No Meat Zone Recipes: Vegan Cookie Dough Topped Brownies

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VEGAN

Cookie Dough Topped Brownies (gluten free, sugar free)

Don’t let the long ingredient list deter you here–the brownies come together quickly since almost everything goes into the blender and blends up in just a few minutes. While they bake, you can mix up the cookie dough and chocolate topping.

For the brownie layer:
  • 1.5 cups (360 ml) white, navy or white kidney beans, rinsed and well drained (canned beans work best for this recipe)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) unsweetened almond, soy or rice milk
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) tahini (sesame paste)
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) coconut oil, soft at room temperature (if it’s solid, melt before using in this recipe)
  • 4 tsp (20 ml) chia seeds, finely ground, or 2 Tbsp (30 ml) pre-ground seeds
  • 3/4 tsp (7.5 ml) Bragg’s aminos, wheat-free tamari, or soy sauce (or use 1/2 tsp or 2.5 ml instant coffee)
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) agave nectar (I used Xagave)
  • 6 Tbsp (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp or 90 ml) coconut sugar (palm sugar)
  • 35-45 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Tbsp (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp or 90 ml) sorghum flour
  • 6 Tbsp (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp or 90 ml) unsweetened cocoa
  • 3/4 tsp (7.5 ml) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp (7.5 ml) xanthan gum
  • 2 oz (60 g) good quality unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped, or 1/4 cup (60 ml) cacao nibs

Cookie Dough Layer:
  • 2/3 cup (70 g) old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cook or instant)
  • 1-1/3 cups (210 g) lightly toasted or raw cashews
  • 1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp (.5 ml) cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut oil, preferably organic
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) agave nectar (I used Xagave)
  • 25-40 drops plain or vanilla stevia, to your taste
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2-4 Tbsp (30-60 ml) unsweetened soy, almond or rice milk
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) cacao nibs, slightly ground, or chopped unsweetened chocolate

Chocolate Topping Layer:
  • 4 ounces (120 g) good quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut oil, preferably organic
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) agave nectar (I used Xagave)
  • 20-30 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste

Make the brownie: Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line an 8 or 9 inch (20 or 22.5 cm) pan with parchment, or spray with nonstick spray.

In the bowl of a powerful blender (a food processor is not suitable for this recipe), combine the beans, milk, tahini, coconut oil, chia, Bragg’s, Xagave, coconut sugar, stevia and vanilla until velvety smooth and absolutely no lumps remain. (If using a conventional blender, you can still make it this way: blend the beans, milk, Xagave, vanilla and stevia first until perfectly smooth, blending in smaller batches if necessary. Add the tahini, coconut oil, chia and coconut sugar and blend again until well combined. Proceed as below.)

In a large bowl, sift together the sorghum flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, sea salt and xanthan gum; whisk until everything is evenly distributed. Pour the wet mixture over the dry and stir just to combine well. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan once about halfway through, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then place in freezer to hasten the cooling process while you prepare the cookie dough topping.

Make the cookie dough: In the bowl of a food processor, blend the oats, cashews, salt and cinnamon until they are the texture of cornmeal. Add remaining ingredients except cacao or chocolate and blend until you have a smooth, soft cookie dough. It should be thin enough to spread (like a frosting), yet slightly too firm to pour (don’t worry: it will thicken up overnight in the fridge as it chills). Add the cacao or chocolate and stir it in by hand.

Once the brownie is very cold, spread the cookie dough mixture on top, spreading it as evenly as possible. Pop the pan back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm up.

While it chills, make the chocolate topping: in a small, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the chocolate and coconut oil. Stir in the agave and stevia and blend well. Pour the mixture over the cookie dough topping. Place the pan (uncovered) in the refrigerator until the chocolate is firm; then cover with plastic and continue to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Slice into squares and serve. Smile as you receive grateful praise. Makes 16-20 small squares. May be frozen.

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Ricki Heller, PhD, RHN | @RickiHeller
Ricki is the author of Sweet Freedom: Desserts You'll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar. Find Ricki posting delicious, healthy recipes on her blog, Diet, Dessert and Dogs.

Photo credit: Ricki Heller

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