It’s no secret that I love using oats in desserts. I also love almost any hazelnut-based dessert – second only to a pistachio-based dessert, which isn’t all that common. I wanted to combine oats, hazelnuts and chocolate chips to make a healthier version of the all-American blondie. Blondies are dessert bars, just like brownies, but without the cocoa or chocolate base. In this recipe for oat hazelnut chocolate chip blondies, I’m going after that butterscotch-vanilla flavor and chewy cookie-like texture!
As a gluten-free whole grain, oats deliver a deeper, almost nutty flavor in baked goods and a crumbly, chewy (but not gummy) texture. Oats are incredibly easy grains to work with when it comes to baking and also have a much healthier nutrition profile than white all-purpose flour. They contain plenty of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and they’re low-glycemic too!
This recipe for oat hazelnut chocolate chip blondies still contains sugar, so it isn’t “healthy” but it certainly is healthier than your typical dessert or cookie. The toasted hazelnut flavor is an immediate crowd-pleaser! If you don’t have hazelnuts on hand, pecans or walnuts would work just as well. I used a combination of butter and olive oil; if you experiment and decide to use all-butter or all-olive oil, do let me know how it works out for you. For these gluten-free cookie bars, I used oat flour along with a little corn flour aka cornstarch. You can grind rolled oats (preferably) or instant oats easily in a blender or food processor at home or buy oat flour if it’s readily available near you. If the millions of different kinds of oats (and names for them) confuse you, read this little guide on types of oats.
These lightened-up gluten-free oat blondies are so easy to make – if you make them, I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment here or get in touch on Instagram @theindiaedition. And if you’re looking for other oatmeal desserts – these granola cookies and double chocolate oatmeal cookies get the popular vote.
- 1 cup or 90g oat flour (rolled oats ground to a fine flour)
- ½ cup or 73g roasted hazelnuts, coarsely ground
- 2 tbsp or ~19g corn flour (corn starch)
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- ¾ cup or 150g brown sugar
- ¼ cup or 60ml olive oil
- 3 tbsp or 43g salted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup or ~88g chocolate chips
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
- Line a 9x7 or 8x8 inch baking tray or pan with parchment/butter paper.
- In a large bowl, add the olive oil, butter and sugar. Using an electric beater, beat until fluffy and combined. Add in the egg and beat again on medium-high speed.
- Add the vanilla and combine.
- In a separate bowl or in a food processor you used for the oat flour or hazelnuts, combine the oat flour, ground hazelnuts, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
- Fold the oat-hazelnut flour into the wet ingredients until just combined. Add in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the parchment paper-lined baking pan.
- Bake for 28-30 minutes or until a knife comes out mostly clean. Sprinkle on the sea salt.
- Allow to cool completely and set before cutting into bite-sized pieces or typical brownie-style rectangles.