Thursday, March 21, 2013

Brownies with a secret, not that one

(This isn't the secret ingredient either, though it sure did make the brownies extra yummy) 

So I made some awesome stout brownies for St. Patrick's Day. And they could well have been vegan too, had I not thrown all of those extra chocolate chips in there for good measure (but what normal human being wouldn't?). So what replaced the normal eggs and oil and gave them their yummy fudgy texture? Pureed black beans. Yes, seriously. I'd seen so many of those internet overachievers make black bean brownies but like the rest of the world, I was skeptical. I love black beans, but really? In a brownie? Some things just don't make sense. Then while looking for a stout brownie recipe to celebrate the big holiday, I ran across this one, and they looked so good and had such rave reviews from across the interwebs that I just had to make them. And I totally don't regret it. They were awesome.
But before you nay-sayers ask what happened to make me lose my marbles, let me just tell you this: My father, who harbors a not-so-secret hatred of all foods healthy, ate one and loved it. And then when I told him what was in them, he ate another one and washed it down with a huge glass of milk. Proof positive that you'll love them. Adapted from a lovely recipe at
Here's What you need:
  • 1 15 oz can low sodium black beans (not kidding about the low sodium part, it makes a difference), rinsed about 100 times and filled with new fresh water 
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups white sugar 
  • 1 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder (or whatever cocoa powder you've got on hand)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of stout beer, I used Brooklyn Brewery's Black Chocolate stout but a nice coffee stout would be lovely as well (drink the'll make the morning go by faster)
  • 1 semi-sweet chocolate chips (makes it un-vegan but oh well)

And here's what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Drain a can of black beans and rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear.  Then rinse the inside of the can as well. Return the black beans back to the can and fill with water.  Puree the beans and water using food spocesser.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder with a wire whisk.  Mix the wet ingredients (bean puree, vanilla, and stout), add to the dry ingredients and stir 5-10 times gently until there is no dry flour showing...DO NOT OVERMIX!
  4. Pour batter into a well-greased baking pan. *Note...the original recipe calls for a 9x13 pan, but I used a smaller one so that they were taller and fudgier. This is your choice!* Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through.
  5. Allow yummy scent to waft through house. Drool. Let brownies cool then cut into squares and serve.

    That's it.  Trust me, this is a good idea. Even if you don't tell anyone in your family what's in them until after they eat the whole pan.

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