Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sneaky, (Gluten-Free) Brownies with Mint Frosting

The first person who ever told me about black bean brownies was my mother-in-law Debbie.  She made them following a Weight Watchers recipe a few years ago.  Since then, I've always wanted to try them but have been skeptical.  Finally I did give them a try this weekend and they didn't disappoint me.

I worried about them holding together without flour but was pleasantly surprised at the moist flavor and consistency of this tasty dessert.  I know, a dessert with beans in it?  Who would have thought?  I didn't tell my husband or my daughter what was in them but they still ate a piece.  :-)

Sneaky, Gluten-free (Black bean) Brownies
(Makes 12 or 16)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 eggs
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup of cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Dark)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
3/4 cup of sugar (I used Stevia in the raw)
pinch of salt
3/4 cup of chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

For the Mint Frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, softened (I use Smart Balance)
1 Tbsp. milk
1/2 to 1 tsp. peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan with cooking spray.  Drain and rinse the black beans well.   In a blender, puree the beans along with the eggs, olive oil and applesauce.  Then add the cocoa powder, baking powder, vanilla extract (and almond extract if you use it), sugar and salt.  Puree until well blended and smooth.  It should look like chocolate sauce.  Now add in your chocolate chips.  Gently stir with a spoon.  Then pour into the greased baking pan.   Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.   The brownies will pull away from the pan slightly when done.  Let the brownies cool for about an hour or longer before you frost them.

To make the frosting: In a small bowl, cream the softened butter with the powdered sugar.  (I let my butter sit out on the counter while I baked the brownies and let them cool).  Add in the milk and and peppermint extract.  Whisk until blended and it has the consistency of normal cake fosting. 

Now carefully frost your cooled brownies.  Cut into squares and serve.   You can freeze half of these for later too, like I did. Defrost them at room temperature or in your fridge for several hours.  You'd never know they weren't freshly made!

See if your guests will even taste the beans in them.  I highly doubt they will!  Instead they'll enjoy the healthier benefits without even realizing it!   Have you ever put something crazy like this (beans) in your dessert recipes?  I've made them with spinach before too but I like this bean version much better!


  1. Our new favorite chocolate cake is completely flourless with garbanzo beans, so I can only imagine that these are delicious. I'm adding this to my to-try list!

  2. When I made black bean brownies last year, I thought they were horrible! I ended up tossing them in the compost pile.

  3. Lara - Let me know what you think! Btw, I just went through your recipe index and found that flourless chocolate cake you were referring to. I'm going to add that to my list soon too!

    Kathy G - Laugh out loud!! Well I guess I shouldn't laugh but I did. I'm so sorry you didn't like it and had to throw away your black bean brownies last year. Hmmmm, I wonder if you have a stronger palette than I do? Could you taste the beans? I could tell something was a bit different but I really did like this recipe. I used more chocolate than the original recipe called for. Maybe I masked it up? Or maybe I'm just plain crazy and love my beans! Yes, that must be it! :)