Black Bean Brownies

Let me guess. The title of this post made you think I was crazy? Thought so. I thought I was crazy at first too, but I promise you all, Black Bean Brownies are totally a thing. 

I’m not a huge health food stickler and I am about as far from a granola mom as you can get, but I’ve been really looking into eating cleaner and removing unnecessary things from my life. That includes my food. I figure, if we (my family and I) eat cleaner and healthier the majority of the time, it won’t be as bad when we do go get a cheeseburger or a slice of pizza every once in a while.

So I began my research and in doing so discovered black bean brownies. At first I was super skeptical. I mean, how good could they be? They are made out of black beans, for crying out loud. But, I figured if they worked out, I’ve figured out a way to make brownies with no flour or butter and get extra fiber and protein into my kids. 

I’m so glad I stuck with it and made the brownies. They turned out delicious! And my kids loved them! They don’t even know they are full of beans!

I couldn’t really find any one recipe that I loved so I made my own. The whole thing makes 16 brownies at 160 calories a piece. There is still regular sugar in the brownies, but I’m not really very familiar with sugar substitutes yet. I did do a little research and you don’t really save too many calories on something like Agave syrup vs. Regular sugar. Everything in moderation.

I would definitely recommend making these. They are perfectly cakey and chocolatey. You would never guess they had beans in them. They are a great way to get added nutrients into your day, especially the kids. 

Black Bean Brownies

1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 eggs

1 T coconut oil

¾ cup sugar

½ t salt

1 t baking powder

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 t vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided (you could use cocoa nibs too and save even more calories)

In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients except the chocolate chips until smooth.

Gently stir in ½ the chips and pour into an 8×8 greased baking dish. Top with the rest of the chocolate chips and bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes, until a knife or toothpick comes out clean.

Perfect Chocolate Brownies 

I posted this recipe back in September and I was so happy with how they turned out. If you remember, it was my first baking recipe that I created on my own. (Click on the link at the end of the post to see the original recipe)

I wanted to make them again for today’s Super Bowl party, but I made a few tweaks and I think they turned out even better!

1. I added an extra 1/4 cup of flour
2. I added 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips
3. Instead of swirling the Nutella in the batter, I baked the brownies and spread the Nutella on top like a frosting. While the brownies are still hot, drop the Nutella on brownies and let it melt a little bit, then just spread it out. I used about 1/2 a jar of Nutella.


  
 These turned out so good! I hope the plate lasts until I get to the party….

Food on the Table

I have been having so much fun making up recipes for this blog! It feel creative and I love the idea of a recipe being my own. I’ve found that creating cooking recipes isn’t as difficult because most dishes are very forgiving as long as you know what flavors go well together and what flavors will or will not overpower the others.
Baking is a totally different story. Baking is very precise. Baking requires an exact amount of each ingredient in order for the whole thing to turn out right. I’ve always followed baking recipes to the letter (of course some additions like nuts to cookies and brownies are fine).
Recently, I’ve been trying to teach myself Ratio Baking which is pretty much just how it sounds. There are basic ratios of fat to flour to liquid for most baking recipes. For example, the ratio for a basic muffin batter…

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Perfect Chocolate Brownies 

I have been having so much fun making up recipes for this blog! It feel creative and I love the idea of a recipe being my own. I’ve found that creating cooking recipes isn’t as difficult because most dishes are very forgiving as long as you know what flavors go well together and what flavors will or will not overpower the others.
Baking is a totally different story. Baking is very precise. Baking requires an exact amount of each ingredient in order for the whole thing to turn out right. I’ve always followed baking recipes to the letter (of course some additions like nuts to cookies and brownies are fine).
Recently, I’ve been trying to teach myself Ratio Baking which is pretty much just how it sounds. There are basic ratios of fat to flour to liquid for most baking recipes. For example, the ratio for a basic muffin batter is 2 parts flour, 2 parts liquid, 1 part egg, and 1 part fat. Obviously, there are other components to the recipe, but that if you start with this base, you can theoretically create many different kinds of muffins.  By ratio, this means a measurement. At first I thought it was 2 cups flour to 1 egg, but it is actually equal weight. So, 1 cup of flour is 5 ounces, so you are looking for 2-1/2 ounces of egg.
I’m not the best at math, by a long shot. The ratios do require some maneuvering (for example, the approximate size of one large egg is .625 ounces so the math doesn’t always add up exactly), but so far, I’ve discovered that this really does work.
For my first recipe that I created for baking, I decided to make brownies. Who doesn’t love a good, gooey, fudgey brownie? And oh boy, these are gooey!
Fun fact: The brownie was invented in Chicago in 1893 at the Palmer House Hotel. Bertha Palmer, who’s husband owned the hotel, asked the pastry chef to create a dessert for ladies attending the Chicago World’s Fair that year. She wanted something that remained cake-like, but was smaller than a piece of cake, something that could easily be eaten out of a lunch box. The original recipe had an apricot glaze and walnuts, which is still how they are made at the hotel today.
Fun fact, cont’d: The earliest known recipe for the modern-style chocolate brownie was published in a few cookbooks dating back to 1904, including Fannie Farmer‘s Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1906 edition). These recipes were for a cake-like brownie. In 1907, Lowney’s Cook Book by Maria Willet Howard adapted Fannie Farmer’s recipe by adding an extra egg and an extra square of chocolate, making the brownie fudgier. At the time, they were referred to as “Bangor Brownies” in homage to the hometown of Maria Willet Howard.
This recipe and type of baking took awhile to figure out, but hopefully it will get easier and I will be able to make up some more. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these. But make sure to have a glass of milk handy. They are pretty chocolatey!
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 jar chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella) *This is my secret ingredient for these brownies. I couldn’t really taste the hazelnut, but it gave the brownies a great texture and flavor that really made them so decadent.
In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. I supposed you could use an electric mixer, but I found the whisk worked just as well for this recipe and that’s one less gadget you have to get out. 🙂


To the butter mix, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix well, but carefully, puffs of cocoa powder will go flying!

Pour the mix into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.

Yummy! Just give me a spoon… I could dig into this right now!

Plop the chocolate hazelnut spread into dollops on top of the batter.

Using a butter knife, swirl the dollops throughout the batter.
  

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  

I cut mine out of the pan too soon, so they were a bit messy, but they were OH SO GOOD!!!

This is my first baking recipe. Let me know how you like it!