Fresh local strawberries are in season and are the star ingredient in these blondie bars which make a delicious dessert for your 4th of July celebration! They were a big crowd pleaser last year and are sure to delight your friends and family too. I have also listed some alternative ingredients to accommodate vegan and gluten-free dietary needs.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 free-range eggs or equivalent using a vegan egg replacer
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or GF all-purpose baking flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea salt
  • 1 cup diced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (or Vegan chocolate chips)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a strip of parchment paper, line the bottom and two sides of an 8 X 8 inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Combine the melted butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the pure vanilla extract and the egg or egg replacer. Whisk until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder.
  4. Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Note: the batter will be quite thick. If the mixture appears a little too thick, add another tablespoon of water.
  5. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries and vegan chocolate chips. Spread batter into prepared baking pan.
  6.  Bake for 25 minutes or until the blondies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a tooth pick inserted in the middle yields moist crumbs.
  7. Remove blondies from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove blondies from pan using parchment paper and allow them to cool on a wire rack. Once cool, cut blondies into squares.

These bars are delicious served warm with a scoop of coconut ice cream or at room temperature with a cold glass of iced tea. Enjoy!