Paleo Brownies (paleo, gluten-free, vegan)

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The week after I got my dog, she snuck into the kitchen and devoured half a dozen of the fudgiest, most delicious gluten-free brownies I’d ever made. As a former stray and current Border Collie, she is a very delicate thief; the only sign of her transgression was the fact that the platter I had neatly arranged was a little askew, in addition to being suddenly lopsided.

As any new dog owner would, I freaked out. I ran upstairs to get hydrogen peroxide, knowing that would induce vomiting and get the chocolate out of her system. While I was upstairs, she crept back into the kitchen, gobbling down four more brownies in a panicked frenzy before I caught her.

She was fine, but the fact that I sympathized with her plight (imagine being punished for craving chocolate!) is an example of how crazy we are about brownies in my house — all of us.

Brownies are a very forgiving baked good. I’ve made amazing “traditional” brownies, modifying my one recipe about a dozen different ways with spectacular results each time. I’ve made gluten-free brownies that were so good you could only tell they weren’t traditional if you tasted the raw batter. Cake-like brownies, fudgy brownies, brownies without any chocolate (booze and walnuts instead); I don’t think I have ever had a bad brownie.

So it’s no wonder that I was able to find a good paleo brownie recipe. These are not fudgy brownies by any means; they are incredibly cake-like, so much so that I would consider making paleo frosting and passing this off as a birthday cake.

Sweetened with dates and molasses, these get their loft from the half-dozen eggs in the recipe; paleo baked goods tend to rely on eggs to provide the structure lacking from gluten or other starches most baked goods contain, so six eggs is not beyond all reason.

However, these are delicious, and fully capable of satisfying both paleo and non-paleo sweet tooths (sweet teeth?). The dog was sniffing the air all night, and my fiance was suddenly very curious about what was going on in the kitchen when he started smelling these baking.

Paleo Brownies
Ingredients
  • 27 dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cocoa
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • two pinches of salt
  • extra coconut oil, for greasing the pan
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place dates in a food processor and pulse until the dates begin to bind and clump together. Add coconut oil, eggs, molasses, and vanilla extract to the food processor and puree until smooth.
  3. Add cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and baking powder with salt and puree until completely smooth.
  4. Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish with coconut oil, then pour brownie mixture into baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool before cutting.
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