Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Trail Mix Blondies

Whew, I had a crazy week of travel so I am a bit behind here!  On top of that, I couldn’t locate my camera charger for a few days, so the ‘ol cell phone camera has been subbing in on my baking creations.  Not to worry though, I will still be sharing some of my recent creations this weekend.

Last week, I got the sudden urge to bake something that actually had some nutritional value.
You know, something that isn’t packed with shortening, bleached flour, etc.  Since I don’t get this urge very often, I decided I better act on it!  I had been wanting to do a trail mix cookie for quite some time, so I decided it was time to go down that road…

I mixed up my own trail mix using peanuts, cashews, almonds, dried mixed fruit, and of course, m&m’s.    If you’re short on time, you could just use pre-mixed trail mix, but I think it’s fun to mix your own.  I loved the mixed dried fruit instead of just plain raisins — blueberries, cherries, etc.
For the dough, I used my usual blondie recipe, but replaced some of the butter with peanut butter.  I also replaced the usual all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.  Once I had the dough mixed up, I felt the urge to pour a few more m&m’s in… Remember, I said these have some nutritional value! 

Spread this nutty creation into a lightly greased 8- or 9-inch square pan for thick blondies (as I did here).  For thinner blondies, though, you’ll want to use a 9×13 pan.

Yum!  I may have cut into them a little too soon.  I often have this issue when making any sort of brownie, blondie, or bar cookie.  I just get so inpatient!  Nonetheless, these are a terrific little treat.  And you can feel less guilty with them.  I bet they’d make a great snack to bring along for hikes and such, too!Question: Have you ever dabbled in ‘healthy’ baking?  What have you made?  Or… if you could make one dessert healthy, what would it be?

 Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Trail Mix Blondies
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup nuts (you pick the combo!)

1/2 cup dried fruit (again, you pick!)
1/2 cup plain m&m’s1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 8-inch or 9-inch square pan.

2.  In medium mixing bowl, cream butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Add sugars, eggs, and vanilla, and beat on low to medium spead until combined.
3.  In a separate bowl, combine baking powder, salt, and flour.  Slowly add flour mixture into peanut butter mixture, mixing on medium speed until combined.
4.  Add nuts, fruit, and m&m’s .  Mix until combined.
4.  Spread batter evenly into greased pan.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown and inserted knife comes out clean.  Cool completely before cutting.
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