January is finally over, and with February on the mind, these brownies were a labor of love. Desperate to get that boxed-brownie crunchy top and gooey interior, I made four decreasingly cakey versions of these guys before I was happy. (Side note: has anyone ever had a brownie better than one from the box mix?) Finished with a flaky sea salt, these are divine.
The secret ingredient is sunbutter – a paste made from sunflower seeds with a smooth peanut-buttery consistency. (I wanted to make these nut-free so that my husband could enjoy them, but I’m sure any nut-butter could be substituted.) The finished product has just a hint of nuttiness, enveloped in chocolate, and reminiscent of a peanut m&m.
I used coconut sugar because I love its molasses flavor and because it has less of an impact on blood sugar compared to table sugar, but I’m sure any sweetener can be substituted.
Eat warm, and serve these up with ice cream or whipped coconut cream. Enjoy!
- 1 cup sunflower seed butter (or any smooth nut butter)
- 1/2 cup applesauce (or water)
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup cacao powder (I like the Navitas Organics brand)
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar (see note above)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (omit for SUPER fudgy brownies)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
- flaky sea salt, for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper. Combine the sunflower seed butter, applesauce, coconut oil, eggs, cacao powder, coconut sugar, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Mix in the chocolate chips, if using.
Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish, and cook for 25-30 minutes. (If you like these just slightly underdone, like me, take them out of the oven at 25 minutes. They will continue to cook for a few minutes outside of the oven.)
Immediately sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Eat while warm or store in an airtight container.