We will be posting the next big giveaway tomorrow, so stay tuned.
Dreena's Frosted B-raw-nies!
Don't pass on making the frosting, it's what makes these brownies especially delicious.
1 cup raw almonds (see note)
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1 3/4 cups (packed) pitted medjool dates (see note)
1/4 cup dried organic pitted cherries (OR more dates, ie can use 2 cups dates in whole - omit almond extract if not using cherries)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 vanilla bean (Or 1 – 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
1/2 cup coconut butter (not coconut oil; I use Artisana coconut butter)
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
2 tbsp raw cocoa powder (or regular if you prefer)
pinch sea salt
In a food processor, first add almonds and cashews and process until very fine (the almonds are the hardest, and need to be worked until crumbly). Then add walnuts, dates and cherries and pulse/process until mixture is quite crumbly, but not yet coming together. Then, add cocoa powder, salt, and almond extract, and pulse through. With a sharp tip knife, slice the vanilla bean down the outer side to open up the bean. Using a blunt (butter) knife, scrape out all the tiny seeds from the bean on both sides, and add them to the processor (or add vanilla extract). Process again, along with the almond extract if using. Process until the mixture starts to come together but do not overmix so that the nuts release their oils (see note). Then remove the mixture and press into a brownie pan (8” x 8”) lined with parchment paper.
For the frosting, in a mini-food processor, first combine the coconut butter and agave nectar until smooth. Then add the cocoa powder and salt, and pulse through again until just combined. Do not overprocess or the frosting will begin to separate with the heat of the churning and become oily. (If you don’t have a mini-processor, you can follow the same steps stirring by hand in a bowl). Smooth frosting over base, and refrigerate for an hour or more until set. Cut into squares and serve! You can also freeze the squares after cutting, and enjoy them out of the freezer!
Note: A combination of ¾ cup almonds and ½ cup cashews also works well.
Note: If your dates are on the dry side, you can add 1-2 tbsp of water to the mixture to help assist the pureeing and the mixture easily coming together.
Note: If you process the mixture too long, the heat generated by the food processor will bring the oils out of the nuts. If this happens, the brownies won’t be ruined necessarily, but they will have an oily appearance and be oily to the touch. So, process minimally to begin, rather than over processing the nuts at the outset.