Back to school was a rough time for me. It was the end of summer, fun, and life, or at least what felt like it to my grade, middle, and high school aged self.
I did just fine academically, but I didn’t fit in at school socially. Nor did I mesh well with the bureaucracy of rules and rigidity that pretty much all schools participate in willingly and happily. It didn’t make sense to me why someone could take calculus as a freshman but I couldn’t take AP government.
I was a bit of a rebel and rule breaker, but not in a ditch class and smoke pot in the basement way. In a let’s think outside of the box and make school a better experience for everyone involved. Unfortunately everyone was more than okay with the status quo, so I was the odd man out, the weirdo, the freak that didn’t fit it, in a place where everyone is expected to fit in.
It was hard, and soul crushing. Looking back I have a million decisions I would have made differently that perhaps would have changed everything, but that’s not really fair because I don’t know what would have gone a different way. Perhaps I would have ended up in exactly the same places no matter what.
It’s not to say I’m unhappy with where my life has gone. I just wish somethings would change. That I could figure things out. For now, I guess I’m just happy I don’t have to think about going back to school.
But if you or your children are, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible. Treats are a great way to do that. I have many fond memories of after school snacks: chips and salsa with one of my favorite baby-sitters, ice cream with Mom, McDonald’s French fries to sustain me when I had to be somewhere right after school.
Today I have Paleo Cherry Blondies for you. Don’t let the fact that they’re Paleo scare you away. These are just yummy, healthy blondies. They have a great texture from the almond meal and a burst of flavor and juice from the cherries. They are super moist and dense, so they feel like a decadent treat, but you can feel great about eating them.
Whether these are a quick breakfast (maybe with a bit of almond butter), a school lunch surprise, or an after school snack, they are the perfect thing to make to make this time of year just a little better.Print
Paleo Cherry Blondies #SundaySupper
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 9 blondies 1x
- 1 ½ cups almond meal
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 heaping cups cherries, pitted and halved
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil an 8 inch square pan.
- In a large bowl, stir together almond meal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in oil, eggs, syrup, and vanilla bean paste. Add cherries and stir to combine. The mixture may turn a shade of red from cherry juice, but that’s okay.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Be sure to check it well so that the center is not gooey. Tent with foil during baking if it is browning too fast.
- Cool completely in pan before cutting and serving. Blondies may be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour.
Recipe adapted from Marla Meridith
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!
Getting Started On School Days
- Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins by Caroline’s Cooking
- Caramel Apple Granola by What Smells So Good?
- Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars by Ruffles & Truffles
- Cinnamon Chocolate Overnight Oats by Whole Food | Real Families
- Funfetti French Toast by Brunch with Joy
- PB&J Muffins by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Ideas for the Lunchbox
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich by Cooking Chat
- Healthy Lunchbox Snack Mix by Noshing with the Nolands
- Mini Pepperoni Calzones by The Redhead Baker
- Turkey Bacon Ranch Wrap by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls by Curious Cuisiniere
After School Snacks and Beverages
- Back to School Cookies by The Freshman Cook
- Fruit ‘n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites by The Weekend Gourmet
- Quinoa, Oat and Pecan Blueberry-Peach Crumb Bars by Simply Healthy Family
- Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits by An Appealing Plan
- Mother’s Ruin Punch by Food Lust People Love
- “Nut Butter” Rice Crispy Balls by Books n’ Cooks
- Parmesan Crisps Recipe by Life Tastes Good
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Monkey Bread by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Apple Nachos by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Waffle Pizzas by Our Good Life
School Night Suppers
- Beef Peppers and Onions Burritos by Family Foodie
- One Pot Bacon-Cheeseburger Pasta by A Gouda Life
- Oven Fried Portabello Mushroom Fries by Food Done Light
- Peanut Chicken Cutlets by Magnolia Days
- Smoked Salmon Ravioli with Cream Sauce by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Turmeric Chicken and Couscous by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Sweets to End the Day
- Gluten-Free Almond Joy Cupcakes by NinjaBaker
- M&M Chocolate Chunk Cookies by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Oreo Rice Krispy Treats by The Crumby Cupcake
- Paleo Cherry Blondies by Pies and Plots
- Plum Crumble Bars by Feeding Big
- Stuffed Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
I love cherries so much and can’t wait to try your blondies!
Ugh. Junior high can be especially brutal.These scrumptious blondies make for MUCH better memories 🙂
Those look so good with big chunks of cherries in them, yum!!
I have yet to try baking with almond meal or flour. I should put it on my list of things to do soon.
I have found some almond meal/flour recipes don’t really turn out, but I was happy with these. I’ve actually made them twice. I do find that they take much longer to bake than the original recipe stated.
Teri@The Freshman Cook says
I love cherries, and have had a ton of them this summer, but I love this recipe, so I am off to the store to buy more. Great recipe!
I know, I can never have enough cherries. The season is coming to an end – I’m having trouble finding them 🙁
Debbie Eccard says
You have such great ideas! I would never had thought of this…..sounds delicious.
Caroline | carolinescooking says
I love cherries, and these sound like a lovely way to enjoy them.
The Ninja Baker says
Brilliant recipe, Laura. Paleo is sooooo popular in California. Your blondies will undoubtedly be appreciated by fellow actors (and the hubby!) Do you hear all the applause? … P.s. I hear you on the feelings about school =)
These fit in with the healthier, gluten free recipes you’ve been making too, Kim.
Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily says
High school is rough, definitley not one of the easier times in my life either. Many things I wish I would have done differently but alas, my life turned out pretty darn good regardless 😉 Love that you made these delicious bars healthy! Saving ans sharing 😉
Hopefully things will work out for me too. I guess regrets won’t get us anywhere. Thanks for the comment, Gwen!
Bernie Dezenski says
These look delicious — wouldn’t have thought to use cherries! As a side note, cruelty from our peers stays with us. Different isn’t weird or freaky — it’s just that. . .different. Thankfully, it looks like things turned out well for you!
I wish different was easier for people to accept. I’m still figuring things out, but I hope I’m on my way. Thanks, Bernie for the comment!
I was sorry to read about your high school memories. It’s a really hard time – you’re so dependent on what other people think of you, and yet you have almost no ability to control anything. I didn’t hate high school, but I’d have to say that everything that followed was much better. Hope things are looking up for you, too.
I definitely think you don’t want to peak in high school and then be flop the rest of your life. In this day and age, for better or worse, we’re all so dependent on what other people think no matter what stage of life we are experiencing.
Cindys Recipes and Writings says
School socially was a bust for me, too. That is putting it mildly. If I had one of these blondies back then it would have taken my mind off such things!
I think my post put it pretty mildly too, but at least that’s all done with!
Whoa, healthy AND this decadent? Sign me up!
I think everyone looks back at high school and wishes they had done certain things different. But it’s no fun playing the “what if” game! Better just to think towards the future…and eat lots of blondies.
Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet says
I always say it’s a miracle any of us makes it out of middle school and high school alive. I believe God does use all of those experiences for good though! Love these blondies. Almond meal + cherries are delicious!!
It probably is a miracle, Lauren, and it seems like it would be ever worse today than when I was in school.
Lauren @ Sew You Think You Can Cook says
Great recipe, love the bites of cherry!
This is so simple looking and yet delicious too. I’m not much of a sweets person, but I can imagine that this won’t be too sweet and dry – the cherries will add just enough sweetness and moisture to the cake. I need to try this.
It is definitely super moist from the cherries and not too sweet. I even really like these for breakfast. Thanks, Erin!
Yes, that’s what I was thinking too! xD A piece or two of this lovely cake and huge banana-oatmeal shake. A powerful start of the day, right?
Betsy @ Desserts Required says
It’s great to forge your own way…following the pack is not nearly as much fun! Love your own style of Paleo Cherry Blondies, too!!!