I’m so sorry.
I have been M.I.A. for a month. I need to grovel and ask for your forgiveness….
soooo….. I made brownies.
Nothing says I love you and I’m sorry for being away like chocolate + butter + nuts. Am I right?
I’ve been a little off kilter lately and super busy with life and work. It became increasingly difficult to find additional time (and motivation) recently for posting new recipes. Maybe it was lack of sun and seasonal depression. So I took a break. I went back to just cooking for the fun of it. I stopped worrying about whether or not it was good enough for the blog or whether I had to cook it at the right time so that I had enough natural light to photograph it. I just cooked for me.
I think I go through this every winter. I have to realign myself with what is important to me. Give myself a new focus. In turn, I have also given this blog a renewed purpose.
I want to thank those of you who reached out to me and encouraged me to continue cooking and creating in this space. I received some lovely emails and words of encouragement. This is supposed to be a space of creativity and sharing. I want this space to be several things moving forward and not just a food blog. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely still want it to be a space where my inner grandma gets to cook, feed others, and then sit back and bask in the joy of nourishing the one’s I love. But I also want to focus on discovering, exploring, and escaping comfort zones.
Thank you for letting me cook for you and provide nourishing recipes for the past three years. Also, thank you for giving me satisfaction and fulfillment.
And with that…. let’s talk CHOCOLATE AND BUTTAH AND HAZELNUTS.
Get out that good butter and good chocolate. Turn on your oven. We are also going to throw in hazelnuts into our brownies to add some flare!
V.D. is coming up… I mean, Valentine’s Day. And what better way to celebrate your loved ones and friends (or just you) than to serve up a plate of uuuuuuuhmazing gooey gooey brownies. These brownies are adapted from a past recipe of mine (Paleo Flourless Brownie Bites) and a recipe from my favorite pastry chef, Dave Leibovitz. The results are fabulously out of this world. But, as LeVar Burton would say…. Don’t take my word for it. Make them yourself and share the love.
Flourless Brownies (Grain Free)
- 6 tablespoons salted butter (or use unsalted and add 1/8 teaspoon salt)
- 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 2/3 cup coconut palm sugar (or unrefined cane sugar)
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup chopped nuts (I used roasted hazelnuts)
- coarse or flaked sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 8X8 baking dish and set aside.
- Add coconut palm sugar, arrowroot powder, and cocoa powder to the bowl of a food processor. Process for about 1 minute to make sugar mixture super fine. Set aside.
- In a metal saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until it begins to crackle. Add 2/3 of the chocolate chunks (about 8 oz) and remove pan from heat. Whisk constantly until chocolate is completely melted. Add eggs one at a time and whisk constantly.
- Pour chocolate mixture into food processor with sugar mixture. Process for at least one minute. Mixture will be glossy and thick. Add 1/2 cup of nuts and pulse once or twice to distribute. Use a rubber spatula and spoon out mixture into greased baking dish. Sprinkle remaining nuts, chocolate chunks, and flaked sea salt on top. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 F, or until just set. Do not overtake.
Note – If you do not have a food processor, then you will need to adapt the recipe slightly. Add the sugar to the butter and chocolate mixture before you add the eggs. Remove the saucepan from heat. Add eggs one at a time, then add sifted cocoa powder and arrowroot powder straight to the saucepan. Stir with a whisk briskly for at least 1 minute until the mixture becomes glossy and begins pulling away from the sides of the saucepan. Stir in your nuts and then spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts and chocolate and bake as directed above.
I like surprises. Do you like surprises? Good. I have one for you. Be ready to have your mind space blown.
We are gettin’ craaaaazy today. Adding veggies to brownies. Ya, you heard me. I know stuffing a brownie with healthy zucchini might not be your idea of a great surprise, but I promise this brownie won’t disappoint you.
These are cakey-style brownies. So for you fudgey-style brownie lovers (like me) these are not those, buuuuut they are incredibly delicious. Plus, they are stuffed with wholesome nutritious zucchini, almond butter, maple syrup, and raw cacao powder! Ya, these are likely the healthiest brownies out there. They are really close to zucchini bread but with a double chocolate edge that comes from the cacao powder and diced dark chocolate bites. Mmmmmm. Can I get an AMEN?!?
If you don’t have almond butter, any nut butter would work. For the nonPaleo peeps and those not allergic to peanuts, these would be delish with peanut butter swapped in for the almond butter. But if your nut butter is not all natural (or has salt and added sweetener), be sure to eliminate the salt and reduce the sweetener in the below recipe to account for it.
Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone that you ate these for breakfast.
Paleo Zucchini Brownies (adapted from Fast Paleo)
- 1 cup creamy unsalted and unsweetened almond butter (or any nut butter)
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8 X 8 baking dish and set aside.
- Shred 1 to 2 zucchini with either a grater or a shredder attachment on a food processor. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine almond butter, egg, maple syrup, and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in baking soda, salt, and cacao powder. After well mixed, stir in shredded zucchini and chopped dark chocolate.
- Pour into prepared 8X8 baking dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in preheated 350 F oven. The brownies are done with the center is set. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
I recently realized that I have been taking something small for granted. My thumbs. Ya. Those puppies are really useful.
This past weekend, I cut myself pretty bad on the knuckle of my thumb on my left hand. My whole left hand is bandaged up with butterfly sutures and gauze. Little things like brushing my teeth, tying my running shoes, and drinking coffee have become quite challenging.
So the lesson of the story, don’t take the little things for granted.
Like black beans, for example. I know, I know, I know….weird comparison, but black beans can be used for more than savory dishes like tacos, side dishes, and salads. They are the magic and secret ingredient in my flourless brownies. Shhhhhhhh!
I swear you would NEVER know if I didn’t tell you. I adapted this recipe from a Whole Foods recipe and swapped the chocolate chips for butterscotch chips. I also cut down the quantity of butter, adding applesauce instead to keep them moist. The consistency of these brownies is more fudge-like.
These sweet treats taste amazing and have protein and fiber. They are so good that you will want to make these to show that you do not take black beans for granted. It’s also a great dessert to serve if you have any friends that have a gluten intolerance. To make this truly gluten free, make sure you use gluten free vanilla extract and gluten free butterscotch chips. Chocolate chips can be swapped for the butterscotch chips. But seriously folks, go grab that extra can of black beans in your pantry and whirl up a batch of these.
Flourless Fudge Brownies with Butterscotch Chips (Gluten Free) (adapted from Whole Foods Recipes)
Makes: 16 servings
- 1 15oz can of black beans, rinsed and rained
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 sugar (I used turbinado sugar)
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8X8 dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Combine black beans, butter, applesauce, cocoa powder, eggs, and salt in a food processor. Puree until smooth.
- Remove blade from food processor. Stir in butterscotch chips.
- Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until middle is set. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.