The inspiration for this recipe comes from three exceptionally talented recipe developers, Elana at Elana's Pantry, Kelly at The Spunky Coconut and Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free. Last spring, for a family gathering, I baked batches of Elana's Chocolate Chip Brownies, Kelly's Egg-Free Grain-Free Brownies and Amy's Chewy Chocolate Vegan Date Brownies and held a taste test. I invited my family to help proclaim the "best brownie." After countless mmmm's and ahhh's and hands reaching in for seconds and thirds, the votes were tallied. We had an honest-to-goodness three-way tie! And, it was no surprise. Each brownie had its unique, star attributes.
What attracted me to Amy's recipe was the use of dates as a sweetener. What attracted me to Kelly and Elana's recipes was the main ingredient they shared—almond butter. What a concept. Protein with your brownie! So the other day as I stood in the kitchen licking Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter off a spoon, the thought came to me—vegan, date-sweetened, hazelnut brownies? Alas with some borrowing from Amy, Kelly and Elana, I present gluten-free, egg-free and grain-free Hazelnut Brownies.
Thank you Elana, Kelly and Amy for your inspiration!
Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Vegan
Makes: 16 brownies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Combine and set aside to soften:
1 cup boiling filtered WATER
1/3-1/2 cup gently packed DATES (about 12 small or 9 large)
Add to food processor and process until very smooth:
Softened DATES and SOAKING WATER (remove pits and any stem debris)
1 tablespoon extra light OLIVE OIL or extra virgin COCONUT OIL
2 teaspoons gluten-free VANILLA EXTRACT
1 teaspoon LEMON JUICE
30 drops vanilla creme or chocolate SWEET LEAF LIQUID STEVIA
1/3 cup EVAPORATED CANE JUICE or COCONUT PALM SUGAR
1/2 cup JUSTIN'S CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BUTTER (or other chocolate nut butter)
2 tablespoons FLAX MEAL
1/2 scant teaspoon SEA SALT
Add to processor and process for one minute or until super smooth:
1/2 cup HAZELNUT MEAL (such as Bob's Red Mill which states it is gluten-free)
1/3 cup COCONUT FLOUR
1/3 cup COCOA POWDER
Finally, add to processor and process until just incorporated (do not over-mix):
2 teaspoons non-aluminum, corn-free BAKING POWDER (make your own)
1/2 teaspoon BAKING SODA
Gently and immediately spoon batter into a glass 9x9" oiled glass baking dish. With moistened hands, smooth top using a very light touch. Top brownie batter with and gently press in:
1/2 cup mini CHOCOLATE CHIPS (I use Enjoy Life® dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free mini chocolate chips)
2 tablespoons HAZELNUT MEAL
Bake at 350˚F for 40 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting.