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Pearl Sugar Blondies

Wide angle image of blondies with pink icing and sprinkles.

Pearl Sugar Blondies are everything a blondie should be but with a twist. They are sweet, chewy, gooey in the center, and crunchy around the edges. They feature pearl sugar pieces and flaked sea salt. The flavors come together for a warm vanilla sugar combination and a hint of salt.

Let me back up a little...with the release of the live-action Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, I wanted to create a sweet homage to the iconic doll. Since my earliest memories of Barbie are blonde, I thought Pearl Sugar Blondies would be well-suited for the role. Pearls and all!

Bonus, the release of the film is on my mother's birthday and my two dear friends, Thayer and Leigh Ann, birthday celebrations. Why not round out July 21, 2023, with pearl sweetness and pink sprinkles? Right?!

Hand holding Pearl Sugar Blondie piece.
INGREDIENTS

Traditionally, Blondies use butter, all-purpose flour, and chocolate/butterscotch chips, then round out the texture party with chopped nuts, like walnuts or pecans. In this dairy-free, gluten-free recipe, butter is substituted with refined coconut oil, almond flour in place of all-purpose flour, crushed pieces of European sugar cubes in lieu of chocolate or butterscotch chips, and a touch of salt to balance the flavors.

Now, if you are not familiar with pearl sugar, I promise you are not alone. I was first introduced to pearl sugar recently by a friend of mine. It is popular in Europe, especially Belgium, Scandinavia, and the Netherlands.

Not only did she introduce me to pearl sugar, but she also introduced me to Liege waffles, which are amazing. A must-try! The pearl sugar melts into this crunchy slightly caramelized bite that dances on your tongue.

While creating these Pearl Sugar Blondies, I needed a star that could replace the chips that did not have dairy or gluten. Pearl sugar came to mind. You can't go wrong with girls and their pearls.

Hand holding a European White Sugar Cubes with remaining bag of sugar cubes on the Counter.
Method

First things first, to make the Pearl Sugar Blondies, you will need to get some European Sugar Cubes or some pearl sugar. You can find the sugar at Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, or on Amazon.

Next, it's time for my very favorite part of making these Blondies, crushing the sugar cubes into smaller pieces. If you choose to use smaller-sized pearl sugar, then there's no need to crush them. You will save a little time and effort. Then again, it is fun to smash the sugar cubes!

Once you have the sugar cubes prepared, the rest of the recipe is simple. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8 by 8-inch baking pan. Line the pan with parchment, leaving a slight overhang above the pan. Now, lightly grease the parchment with refined coconut oil. Set pan aside.

Then, in a separate bowl, whisk the almond flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Next, combine the light brown sugar, refined coconut oil, molasses, lightly beaten egg, nutritional yeast, and vanilla. Now, add your dry ingredients to the mixture. Once well mixed, fold in the crushed sugar cubes and walnuts. Now, evenly distribute the batter into the baking dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 325 degrees.

IN THE MIX

Next, while the Blondies are baking, I like to make the icing. In a small mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt until smooth.

This next step is optional. Add a drop or two of pink (or color of choice) gel food coloring. Then, mix until you achieve the desired color and cover with plastic wrap and set aside. 

Once baked through, the top of the Pearl Sugar Blondies should be golden brown. Remove from the oven, and place them on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, sprinkle the flaked sea salt for garnish. Unmold the Blondies from the pan and cut them into even pieces.

Finally, here comes the fun part, go ahead and grab that beautiful pink icing and drizzle it over the top of the Blondies. Sprinkle with your favorite sprinkles and serve.

Pearl Sugar Blondies with pink icing and sprinkles cut into nine pieces.

Now, let's not forget the reason why I developed the Pearl Sugar Blondies recipe...Barbie! And, my amazing friends. I like to think that she would absolutely love this recipe.

As for my friends, I will find out soon enough. Judging from my family's reception, they should be tickled pink.

¡Buen Provecho!

If you like Pearl Sugar Blondies, you'll be sure to like my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!

Cooking Method
Cuisine
Difficulty Beginner
Time
Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 20 mins Rest Time: 1 hr Total Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Servings 9
Best Season Suitable throughout the year
Description

Pearl Sugar Blondies are everything a Blondie should be but with a twist. They are sweet, chewy, gooey in the center, and crunchy around the edges featuring pearl sugar, walnuts, and flaked sea salt. A delicious dairy and gluten-free rendition of a classic treat.

Ingredients
    Blondies
  • 1-1/4 cup Blanched Almond Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 3/4 cups Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Molasses
  • 1/4 cup Refined Coconut Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Walnuts (Coarsely Chopped)
  • 1/4 cup European Sugar Cubes, Crushed (Pearl Sugar)
  • Flaked Sea Salt (Garnish)
  • Icing
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoon Almond Milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Refined Coconut Oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon Flaked Sea Salt (Optional)
  • 1-3 drop Pink Gel Food Coloring (Optional)
  • Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8 by 8-inch baking pan. Line the pan with parchment, leaving a slight overhang above the pan.  Lightly grease the parchment with refined coconut oil. Set pan aside. 

  2. Place European Sugar Cubes in a zip storage bag. Place the bag on an impact-safe surface like a cutting board. Using a small rubber mallet or meat tenderizer, crush the large cubes into medium-sized coarse pieces, a little larger than pea-sized. Set aside.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the almond flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

  4. Combine light brown sugar, refined coconut oil, molasses, lightly beaten egg, nutritional yeast, and vanilla.

  5. Add the almond flour, baking powder, and salt to the wet ingredients.

  6. Fold in the European Sugar Cubes/Pearl Sugar and Walnuts into the mixture. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. 

  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven. Cool on a wire rack. 

  8. While the Blondies are baking, in a small mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt until smooth.

    This next step is optional. Add a drop or two of pink (or color of choice) gel food coloring. Mix until you the desired color is achieved. 

    Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. 

  9. Once cooled, garnish with flaked sea salt. Remove the blondies from the pan and drizzle with the icing. Decorate with sprinkles.

  10. Time to serve and enjoy. ¡Buen Provecho!

Keywords: Blondie, Dessert, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Brown Sugar, Molasses, Pearl Sugar, Flaked Sea Salt