Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Decadent Raw Brownies

These raw brownies remind me of a dessert I'd pick up at the local food coop in the college town I lived in for eight years before moving back home to St. Louis. The desserts in this coop were my introduction to raw desserts; they also had raw blonde macaroons made with almond butter and mini raw cheesecakes topped with a seasonal fruit. Every time I picked out a raw dessert over the baked oat flour chocolate chip cookies I loved so much, I felt like I was getting away with something, eating a not-quite-so-naughty dessert. I felt a twinge of nostalgia recreating this beloved dessert while reminiscing about my leisurely walks home from the coop, trying to eat my brownie faster than the sun could melt the icing.

Decadent Raw Brownies:

For the base:
1.5 cup pecans
1.5 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cacao powder
pinch of sea salt
drop of vanilla extract

For the frosting:
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup cacao powder
pinch of sea salt
drop of vanilla extract

Process nuts to a meal consistency (don't overprocess so much so that the nuts start to release their oils). Add dates, cacao powder, salt, and vanilla extract and process until the mixture starts to hold together and forms a ball. Press into an 8x8 square baking pan lined with parchment paper on the bottom and partway up two of the sides (for easy removal). Cover brownie with parchment paper and use a rolling pin to smooth it out.

Prepare frosting by whipping coconut oil, maple syrup, cacao powder, salt, and vanilla extract in a food processor. Scrape the sides down with a spatula and process until very smooth. Pour onto brownie and smooth out with a spatula. Let chill for a few hours before eating and serve straight from the refrigerator.

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