Attention! Before I get on with this post – please note that I forgot to mention a crucial ingredient in Monday’s Beet Layer Cake – the frosting recipe has been updated with 3/4 c agave. Y’all need that bit for sweetness, though I’m sure you’re sweet enough already. Apologies for that! Now onto regular programming…
Happy Valentine’s eve, darling friends! Apparently, in not blogging yesterday, I missed both paczki day and national pancake day. But whatever. I have brownies, and in my humble opinion, brownies kick conceptual paczki/pancake butt.
Make these immediately – work, schmork, girlfran. Ok, can I make a very quick reference right now that only my family will understand? I can and will because it’s my blog, baby! My sister, who is a real dish, but also sort of a mega-dork has ONE joke – one – that she tells all the time. You don’t need to hear the set up because it changes a little every time she tells it, but the punch line is “schmooze schmooze!” GET IT?
So these brownies… much like my phat beet(s) layer cake, these puppies are raw. That means there’s no actual Nutella™ in them because that sh*t cray: it’s chock full of icky, bad for you oils, powdered dairy (gag!) and probably kitten tears. But let me tell you – these are so. darn. good. you won’t miss any of that nasty stuff – unless you really dig powdered skim milk, Idk – and because it’s a no-bake dessert, you can riff on it a little (or a lot!) to suit your/your valentine’s tastes without flirting with kitchen disaster. If you don’t give two toots about eating totally raw, go ahead and toast your hazelnuts. If you’re not crazy about dried cherries, stick with just dates! The options are endless, galentine. But here’s what I made.
2 cups pecans (raw or toasted)
1 cup hazelnuts (ditto)
3/4 c fresh dates (or soaked dried dates)
3/4 c soaked dried cherries
1/3 c fresh brewed coffee
1 t vanilla
1/2 t sea salt
1/3 c walnuts (optional, added in for texture when I was almost through processing)
2 T carob powder (also optional… and not actually raw)
2 c soaked raw hazelnuts (or toasted hazelnuts)
1.5 c raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 c cacao powder (or good ol’ cocoa powder)
1 c coconut oil
1/2 c water
2 t vanilla
1/2 t sea salt
1.5 c agave
1/2 t sea salt.
Sifted coconut flour, organic powdered sugar, cocoa or carob powder for prettiness
1. Process all brownie base ingredients together, except walnuts. Add those in when your dough starts to ball up in your food processor, and pulse a couple of times to break those bad boys up.
2. Line the base of your brownie pan with base dough. Clean our your food processor rul’ good so you don’t wind up with mysterious chewy bits in your Nutella frosting.
3. Process all frosting ingredients for what seems like forever. Really. Hazelnuts are rather hard when raw (even after soaking overnight) and you want this as creamy as possible. Truth: it will probably still be a little grainy by the time you’ve given up, but you won’t be able to tell by the time we’re done here.
4. Spread your nutella frosting evenly over your brownie base layer, then pop these bad boys in the freezer to firm up.
5. Important: freeze for at least 2 hours before slicing these up! Really. Reserve a little icing for sampling in the interim if you’re desperate to try these/ if you’re human.
6. Pull these out of the freezer. Dust them with something lovely, if you’re so inclined, slice ‘em up… et voila!
These are awesome. Hold up, no – these are raw-some. However, with two desserts (comprised of, oh, four pounds of nuts) in my freezer… I’m amazingly able to resist eating both pans in one sitting. First, that would be a tummy ache unlike any other, second… did any of you read about the un-diet diet in Fitness magazine? Basically, if you stock your kitchen with your “weakness” foods, i.e. you never let your cookie jar go without homemade chocolate chip cookies, or you keep 10 pints of vegan ice cream in your freezer at all times, those foods lose their power over you, and you are more apt to eat intuitively, rather than compulsively. I sort of hate that women’s magazines pimp this out as a new concept when we all know that constantly denying our cravings is a bad thing; but I admit it: sometimes I’m afraid to bake cookies or keep (wholesome) junk food around because I’m not always so great with moderation. When I always have those foods available, though, they really do start to lose their luster and sometimes I would actually prefer to end my day’s fuel with a bunch of grapes and a pot of tea than with an über decadent slice or four of cake.
Tomorrow night, however, I’m treating myself to Nutella brownies, my mom’s company, and the lamest rom-com we can find. Festivity is so rad. What are your thoughts on “weakness” foods and self control? What are you doing for V-day? I’d love to hear about it!