Okay, so WHAT kind of brownie is this???
It’s delicious, I’m telling you, and easy to make.
A couple months ago I decided it was time to get serious about going white sugar and white flour free, so I stopped cold turkey. It was not an easy week! A few days in I haaaaad to have something sweet. I found a brownie in a mug recipe–an unhealthy version. I looked up gluten free brownie recipes, too, and after some experimenting came up with this recipe.
I’ll write out the recipe in the combination I like best then add variations as well. My style of cooking is unpredictable. I didn’t truly understand why recipes would note “optional” next to some ingredients until a friend told me she decided to skip eggs in a pecan pie. Okay, so some ingredients are essential, but still I see most ingredients as optional. (This may also be why I am more successful at cooking than baking.) I see recipes as suggestions and can hardly force myself to follow them precisely.
For those of you who like exact measurements, I tried very hard to come up with a recipe you could follow. I hope you like it!
1.) Start brewing coffee.
2.) 1 T. butter, melt over low heat–preferably in cast iron, but any pan will do Dairy free alternative: coconut oil
3.) 1/2 handful(?) pecans, toast in the butter
4.) 1 T. brown sugar, (increase to 1 1/2 if this isn’t sweet enough) add to butter and pecans I know, I know. Brown sugar is only a tiny bit less evil than white sugar, but the brown sugar adds a caramel flavor. Unbeatable flavor. Sugar free alternative: substitute honey or stevia
I have an electric stove so at this point I turn off heat. If you cook on a gas stove you may want to keep warming the brownie on low heat. These don’t actually need to bake, so mostly you need to keep them warm.
5.) Add the following ingredients
3 T. almond meal
2 T. coconut flour
2 T. water
1 T. cocoa powder
sprinkle of salt (1/4 t., maybe?)
If you do not need this to be gluten free and want to use more common ingredients, use 5 T. whole wheat flour instead of the almond meal and coconut flour.
6.) Stir brownie mixture. If you’re not watching sugar, toss in a few chocolate chips to add to the goodness. (Dairy free alternative: dairy free chocolate chips)
7.) Remove from heat. Add 1/2 t. vanilla
8.) Serve in a dish and enjoy with that coffee you were brewing.
This is a PERFECT snack to make for yourself after you’ve tucked the little ones in for a nap. :)
Another variation: Add a flax egg
Oh, another variation is to add blackberries after adding nuts. Let them stew for just a little before adding the sweetner. Skip the cocoa and add a pinch of cinnamon instead.
If you skip the nuts you will need to add a little less water or then increase the coconut flour just a little.
For those of you who like me are new to using almond meal and coconut flour: almond meal adds bulk, but does not absorb liquid the way flour does. Coconut flour absorbs liquids a little more quickly than flour. When I first tried this recipe with only almond meal the consistency was more like brownie batter. The coconut flour helps the ingredients to cling together.
Here are the standards I like for food to meet when I’m cooking:
Healthy, tasty, economical, easy, attractive
This recipe scores well except for being economical. I like that it is a dessert with protein and healthy fats.
How do they compare in taste to a normal delicious, gooey brownie? So….if the two pans were side by side I would guess most people would prefer the unhealthy version. Sugar always steals the show. If you like the crusty corners of brownies, you will miss them. For people who love the center brownies, these will be great. The texture is a little different, too. That being said, I do not miss regular brownies at all because I love these so much.
If you make these I’d love to hear whether you liked them, and what adjustments you made to the recipe. You know I’m cool with making adjustments to recipes. =)