I always liked going back to school in the fall, but more for the school supplies than the actual classes. To be honest, I was usually bored at school. I grew up in a small town and went to a small school without a lot of nonessential classes or extracurricular activities. I always knew that my mother realized that I wasn’t really challenged at school. We made frequent trips to the library and learned about all kinds of things on our own.
And, there was almost always some kind of treat waiting for me after school. It could have been store-bought cookies, something homemade, or even just peanut butter and crackers. But, I always knew that after my lackluster school lunch, I could have something from my mother’s kitchen when I got home.
I don’t yet have a child to pamper after school with a trip to the library or a homemade snack, but I like to imagine that these blondies would be a welcomed treat. Tart dried cherries and crunchy almonds make these bars wonderfully sweet, tart, chewy, and crunchy all at the same time. Plus, they’re made with whole wheat flour and yogurt so you can feel a bit better about serving up a batch of them.
I used King Arthur Flour’s white whole wheat flour, which is one of my favorites. Whole wheat flour will work just fine, though, if you prefer using that. I also used vanilla yogurt for a little extra vanilla flavor. If you use plain yogurt but want the extra vanilla, just increase the vanilla extract to 1 & 1/2 teaspoons.
These are the kind of bars that are so easily adaptable. Just substitute your favorite dried fruits and nuts to make simple variations. If your pantry is anything like mine, you’ll have lots of tasty fun trying all kinds of different combinations.
- 1 & 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons plain or vanilla yogurt
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, stir together brown sugar, butter, and yogurt, mixing until combined. Add egg and vanilla, and mix well.
Gradually add flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Stir in cherries and almonds.
Transfer batter to prepared pan. Spread evenly.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Cool in pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars.
This recipe was originally developed for Clabber Girl, where I am a paid contributor.