Vegan Almond Butter Brownies

Almond Butter Brownies :: Chewy and rich with a touch of coffee, but not too sweet.

You could call this round two of my Hazelnut Brownie post. Readers have asked if almond butter can be substituted for Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter in this recipe. Sure can! These Almond Butter Brownies are made with more basic ingredients that can be found in most grocery stores around the globe. If you'd rather forgo the stevia, simply add an additional 3-4 tablespoons evaporated cane juice or coconut palm sugar. For future reference, here is a chart that helps with the stevia to sugar conversion.

Almond Butter Brownies

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 | Yeast-Free | Grain-Free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Vegan

Makes: 16 brownies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes 

Instructions:

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 fitted with the "S" blade and process until very smooth:

Softened DATES and SOAKING WATER (remove pits and any stem debris)
1 tablespoon extra virgin COCONUT OIL or extra light OLIVE OIL
2 teaspoons gluten-free VANILLA EXTRACT
1 teaspoon LEMON JUICE
30 drops vanilla creme or chocolate SWEET LEAF LIQUID STEVIA or 3-4 additional tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup EVAPORATED CANE JUICE or COCONUT PALM SUGAR
1/2 cup ALMOND BUTTER (I used Marantha)
1-1/2 tablespoons CHIA MEAL or 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 ALMOND MEAL or FLOUR
1/2 cup COCOA POWDER (I used extra dark for this batch)
1/3 cup COCONUT FLOUR
1 teaspoon INSTANT COFFEE (optional — I used one pack of STARBUCKS VIA decaf)

Finally, add to processor and process until just incorporated (do not over-process):

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 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 ALMOND MEAL (optional)

Bake at 350˚F for 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting. They are even better the next day!

Notes:

Make your own chia or flax meal in a coffee grinder. Chia and flax make great egg replacers in baked goods. I prefer using white chia (black works as well but results in black-flecked baked goods ... in this case the batter is dark anyway so it doesn't matter).