Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Peanut Butter Brownies with Sweet Walnut Frosting

There was a bake sale at work yesterday with goodies from Jay WaLe's Bakery. If you live in Kansas City, you need to try this little gem. The owner is so sweet and the sweets are AMAZING. Yes, I had one. Nope, they're not gluten or dairy free. I relished a piece of lemon raspberry cake and every bite was delicious.

But I was dragging by that afternoon, and craving sweet more than normal for the rest of the day. It was more motivation to actually stick with my gluten-free trial. But I brought a toffee brownie home for Ross and he had one bite and put the rest in the freezer "for later." It's been taunting me all day. I now realize that this gluten and dairy-free trial will fall flat on it's face if I don't have an alternative in place.

So, emboldened by my gluten-free cookie success, I once again scoured the cupboards for inspiration and found a half-used jar of chocolate PB2.

I bought this thinking it'd be a lighter alternative to Peanut Butter & Co's Dark Chocolate Dreams. But nothing can replace true love, so it was banished to the back of the pantry. However, I figured it can't be that different from peanut flour, right? I used it as the base of my recipe and it gave the brownies a very subtle hint of peanut butter. This jar expires next month and rest assured I will use it for another batch of brownies before then-- it will not go to waste!

Peanut Butter Brownies  
(vegan and gluten-free)

1/2 cup chocolate PB2
1/4 cup oat flour (I simply processed some old-fashioned oats in the food processor for this)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (if using almond meal or peanut flour in place of chocolate PB2, increase to 1/3 cup cocoa powder)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir PB2, oat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Mix applesauce, syrup, sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl.

Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring well, and then add the chocolate chips until evenly incorporated.

Spread in a greased 8x8 or 9x9 pan and bake for 20 minutes or until brownies are set and edges are coming away from the pan. Allow to cool before frosting and cutting.

Sweet Walnut Frosting
(a genius recipe from Peas and Thank You)

3/4 cup raw walnuts
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs. butter (or Earth Balance)
3-4 Tbs. milk (I used So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk)
1 Tbs. cocoa powder

Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until smooth. Add more milk as needed to reach desired consistency.

I was afraid these brownies would have a rubbery texture or else fall into crumbs when you tried to cut them. But they actually had great integrity and tasted and felt almost exactly like the whole-wheat brownies I usually make. Now I have my own stash to put in the freezer!


  1. oh those brownies look delicious!

  2. Thanks! Even my husband ate them, which is the ultimate compliment since he's such a picky eater :o)