I am a die-hard brownie fan. You can ask my cousin Erin how safe a pan of brownies is if I'm within a 50-foot radius of it. (The answer is: not safe. Not safe at all.)
But there is something about vanilla that I adore as well, and the allure of these blondies is pretty much on par with that of a pan full of straight chocolate. These are essentially like chocolate chip cookie bars, just bursting a bit more at the seams with vanilla flavor. I substituted applesauce for some of the fat (although these are not even close to being fat-free) and the results were pretty excellent - still a moist crumb, but it held together very nicely and didn't fall apart. These are a great treat for "mixed company" (that is, gluten-eating and gluten-free folks alike) -- if they even make it out of your kitchen.
4 tbsp. Spectrum Shortening
4 tbsp. Earth Balance Buttery Spread
4 tbsp. applesauce
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
3/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (or more!) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9" x 13" pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Cream the shortening, butter, and applesauce together with an electric mixer. Add in the sugar and continue to cream until well mixed. Add the egg and vanilla and mix in.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Add 1/3 at a time to the wet ingredients using the electric mixer.
Stir in the chocolate chips and then spread evenly into the pan. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes or just until a toothpick or knife inserted into the middle of the pan comes out clean. If anything, you want to underbake these instead of leaving them in for too long, so definitely keep an eye on them after 35 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool. Cut into pieces and either serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days on the counter. If you are storing them for longer, keep refrigerated or frozen until ready to serve.