Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Doesn't that just look so perfectly moist and yummily full of peanut butter chocolatey goodness? Yes. It does. And yes... they are! Would you have thought that the main ingredient in this lovely little cocoa nugget was black beans? No, probably not! But please don't feel foolish, the idea caught me by surprise as well. If fact, I became so enchanted with the idea of making "bean brownies" that I put some emphasis and slight social pressure behind my request for a certain Ms. Hannah from a certain local artisan grocery store to share her recipe with me. It worked! I have the (slightly altered) recipe in hand and with share it with the wide world here today.

I will begin with a disclaimer: this is a vegan recipe and I carefully followed the vegan-ness (even though I am certainly not a vegan) but also added some Sallyness to it by substituting the sugar for brown rice syrup. Just cause sugar is vegan doesn't mean it's good for you, I think we can all agree on that one.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

vegan, gluten-free, white-sugar free
makes 12 cups

1 15 oz. can (~ 1 3/4 cups) black beans, rinsed
2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flax seed meal + 5 T water)
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup salted natural peanut putter
2 Tbsp "extra" brown rice syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease standard size 12 cup muffin pan. Prepare flax eggs by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple times and then let rest for a few minutes.
Add remaining ingredients through baking soda and puree about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. This should lend you a mostly smooth batter about the consistency of cake batter. Evenly distribute the batter into the tins. In a small bowl combine the peanut butter and the extra brown rice syrup. Put about a tsp sized dollop into each cup. Use a tooth pick to coat the dollop with the cocoa mixture. (This helps when removing from the pan as well.)
A dollop of peanut butter mixture per cup
Coat each dollop with the cocoa batter

Bake for 20-26 minutes. Shouldn't be jiggly at all.. but they are too fudgey and moist to be tested with a cake tester. Doesn't matter much either way as all the ingredients are already cooked/safe to eat!

Let them cool 20 minutes in the pan and then carefully remove them from the pan by smooshing any 'overflow' back into the muffin cup and then flipping it over a cutting board and smacking the bottom of the pan about a dozen times. (Let me know if you come up with a better way to remove them! So sticky!)

Here is the trick:These taste the best the day after baking. So make them a day ahead and then save them in a container in the fridge overnight. Make sure to leave time to 'warm up' to room temp before you serve them. About an hour or so worked fine for us.

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