I got my inspiration to make these from ElanasPantry blog. If you have have an aversion to gluten or just want some more healthy recipe ideas, I think her blog is amazing. She makes some wonderful, dark chocolate flourless brownies. At first I made her version, which I found delicious but a little too dark-chocolatey for me. I love dark chocolate (I do prefer 60 some percent to higher), but not everyone likes dark chocolate and so I wanted to make something that everyone would walk by and have a bite, rather than just myself walking by and taking a bite and then finishing the whole pan. Oops! Sound familiar?
- 16oz salted almond butter, smooth roasted. (the cheapest almond butter I found was MaraNatha at Costco, it’s also a good brand regardless for spreading on sandwiches, etc…)
- 2 eggs or 3 egg whites or 1 egg/2whites – they all work out, depends on what you want for nutrition vs. calories that day
- 1 1/4 cups agave nectar light or amber (the cheapest I found this was the larger Madhava brand at Whole Foods…not at our local Costco yet!)
- 1 Tb vanilla extract
- 1/3 heaping cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda (not heaping, can go a little under a teaspoon as well here for a little more fudginess)
- 1 cup 62% semi-sweet chocolate chips. I used a whole package of Scharffen Berger chocolate chunks cut into smaller pieces
- 1/2 heaping cup hazelnuts, roasted, then chopped
- Pre-heat oven to 325 and grease 9×13 glass baking dish.
- Roast hazelnuts 10-15 minutes – my oven seems to cook everything fast so check at about 7 minutes – if you can smell it, the huskss are coming off, and they look golden brown, they’re done. Remove from sheet and set on towel to cool. Either use the towel to remove husks or go with it, chop up the hazelnuts and remove random husks as you see fit.
- In a large bowl, blend almond butter until smooth with a hand blender.
- Add eggs then blend, add agave and vanilla, then blend, add cocoa, salt and baking soda, then blend.
- Fold in chocolate chips and hazelnuts.
- Pour batter into 9×13 baking dish.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes. My oven is exactly 28 minutes.
The baking time on this recipe is pretty crucial for fudgy brownies, so watch carefully as it nears 30 minutes. The first time I made Elana’s version, I checked it at 26 minutes, not close to done, so I let it go for five more minutes and then it was slightly over-done. Not really fudgy and slightly more dry and cake-ish. If you think it’s not close to done but the edges are looking pretty done, check in another 2 minutes and it may surprise you and be cooked perfectly!
I think these brownies are amazing – and with agave nectar rather than sugar, and almond butter rather than flour- you have a much lower glycemic index brownie that tastes even better than your original fudge brownie. My favorite part about them is that usually after eating brownies, I crave more and more and never seem to get full. With these, you eat a little bit and then actually feel satisfied rather than craving more. But, go ahead and eat more because they’re pretty good for you! Obviously they’re not mixed vegetables, but you get the picture I hope.