Food should be nourishing and delicious. It sounds simple, right? With sweets especially, it can be so hard to find treats that are as good to eat as they are for you. My friend Laurel, the baker behind the grain-free and refined-sugar-free (and sometimes vegan) goodness known as Sweet Laurel Bakery, has shared some of her simplest and most satisfying recipes with me. My favorite thing about her recipes is that they’re always made with whole ingredients, no funny stuff or filler, so even the biggest sweet-tooth loves them.
Imagine if a sticky toffee pudding and a brownie had a baby – yep, delicious. I love how simple this recipe is as well, and the best part, in my opinion, is that you can eat the dough with wanton abandon.
NOTE: If you don’t like walnuts or want to mix it up, feel free to switch out other nuts you like.
7 to 10 (depending on how sweet you like it) fresh dates, pits removed
1 ½ cups walnut halves
1 flax egg (one tablespoon of ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons of water)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Use the best you can find)
1 cup homemade chocolate chips (see below)
Preheat oven to 350F.
If the dates are at all hard, soak in very hot water for about 15 minutes. Drain and dry completely.
Blend walnuts and date in a food processor. Once blended, add remaining ingredients. Pulse until well incorporated. Pour batter into a greased 8 x 8 inch pan lined with parchment paper. Bake about 8 to 9 minutes, until the brownies are set. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled cut into little squares.
INGREDIENTS (HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE CHIPS)
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (100% cacao), (organic is preferable)
1 tablespoon agave (or more depending on how dark you like it)
Break baking chocolate into one inch pieces and place in thick saucepan or double boiler. Over a very low heat, melt baking chocolate. Once melted, take off heat and add agave and stir. Pour chocolate onto parchment paper and spread into a rectangle, about 8×12 inches. Place parchment in freezer. Once hardened (this will take a few minutes), break of pieces and use as needed.