Happy Friday! As usual, I'm celebrating the end of the work week with a dessert recipe. This one is a real winner, brought to you from a few years of slaving over a hot stove trying to perfect it. This dense, fudgy brownie has subtle peanut butter and cinnamon flavors. It's so decadent that you wouldn't guess that it's gluten free, vegan, and has more protein and less fat than a Cliff bar!
By now most of us have heard of the elusive black bean brownie. Many of us have tried it, and have been sorely disappointed when it was found that they had created a baked lump of black beans with a hint of cocoa and a bunch of oil (or worse. the pungent flavor of apple sauce). There are a lot of bad black bean brownie recipes out there, and my first attempt was no different than most. However, having a best friend who's gluten sensitive and being rather obsessed with baked goods that have added protein, we suffered through a ton of sub-par recipes to finally bring you this fudgy perfection!
The big keys to getting it right were 1) adding massive quantities of cocoa powder. It should be added in cups, not spoonfuls and 2) adding peanut butter. Peanut butter has an amazing ability to overpower the flavor of beans and even a tiny bit can make a hummus taste like peanut butter. (What's that? A peanut butter hummus recipe may be coming soon?) If I had to add a #3, a good food processor and patience is also key. You really need to make sure that you process long enough that you've thoroughly blended everything and there are no bits of black bean left.
Black Bean Brownies
1 can black beans
1/4c brown sugar (or agave or maple)
heaping 1/4c cocoa powder
heaping 2T peanut butter
1/4t baking soda
1T cornstarch (For those who know me in real life and tried my black bean brownies last year... this was the missing link! They are no longer crumbly, just fudgy)
splash almond milk
cinnamon and sea salt to taste (if desired)
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients in food processor and food process until very smooth, adding almond milk sparingly to create the right texture. (Taste the batter to make sure everything is to your liking and if not, feel free to add more sugar/ cocoa powder/ peanut butter/ cinnamon. I'm a dark chocolate girl, so it's possible that you'd like more sugar than I do.) Food process to combine any flavor tweaks. Grease a 9x9 square pan and add the batter. Cook for 17 minutes. Remove from oven, cut into squares, and enjoy warm.
*You know I'm not one to count calories, but this recipe is just so nutritionally impressive I had to do it... If you cut your 9x9 square into 9 brownies, each brownie has 100 calories, 2 grams of fat, and a whopping 5 grams of protein! Pack these for your next ride instead of a Cliff bar!
**If you were wondering, if you use dried black beans, this is a <$1 recipe too!