For all the times you weren’t granted chocolate rights.
Cocoa is good for you. There, I said it! When I was young I loved to bake cakes and cookies, but for some reason brownies slid under the radar, probably because when I first tried to make the ones in mom’s Betty Crocker cookbook, I mistakened Nestle’s Quik chocolate milk mix for real cocoa powder which resulted in some deflated dough. And it’s always a pity when what you bake isn’t edible or as good as you want it to be!
Enter Jordan Bruce’s Fudge Brownies. They looked delicious when she first posted them, and because I didn’t want to eat just fruit for dessert on Christmas, I attempted these bad boys and they were so good, the other guests happily ate them without knowing they were vegan or gluten-free. And that’s the best kind of food.
This recipe makes up for all the times I deprived myself of chocolate thinking it was not healthy (you just have to get the dark kind without fillers!). These brownies are now a make-again staple!
1/2 c cacao powder (organic preferred)
3-4 tbsp maple syrup
4 chia eggs*
1 c almond flour
1 1/4 c cacao powder
1/2 c melted or smooth peanut butter (organic preferred)
1/2 c maple syrup
1/2 c coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 c shredded coconut
Optional: Nuts of your choice
Mash the icing ingredients together in a bowl (you can also do this step later). Make the chia eggs and let sit for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line an 8 or 9″ square pan with parchment paper (I prefer 8″ to make the brownies thicker). Combine the almond flour and cacao powder in a medium sized bowl. In a large bowl, mix the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Add in the salt and chia egg. Fold in the dry mixture with the wet, using a rubber spatula. The batter will be thick. Fold in the shredded coconut and optional nuts. Add the batter to the pan and smooth it out with the rubber spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour before icing and cutting. Makes 16 (more or less- your choice!)
*To make 1 chia egg, mix 1 tbsp chia seeds with 2.5 tbsp water (same as a flax egg)
- In the photo, I used peppermint candy canes as a topping, but you could top these babies with anything. Next time I’d do edible gold flakes if I wanted to impress, or even chopped walnuts or hazelnuts. The original recipe for this recommended almonds, cacao nibs, and sea salt.
- I personally like to use dark cocoa powder, but next time would try regular for just the icing.
- You might find the brownie a bit crumbly; adding a bit more maple syrup could solve this, but you also don’t want it too sweet.
- For some reason a few hours into the party while eating my third brownie (for reals), I found the icing was coming apart from the brownie. Jordan said adding more maple syrup might solve this, but I’d rather not have it too sweet either, so only if you have time, I’d suggest chilling for maybe 30 minutes right after icing and cutting into squares and serving, to make sure the icing stays put.