240. Flourless Dark Chocolate Sun Butter Brownies [Gluten Free and Vegan]

Flourless Sun Butter Brownies |Gluten Free, Vegan | Ann Ning Learning How

Surprise, surprise – I had one of those floppy brain moments again.  I was so busy patting myself on the back last week for pre-loading my posts through Tuesday that I failed to observe that I had counted the days/dates wrong and posted TWO on Monday.  Oops, my bad.  Welcome to my world.   Happily, however, I have no shortage of things to tell you about so after we got home yesterday (we spent a wonderful weekend with my siblings and their progeny at the Labor Day Conference) I opened the fridge, got my snack out, soaked some nuts, made some milk, and snapped a picture.  I have been plotting a “Sun Butter” week out of deference to the nut allergic among us (I’m so sorry you can’t eat PB) – in particular, Sgirl and CEF’s eldest.  You should still totally read about PB bread/PBJ bars, too, so I’m including them on the bottom of this post.  These and the Sun Butter Brownies are both so simple it’s astonishing.  I have to restrain myself from making them daily.

These brownies are heavy on the dark chocolate note, lighter on the sun butter note.  You can taste something nut/seed butter ish, but probably can’t put your finger on it – but I like the delicate sun butter fragrance, plus, using it eliminated the need for any other butter or oil. I didn’t sweeten this batch quite as much, and the chocolate note is richer :).  I used a loaf pan this time, and they turned out great – none of that weird, baking forever business as with the Thin Mint Brownie Pie.   I don’t think these are overly pretty, but I wasn’t planning to serve them to company.  I would have made a fabulous parfait or trifle with them, but I couldn’t bc I ate them all.

Flourless Dark Chocolate Sun Butter Brownies
inspired by Thin Mint Brownie Pie and Our Fifth House’s Paleo Brownie Pie
preheat oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan – but you’re  not making a loaf, you’re making brownies that turn out to be around an inch (or less) thick

  • 3 flax eggs – room temperature.  I just put 3 Tbsp of flax seed in a bowl, added 9 Tbsp of water, mixed it up and let it sit and thicken for about 15-20 minutes.
  • 1 c cocoa
  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 1/4 c sun butter (I used homemade)
  • generous splash of vanilla
  • 1/2 c DF chocolate chips

Mix everything and then pour into your loaf pan.  Bake for around 35-40 minutes.

A couple of notes:

(1) I call these “Flourless” even though my computer keeps on telling me that’s not a real word bc although I do not use flour in these I don’t want to call them “Grain Free.”  The tag, “Grain Free” is associated in my mind with Paleo eating, and I’m just going with gluten free + flourless since I’m still on my vegan kick and use flax eggs.  Flax isn’t a grain, it’s a seed – but I’ve read (I’m reading – thank you, VT!) that some Paleos frown upon eating flax.  So I’m playing it safe.

(2) As part of my effort to build better health habits in my life, e.g. my transition to no-sulfate shampoo, and now baking soda/ACV since I found out I’m allergic to that thing, I hereby rescind my recommendation to microwave your almonds etc. before making milk.  Now I’m going with the soak-for-real, method, or my soak in really hot water for an hour shortcut (although some might frown upon this, too).   I tried to research this, but my eyeballs got tired, so I’m just going with an extremely general explanation- there’s something that’s supposed to happen when you soak nuts, something that makes them more digestible and possibly enhances their nutritional value.  I know some people abhor the microwave.  Personally, I love mine.  But I would not want to mess with the process of soaking with my microwave technique.  I guess this is good, though, since it cultivates both forethought and patience in my life.

PS.  I need about another week to make sure I really do love the baking soda/ACV thing, and I’ll tell you about it.

239.  Flourless PB Bread and PBJ Bars [Grain Free, Dairy Free]

Flourless PB Bread | Grain & Dairy Free, NSA |Ann Ning Learning How

130.  Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins

130. Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins

This is actually an update of the popular “Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins” I posted a long time ago.  It was one of the first recipes I shared and it was clear from how I was throwing things in the blender that cooking/baking with me is not an exact science.  I’ve heard that you should be more precise when baking, but I’m sorry, I can’t.  However, I did manage to make the muffins more replicable by simplifying the recipe.   I took out the chestnuts, agave, and Greek yogurt!  Plus, this time you just need a bowl and a spoon, and I’ve updated the old post accordingly.

My compliments to The Detoxinista – I tried baking with just nut butter after looking at her recipe for PBCC blondies.  She used natural/thinner/oily peanut butter for her blondies, but I used “regular” (like Skippy or JIF) for all of my baking.  I think this resulted in a fluffier (not fudgey) result.  So go for the regular PB.

I baked flourless peanut butter things quite a few times this summer.  Here are two instances:

Flourless Peanut Butter Bread
(pictured at the top of this post)
Grain Free, Dairy Free, No Sugar Added | Preheat oven to 350, Grease an 8×8 square

I made these for Mrs. T, who is trying to avoid flour and sugar for health reasons.  After some coffee-break recon one Sunday I learned that she’s partial to peanut butter.  I did a “practice” batch for our family, and those among us who quite enjoy sugar liked these sugarless squares.  Personally, I liked them with some jam smeared on top, like in the picture.  I used a fruit-sweetened strawberry spread.

  • 1 c peanut butter (not natural-style or homemade)
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • splash of vanilla

Combine everything in a bowl.  Pour into your square.  Bake at 350 for around 20 minutes.  I’m sorry, I honestly can’t remember how long I baked them – just start checking at 20, and let them go a few minutes longer if they don’t look done.

Flourless PBJ Bars |Grain Free, Dairy Free | Ann Ning Learning How

Flourless PBJ Bars
Grain Free, Dairy Free | Preheat oven to 350, Grease an 8×8 square

229.  Flourless "Nutella" Bars

229. Flourless “Nutella” Bars

These were the treats I made originally to take to The Gym.  I had a batch in the oven before breakfast that morning.  I found out later, though, that peanuts are on the allergen list, so I switched gears and tried the Flourless “Nutella” Bars.  Thankfully my parents arrived that day so Baker Smurf could advise me when my test batch turned out too soft.  Basically, these are similar to the bread, but this is a thicker, double batch, and the jam is swirled on top so it’s baked into the bar.  Yay!!  Fun times.  My swirl would have been prettier, but Mommy hadn’t arrived yet.  Also, I sweetened these bars so they are more in the “PB Cookie” category than the “bread” category.

  • 1 c smooth peanut butter (not natural-style or homemade)
  • 1 c chunky peanut butter (not natural-style or homemade)
  • 2 eggs…I think I used flax eggs
  • pinch off salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ c honey or agave
  • splash of vanilla
  • 2 Tb jam of choice (for the top)

Combine everything except the jam.  Of course you can use all smooth or all chunky PB if you like.  Pour into your square.  Gently warm the jam (I put mine in a small dish) in the microwave.  Dot the top of your batter with the jam.  I made 9 globs.  Drag a toothpick or butter knife through the jam and batter to achieve a feathered effect.  Bake at 350 for around 25-30 minutes.

3 thoughts on “240. Flourless Dark Chocolate Sun Butter Brownies [Gluten Free and Vegan]

  1. Ning, I love your writing. The lines “I have to restrain myself from making them daily” and “I would have made a fabulous parfait or trifle with them, but I couldn’t bc I ate them all” make me laugh (maybe also because I can relate) :).

    That’s a good description of the nut-soaking process: cultivating forethought & patience. I try to do a big batch at a time so I don’t have to do it so often. It’s kind of become part of my routine, though, so it works out okay.

    Glad you had a great weekend @ Labor Day Conf!

    • We will discuss the nut soaking!! And dehydrating. I’m not into that yet – but I heard your Mommy does it w the almonds before putting them into the pudding she makes for baby showers xxoo

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