Arthur C. Clarke wrote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Most people assume he was referring to things like computers, smart phones and marital aids. It’s equally possible that he was anticipating this brownie recipe.
These brownies are dairy-free, gluten-free and completely Paleo. They contain no grains. They are composed nearly entirely of almond butter and the chemistry behind them is as impressive as any magic Clark might’ve imagined. We have a reasonable understating of chemistry yet we are stumped by the fact that we can mix up nut butter with a few other ingredients, shove it into the oven and pull out a tray of brownies.
Fact: When we say “tray of brownies,” we mean it. A while back, we served these to our friend Peter. After taking a bite of his brownie he jumped into a full-fledged cooking intervention: “These are good, but I need to send you a real recipe.”
“Real recipe?” Andrea asked.
“I mean a recipe that doesn’t use a box.” Based on color, texture and taste he assumed that these brownies came from a Betty Cocker mix.
Full Disclosure: these brownies are not 100% DYC compliant. The Basic DYC diet eliminates both maple syrup and honey. When it comes to sweeteners, DYC is more restrictive than Paleo or pretty much any other diet we’ve seen. Our reasoning is simple. If we want to continue drinking alcohol without gaining weight, we have to cut calories elsewhere. Eliminating sweeteners is the easiest and most efficient way to accomplish this.
Our usual dessert comes in a glass. If we want something to finish a meal, our choice is invariably another glass of wine, beer or an occasional Scotch. But even we bust out this recipe for special occasions. We recently brought them to a holiday party. If we plan to make dessert for a dinner party, these are our go to choice.
Fact: Not all cheats are created equal. These brownies are a far better choice than a Twinkie, and not just because you now have to buy those for $200 each off eBay. If you are going to treat yourself, these are the highest protein, lowest sugar dessert we’ve come across. And more importantly, they don’t taste like it.
One final word of warning: If you make these all the time you will blow you diet. We even think moderation is too excessive. The key here is that these brownies should remain a treat. Use them sparingly and you’ll be fine; after all, on DYC 90% compliance is still an A.
1 (16 ounce) jar of creamy roasted almond butter. (Our favorite is Justin’s plain almond butter, but any creamy one will work.)
1 scant cup of maple syrup or honey (Honey is the Paleo option. Clover honey yields the tastiest results, if you decide to go with honey.)
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
½ cup of cacao powder
½ teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup of dark chocolate chips (We use dairy-free, non-cane sweetened and the results are awesome.)
1. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with coconut oil
2. In a large bowl, blend almond butter with a hand blender until smooth. This is very important. Blending the almond butter to super smooth is key to getting the brownies to have the right texture.
3. Blend in eggs and then add the maple syrup (or honey) and the vanilla. Beat again until smooth.
4. Blend in cacao. Beat once more until smooth.
5. Blend in the salt and the baking soda. Beat one last time, until all of the lumps are gone and the mixture is uniform.
6. Stir in chocolate chips. It probably goes without saying, but don’t use the hand blender for this step as it will reduce the chips to rubble.
7. Pour the batter into the baking dish.
Bake at 300-degrees for 45-50 minutes. Near the end, check the brownies by inserting a toothpick into center; the brownies are done when the toothpick comes out clean. The edge will be quite crisp. This is a good thing.
Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting. We occasionally make them the night before and leave them to cool overnight lightly covered with a towel. As strange as this sounds, they are better the second day.
Add ½ cup of chopped walnuts or pecans
Skip the cacao powder and add ½ cup nuts and ½ cup raisins for an awesome Almond Butter Blondie.
Be Sure To Beat The Mixture To Smooth After Each Ingredient Is Added:
Credit Where Credit Is Due: This recipe was adapted from Elana’s Pantry who adapted it from the Celiac Chicks. We definitely recommend both sites for anyone looking for grain-free recipes. One caveat: The Celiac Chicks website appears to be hosted on an old Speak & Spell. The site fails more often than it loads. Keep trying and you’ll eventually get in.
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