Dutch Spiced Blondie Bars Gluten-Free“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”
~ Maya Angelou

Dutch Spiced Blondie Bars Gluten-FreeDutch Spiced Blondie Bars Gluten-Free

I had been challenged to rest, and rest I did. Life and worry and planning and work, work, work had become too much. The need for control gripped me and I needed to let it go. And so, there was a Sabbath rest. A day to enjoy family, and the outdoors life. Some exercise, some fresh air, and laughter. It was good, and it was enough. I baked then, because I was hungry, not because there was a deadline looming. I baked because I was craving spice! The aroma filled the air, filled our nostrils, and it was good.

Dutch Spiced Blondie Bars Gluten-FreeDutch Spiced Blondie Bars Gluten-Free

In the week prior, I had been attempting a variation of Anzac Slice, using maple syrup instead of honey… when I remembered my Dutch Honey Cake, and began craving cinnamon and spice! And so, these Dutch Spiced Blondie Bars were born. You may liken them to cookie bars, or even to blondies, but essentially, they are the love-child of two other recipes on the blog: Dutch Honey Cake and Dutch Ginger Cake. The heavily-spiced goodness of the honey cake, combined with the buttery, biscuity crunch of the ginger cake.

Dutch Spiced Blondie Bars Gluten-FreeDutch Spiced Blondie Bars Gluten-FreeDutch Spiced Blondie Bars Gluten-Free

Dutch Spiced Blondie Bars {gf}
Heavily spiced and dead-easy, these are my idea of cookie heaven!

Makes 16 squares

50g (¼ cup) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon molasses or golden syrup
¾ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
175g (1 ¾ cup) almond meal (almond flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon salt
180g white chocolate, roughly chopped (optional)

For the lemon glaze:
1 tablespoon egg white
1 cup pure icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180 deg C/350F. Grease and line a 20 x 20cm (8 x 8 inch) pan with baking paper, creating an overhang on two of the four sides, for ease of removal later.

Melt butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in molasses (golden syrup), brown sugar, beaten eggs and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together almond meal, baking powder, and spices. Add flour mixture and chocolate to butter and eggs, and stir only enough to blend, using no more than 20 strokes. Spread into prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes, or until cake is deeply golden brown and begins to pull away from sides of pan.

Cool entirely in pan on wire rack. When cool, remove from pan using paper overhang for handles, and on a chopping board cut into 16 squares.

Make the glaze by whisking the egg white until frothy, then whisking in the icing sugar, and finally adding in lemon juice slowly until it reaches desired consistency.

Using a spoon, drizzle bars with lemon glaze, set aside briefly to set before serving.

Adapted from my Butterscotch Blondies and Meaningful Eats, lemon glaze inspired by Dessert for Two

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