Monday, April 15, 2013

Simply Good Brownies

These are those brownies everyone needs a recipe for. They are quick to get a batch in the oven and practically scream for a tall glass of milk.

I'm no brownie connoisseur, but I'd say these are more on the cakey-fudgy side. They remind me of the brownies my grandma used to make for dumping vanilla bean ice cream on and drizzle with Sander's hot fudge. Except, these are made with almond meal. They are perfectly chocolaty, and not too sweet.
I really like the texture of these almond meal brownies. They have a slight crust that forms on top and lends that nice shine that tops classic brownies. It's surprising that the almond meal elicits such an airy crumb, it makes them an excellent vehicle for milk! Because the almond meal contributes extra moisture to the batter compared to the run of the mill flour, they have a little bit of a fudge consistency...but they are not fudge-y where you have to eat them with a fork otherwise you'll end up with melted chocolate all over your fingers. I do have a recipe for that sort of brownie, and those are a great treat for a bit more formal of a gathering, in my opinion. Instead, I literally made these after a lunch out with my grandparents on a whim. And I love them for their simplicity. They were delicious gripping a cold glass of milk in one hand and digging them out of the pan with the other free plates or forks necessary.

The added fiber and protein from the almond meal make these a healthier alternative to the usual brownie, and even the cocoa powder isn't bad; with it's own contribution of antioxidants and fiber. These are practically health food...practically. ; )

Though I have only made them once and cannot (yet) attest to this, this recipe seems as though it would be fairly easy to play around with and tweak to suit whatever kind of brownie-mood you are in. I would think they could be further health-i-fied with a more natural sugar substitute, or if you feel creative, you could try mashed banana or date paste. I'm sure these variations will end up on this blog eventually, because I will most definitely be making these again!

I found this excellent recipe for Almond Flour Brownies from The Wannabe Chef quite awhile ago. It's too bad it has taken me so long to getting around to trying it, this recipe would have been a staple by now.

I did tweak the recipe a bit to suit my liking, and I would make them just the same next time.

Recipe: Almond Meal Brownies

yield: 9 brownies
3/4 cup almond meal
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t (GF) baking powder
3/4 C sugar of choice
3 eggs or 3/4 cup egg whites
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1 t instant espresso
1/2 cup butter (I use a yogurt butter from a tub)
1 Cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 8 x 8 inch glass dish with cooking spray.
Combine the almond meal, salt, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
Seperatly, carefully melt the butter and 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips. I use the microwave by heating on high for thirty seconds, stirring, and heating for 5-10 more seconds before stopping to stir. Continuing in 5-10 second intervals until almost melted. Remove the mixture from the microwave before completely melted and stir, the chocolate will continue to melt into the butter without being heated further.
In another bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and espresso powder.
Take a spoonful of the butter/chocolate mix and gently stir this into the egg and sugar mix before adding all of the butter/chocolate mixture. This is so the eggs don't begin to cook from the heat shock the butter and chocolate might provide.
Combine both chocolate mixture and the dry ingredients and stir well before pouring into the prepared baking dish.
Now for those remaining chocolate chips...distribute those over the top of the batter.
Bake for 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Oh, except I would add more almond nut butter on top. This is a must, in my opinion. Almond flour brownies...almond nut was meant to be!

It's the simple things.

Do you have a go-to recipe for casual company?


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