One of our go to brownie recipes is Smitten Kitchen’s “my favorite brownies” – it’s super easy and quick to make! Sometimes you want a rich sweet chocolatey bite. But sometimes – you want something to snack on, or something for your kids to grab after school, but not necessarily so heavy and decadent that it would spoil dinner! I am becoming a huge fan of dates because they add such a lovely sweetness to recipes (like in banana bread!) without being cloyingly sweet.
My little 8-week champ was pretty chill this morning so I had some time to play around in the kitchen, and here’s what came about – a brownie recipe that uses dates and coconut oil instead of white sugar and butter, baking up into a guilt-free brownie that I’m hoping the kiddos will love after school.
If you tend to need more sweetness, I would recommend using a different chocolate (maybe 60% or semi sweet chocolate). I’m digging these with a cup of tea, but I know my kids would enjoy it even more a touch sweeter.
*update! they loved it and want it in their lunch for tomorrow:)
what you need:
- 3 oz dark chocolate (I used 70% but you can use 60% or even semi sweet chocolate)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
what to do:
- Prepare a baking dish 8×8″ by buttering it generously or lining with parchment paper. If you’re lining it with parchment, leave the ends long so that the brownie lifts out easily once it’s cooled – and butter the sides that do not have parchment. Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place dates in a bowl and cover with hot water (I used my kettle) – let it sit while you do the next steps.
- Melt chocolate and coconut oil together using a double boiler method (in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan with gentle simmering water).
- Combine flour and salt in a small bowl.
- Remove water from dates (you don’t have to drain it completely dry) – then puree in a food processor until pretty smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine melted chocolate with dates, mixing well (stand mixer with paddle attachment or use a hand mixer).
- Add eggs and vanilla – beat, then scrape down the bowl and beat again, incorporating everything evenly.
- Add flour and mix just until incorporated, using a spatula to finish (do not over mix).
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and place in your preheated oven, middle rack, for about 15-18 minutes. It is ready when a toothpick comes out clean (a little underdone is okay because it continues to bake a little when you take it out of the oven).
- Once it is cooled, you can remove it easily by lifting the parchment paper edges. Cut into squares and enjoy!