A few months ago, I went to Costco and purchased seven pounds of prunes.
You’re reading that right. Seven pounds. Two of those giant bags.
In my defense, I was in the middle of a Paleo diet thing. It had been forever since I had actually eaten a prune, and I figured they were kind of like dates, which I had been stuffing with almonds and wrapping in bacon as well as turning them into fruit-and-nut snack bars. Plus, I had this vague feeling that prunes are good for you, and therefore, I should eat them.
Turns out, prunes are not like dates. They’re a lot softer, a lot moister, and a lot harder to work into snack bars (though it can be done). While I’ve worked my way through five pounds of dates since then, I had not been able to make a significant dent in my prune stockpile — until today.
Elana’s Pantry has an incredible recipe that is a deeply fudgy brownie with a hidden secret — most of the sweetness and depth of flavor comes from a prune-apple juice mixture. You simmer the prunes in the apple juice on the stove, rehydrating them somewhat, then puree the fruit with sugar, cocoa powder, semi-sweet chocolate, eggs, and vanilla until you have this incredibly fluffy batter.
Do they taste like traditional brownies? Probably not. But I can say they are sweet without being too sweet, and they’re gluten-free as well as containing about a quarter of the refined sugar my typical brownie recipe calls for. And they helped me use up a full eight ounces of prunes. They’re perfect for when you want a treat, but don’t want to go too nuts.
Plus, my fiance ate them and had no idea what was different. So there’s that.
- 1 cup prunes, pitted
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (use coconut to make these paleo)
- 2Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, broken into bits
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Place prunes and apple juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until just a little juice is left and the prunes seem hydrated.
- Meanwhile, pulse eggs, oil, and vanilla in a food processor until combined. Add cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt and pulse until combined.
- Take the prune mixture and add it and the semi-sweet chocolate to the batter. Pulse until relatively smooth (there will be a few chunks).
- Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool; cut and serve. Enjoy.