Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

I’ve been craving chocolate all week, and last night I finally had time to make some brownies. At this point in the semester, I feel like I’m constantly shoving food in my mouth to stay awake, so if there is any way to cut calories or fat from what I am eating, I’m all for it. I don’t follow a gluten-free diet, and I’m definitely not vegan, but I found this recipe for flourless, gluten free, vegan peanut butter brownies here: http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2013/10/fudgy-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-brownies-flourless-gluten-free-vegan/

The website has lots of great pictures, which do the brownies much better justice than the ones I took do, as well as a calorie count and other nutrition info. The recipe was super easy. I even skipped using the stand mixer because I wanted the exercise of blending it all myself, and it still came together nicely. The batter didn’t seem like enough to fill the pan but it filled out nicely in the oven. I forgot about the brownies until a few minutes after they were supposed to come out of the oven (recommended bake time is 18-22 minutes and I left them in for 25), and while they were set, and certainly not raw, they just didn’t crisp up like regular brownies do. I put them in the fridge to cool for 20 minutes and they hardened up a bit, sort of. At first I was kind of underwhelmed, and maybe a tad disappointed. But then I tasted them.

These brownies are amazing! They’re not overly peanut-buttery, and not super-sweet, but there’s a good balance of flavors and the texture is very cakey. They don’t stand up on their own – you wouldn’t be able to cut a slice and eat it with your hands and not drop a good amount of crumbs on the floor (my kitchen floor is proof), but they are delicious. I had to bring out the Shrimp Fork for these brownies last night. The Shrimp Fork, for those of you who don’t know, is my tiny fork that is supposed to be for eating shrimp. I use it whenever I’m eating something delicious and I know I’m going to try and eat way more than I should. I don’t know that it actually keeps me from eating more, but it is about a third of the size of a normal fork so it does force me to slow down and take smaller bites. I hope this means my stomach and my brain have more time to talk to each other and let me know I’m full before I completely overdo. These brownies were Shrimp Fork Good.

I will definitely be making these again – soon, if eating half the pan in one sitting last night was any indication. They are the right amount of chocolatey and don’t make me feel like I need to head straight to spin class as soon as I eat one. Let me know if you try and make them, or if you have another “healthy” dessert you enjoy!

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey (agave or maple syrup if vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all natural unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, if desired
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on top (I used regular chocolate chips)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8×8 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl of electric mixer or food processor, cream together peanut butter, honey, vanilla and applesauce until smooth. Add cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; mix again until smooth. Gently fold 1/4 cup of chocolate chips into batter. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and smooth top. I usually spray my spatula with cooking spray to help spread it out evenly. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over the top.
  3. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until top is just set. It’s okay if they look a little underdone; we want these to be fudgy! Plus they are vegan so you don’t need to worry about them cooking all the way through. Cool on wire rack as long as you can. Cut into 12 delicious squares!

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