I’ve always been an avid baker. I love baking so much that when I get a chocolate craving, I will actually bake something from scratch … waiting for the mixing, baking and cooling before digging in. It shows my slight obsessiveness for real baked goods (over storebought imitations!)
But I’ve learned:
1) not everyone likes baking nearly as much as I do,
and 2) eating entire batches of brownies and cookies alone is not good for my figure
and 3) sometimes, you just can’t wait.
This is a recipe for those times.
This is not your 70’s no-bake brownie.
The term “no bake dessert” conjures up a 1970s TV commercial for me – just pour some powder out of a box, mix it with hot water and refrigerate. Et voila! Dessert. These no bake desserts were usually made with gelatin and had that slightly squidgy, jello-like texture.
But not these brownies.
These brownies are loaded with chewy, moist dates, rich cocoa and pecans. These brownies are Real Food.
Let me say that again. These brownies ARE REAL FOOD! No mixes, no sketchy ingredients, no refined sugars, nothing to feel guilty about. Just pure chocolate pleasure!
These are the brownies for chocolate emergencies. Just a few ingredients, whizzed in your food processor, and ready to eat.
Press them into a pan to make brownies.
Or roll them into balls and roll in more cocoa powder for a kind of truffle.
Or just eat the mix with a spoon straight from the bowl. (I’ve done this… several times.)
I’ve made these brownies a few times and am still tweaking the recipe. But it’s just too good not to share. So here’s my current version – to be updated as I refine it in the future!
Maple Pecan No-Bake Brownies
makes 10-12 brownies
For the brownies:
1 c. pecans
1 c. dates (these should be moist & chewy dates. If not, soak them in some hot water for 10 min, then drain before using)
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
For the frosting (optional):
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/8 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ripe avocado
1 Tb. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
dash of cinnamon
Put the pecans, dates and cocoa powder in a food processor. Pulse to combine, then process until the mix looks like crumbly pebbles.
Press this mixture into a baking pan to your desired thickness. (I pressed mine onto a cookie sheet). You could also roll it into balls, or just eat with a spoon. That’s it! We’re finished! These brownies are easier to cut once they’ve been chilled in the fridge…or even frozen!
** Optional – if you want to make frosting.
Put all of the frosting ingredients in the food processor, or a blender. Blend until smooth. Spread over the brownies then refrigerate.
I’ve also chilled some of the leftover frosting and eaten it like a chocolate mousse.
I’ve had really good luck storing these frosted brownies in the freezer. They’ll last longer, and they cut easily. Perfect for when I just want a little slice of brownie. I don’t even defrost them first, but you could let them warm up for 10 min before eating.
I really encourage you to try making the brownie mix (even without the frosting) – it’s amazing, chocolately and easy! Let me know if you do.
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