*This post for Raw Brownie Bites first appeared on March 2, 2012. The recipe has been slightly edited (like to include a chocolate peppermint drizzle option perfect for St. Paddy’s Day!) and the photographs updated. I totally remember making these raw brownie bites for the first time 5+ years ago, throwing a bunch of random healthy things in the food process and being blown away at how “brownie-like” they ended up being. They’ve been made many times since and each time I would say to myself, “you really should update that post because those things literally look like shit cookies, Gina”. Well, it finally happened. Gave me a great excuse to use the cute biscuit cutter I found at an antique shop and the chocolate peppermint drizzle definitely helped to pretty things up in the looks department. If you’re not as concerned with how they look, know that they taste just as good rolled into balls instead (which will also save you about 10 minutes of prep time). I couldn’t resist a little peppermint addition to the chocolate drizzle mainly because I adore mint + chocolate but it also coincidentally just happens to be all festive and stuff too given the time of year. Enjoy! FYI – text below is original (which basically means it makes no sense 5 years later).
Raw brownie bites are a healthy way to satisfy a chocolate craving. Made with nuts, dried fruit and a chocolate drizzle, they’re paleo, gluten-free and vegan dessert you can feel good about eating.
I’m deeming March the month of clean eating. Granted, I eat pretty “clean” to begin with but I’m just kind of curious what positive effects I’ll see if I make my normal 80/20 rule when it comes to food closer to a 95/5 kind of rule.
99% of the time that 20% haunts me immediately after dinner as I plop myself on the couch for an episode of whatever we’re watching and my brain just starts screaming CHOCOLATE! GIVE IT TO ME! I really have no problem keeping it clean for the entire day leading up until that point. In fact, I enjoy eating healthily all day. But there’s a switch and it gets flipped right around 8pm.
Want to know what happens when you try to satisfy a chocolate craving with some fruit, coconut & cacao nibs? You fail. Epically. And then the chocolate craving just intensifies, you go to bed mad and have really weird dreams about ex-boyfriends. At least that’s what I’m chalking the dreams up to. Otherwise, I have no excuse and I’m not really sure how I feel about them if that’s the case. It’s weird waking up to your husband when you’ve been dreaming about another guy all night…
So I made balls. Because that’s what I do best.
Except this time I froze them and then smashed them down with a fork because I think those little lines are pretty and because I’m fresh out of ball jokes. (edited to add: this was the old version of this recipe, I used a biscuit cutter for these updated pictures)
These balls (that aren’t really balls) are anything but a brownie actually. But somehow they sure as heck almost taste like one.
I almost don’t even want to tell you they’re made with prunes because I’m sure you just read that and laughed. Or worse, clicked out of here instantly at the ridiculousness of me trying to convince you that a dried fruit used to keep you “regular” tastes like a brownie.
BUT IT DOES! Swear.
So, knowing that Ulysses might be asking for a divorce if he had to suffer through 29 more days of unsatisfied 8pm chocolate cravings, these raw brownie bites came to be.
Now that I think of it, maybe the dream was some weird foreshadowing that I needed a solution to the 8pm crazies…
That makes sense, right?
For brownie bites:
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup cashews, (or macadamia nuts)
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 6 prunes
- 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
- 1/4 banana
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of kosher salt
For chocolate drizzle:
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips, (*see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract, (*optional for mint flavor)
- Combine nuts and flax seed in a food processor and process until finely ground.
- Add remaining ingredients to the food processor and process until the dough just starts to come together into a ball.
- Transfer dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper and form into a ball. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and gently roll out into a disc shape about 1/4-1/3" thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out small circles in the dough, re-rolling as necessary to use up all the dough. Arrange the brownie bites on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the chocolate drizzle by melting all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until smooth. Remove the brownie bites from the freezer and drizzle with the chocolate mixture (you can garnish with additional cacao nibs here too if you'd like). Allow the chocolate to set. Keep brownie bites refrigerated in an airtight container to store.
For vegan and paleo option, make sure to use dairy and sugar free chocolate chips like these Enjoy Life chocolate chips.