DessertMalia Howe

Black Bean Brownies

DessertMalia Howe
Black Bean Brownies

Yes, really. I am going to talk about brownies made of black beans. What has this blog come to? Well, as I am trying to walk the straight and narrow as much as possible (and as I raise children who are as excited about dessert as I am ), I've found I'm much more open to trying these alternative desserts that promise great flavor with better nutritional value and less sugar. I'm always skeptical, of course, but my desperation always wins out. I almost didn't make these brownies. You see, the first time I tried to make these brownies was when I was going to take my beast of a  new food processor out for a spin. I promptly sliced my finger right open and bled all into the brownie ingredients just waiting to be whizzed up. So I cursed the new food processor, cursed the brownies (this never would have happened if I'd just made normal brownies), and threw it all in the trash (the next day, because that's how long it took my stupid finger to stop bleeding. Geez). Last night I was feeling really desperate (12 consecutive nights of solo evening routine/bedtime duty will do this to a girl). And I've now made up with the food processor, so I was feeling ready to try and bond again. I believe in second chances. I am here to tell you that these brownies are actually good. I mean REALLY good. Now. Are they cakey? No. Are they fudgey? Yes. Are they super chocolaty and rich? Yup. Are they totally passable as a real dessert? Absolutely. Would you ever know they were made of black beans if I didn't tell you? No way. For reals. While I preferred them once they had cooled completely, they were honestly very delicious warm. They don't puff up as much and are thinner than your average brownie, but are super satisfying and delicious. I think if I had to make any changes I'd use mini-chocolate chips, simply because I used up the rest of my bittersweet chips for this batch and they are larger than your average chocolate chip to begin with, and I can feel them crunch significantly in/on my brownie. It kind of takes away from the brownie-ness of it for me. But, you can be in charge of your own brownie destiny.

Black Bean Brownies

- adapted slightly from

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 cup quick oats 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (let's review: this is NOT pancake syrup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil (I used coconut oil. I can taste it faintly and I love that, but if you don't, then you might want to go the vegetable oil route)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, plus more to sprinkle on top

 Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Make sure you blend this really well. I probably ran my processor for a good minute, then scraped sides and ran for another 30 seconds or so. Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8x8 pan. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Bake 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. They may look undercooked, but don't panic. This is normal. If you wait until they are cooled completely, or refrigerate them, you will have an easier time of cutting into them.