Thank heavens, it is finally gingerbread season! It is a particularly long wait in Texas, where 80 degree temps typically reign through late October, but, praise heavens, we’ve finally had a a chilly dip, so to the kitchen I went!
For this easy treat, I combined gingerbread with one of my other favorite desserts, blondies. I love caramel-butterscotch-brown sugar flavors, so it makes perfect sense to combine the two into one fall-friendly treat.
Since coconut flour and chickpea flour are relatively new to a lot of bakers, I want to offer a list of substitution guidelines. You can vary a number of elements to the recipe, but because (1) coconut flour and chickpea flour are quite different from grain flours in general, and wheat flour in particular, and (2) no eggs are used in the recipe (most coconut flour baking recipes contain many, many eggs), some substitutions are not recommended because they will most likely lead to disaster. With gingerbread blondies on the line, no one wants that :).
Here we go:
Coconut Oil: An equal amount of your favorite neutral vegetable oil, melted ghee or melted butter will work just fine!
Flours: You need to stick to chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour) and coconut flour here, in the given proportions. Other flour combinations may be possible, but not without some (several rounds of) experimentation.
Starch: An equal amount of tapioca starch, arrowroot or corn starch can be used in place of the potato starch.
Psyllium husk: I specifically designed the recipe with psyllium husk because it adds body and height to the recipe. I can attest that ground flax seeds do not work in its place. I use whole psyllium husks.
Sugar: An equal amount of your favorite granulated sugar can be used in place of the coconut sugar (e.g., packed brown sugar, natural cane sugar, regular sugar). The darker sugars, like coconut and brown sugar are better for adding the dark color and caramel-like flavor to the blondies. Replacing the sugar with liquid sweeteners would require some experimentation, especially with regard to the liquid to flour ratios.
Coconut Milk: An equal amount of heavy or light cream (dairy) can be used in place of the coconut milk. You need the richness of cream here, whether from coconut or dairy. Be sure to use full fat coconut milk, not coconut milk beverage.
Spices & Flavorings: Play around! Use your favorite blend of spices! Lemon or orange zest would be great swap-ins for the vanilla. Or you could leave out the spices all together and make these regular butterscotch blondies.
Happy baking and eating! Let me know what you think if you give these a try.
- 2 tbsp psyllium husk
- ½ cup well-stirred coconut milk (full-fat)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp vinegar (cider or white)
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- ⅓ cup melted virgin coconut oil
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour)
- ⅓ cup coconut flour
- 4 tsp potato starch
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together psyllium, coconut milk, water and vinegar. Whisk in coconut sugar and coconut oil; let stand for 5 minutes to thicken.
- In a large bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, coconut flour, potato starch, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and cloves.
- Add the coconut milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool completely in pan. Cut into 12 bars. EAT!