
- 1 cup walnuts
- 3/4 cup gold beet purée* (about four medium beets)
- 1/4 cup melted vegan butter such as Earth Balance
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 T golden flaxseed meal
- 1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt (1 teaspoon sea salt)
- 3 ounces vegan white chocolate + 3 ounces vegan semisweet chocolate chips
- *Roast the beets if you have not done so already. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Trim off the beet greens and stems and wash, then cut the roots into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Put them in the center of a large sheet of foil and mix with a tablespoon of oil. Fold the foil around the beets and place on a cookie sheet. Roast for 45-60 minutes or until tender (when a fork slides in a piece easily). Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350°F. Arrange the walnuts in a single layer in a 13x9 inch pan and toast the nuts, stirring two or three times, for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and chop into smaller chunks. When the pan is cool, place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom and grease with canola oil or butter.
- Purée the beets as well as you can and then measure out 3/4 cup and discard the rest (or keep for a salad dressing or sandwich purée). Add the melted butter, oil, and flaxseed meal to the 3/4 cup of beets and purée again until smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and mix in sugar and vanilla and stir until well-combined.
- In a separate, medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add a third of the wet ingredients and mix gently for two or three strokes, add a third more and repeat. When all the wet ingredients are mixed in and there are only a few streaks of flour, fold in the nuts and chocolate chips.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and flatten the top with a spatula. Lightly drop the pan onto the countertop from a 1/2-inch height to further smooth the batter and get rid of any air pockets.
- Bake for 24-28 minutes, or until the top is glossy and a toothpick comes out fairly clean (no goopiness but little brownie bits are fine).
- Let cool.