I got so super-excited last week about the idea of making DIY edible gifts for Christmas, that here we are again with another one! Call me naïve, but I actually didn’t realise that the whole brownie in a jar was such a big thing. News to me! Truth is, the whole idea of giving DIY gifts is so neat, particularly as it adds that personal touch, and beats pushing through crowds at the mall, buying something cheap and plastic, or even giving someone food they’ll never eat.

After seeing my recipe for brownie in a jar, a friend asked if I had any good ideas for some type of paleo treat in a jar. I didn’t, but there is nothing I love more than to dream up a new concept/ recipe to share here on the blog! After a morning spent teaching English and sharing tea with some gorgeous ladies from Afghanistan, I set my mind to coming up with something suitable; slightly healthy but still fun to bake and good to eat. These blondies came to mind.

I had to do some research first, though, so I asked around. For instance, what defines the Paleo Diet? What does that actually mean? Are eggs in? Is sugar out? Once I had the answers (i.e. no dairy, legumes, grains, or refined sugar) it was simply a matter of tweaking a recipe already on the blog to make it fit the bill. I think you’ll find these blondies are the real deal; rich and chewy. Cutting out grains, dairy and refined sugar really hasn’t made a dent in their deliciousness!

Try them! You’ll see.

Butterscotch Blondies in a jar {gf/df/grain-free}

Makes 16

100g (1 cup) almond meal, divided
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
75g (½ cup) coconut sugar
65g (½ cup) chopped walnuts or pecans
¼ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
¼ cup cacao nibs
40g roasted coconut chips (optional)

Using a large, clean funnel add the ingredients to an 800ml jar in the order listed. Put half the almond meal, then the sugar, then the remaining almond meal, then continue as per list above.

Give the jar as a gift with the following instructions attached:

Preheat oven to 170C/320F. Grease and line a 20cm (8-inch) square cake tin with baking paper.

Empty contents of jar into a large mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup coconut oil, 2 beaten eggs, 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract to the dry mix and stir to combine. Spread into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 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, cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar before serving, if desired.

Adapted from my Butterscotch Blondies

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