Best Bean Brownies from Naturally Sweet & Gluten Free

So lately I’m on a baking roll with Ricki Heller’s ‘Naturally Sweet & Gluten Free’.  I’m really enjoying these recipes and seeing how Arthur and DeeW react.  Their reactions, and this book, are proof enough that you don’t need to bake with refined flours and sugars.

A recipe I marked was the Best Bean Brownies.  I’ve made brownies with beans before from different websites and cookbooks and they’ve all been blah.  You can either taste beans, or the final result was just moosh inside, or you were left feeling like “I may as well have poured a heap of sugar on a bowl of beans and eaten that”.  If I’m going to be baking something like bean brownies, they better be damn good!

And so it came to pass that I, not a lover of brownies, now consider these one of my favourite treats to bake.  First of all, things are thrown in the blender.  BRILLIANT.  Secondly, the recipe contains tahini and I loooove tahini and chocolate (I used my raw cacao powder).  Thirdly, I finally got to use the packet of teff flour I bought a while ago and it has been sitting in the freezer doing nothing.    I used canned cannellini beans so it really was so very easy.  Mix your wet ingredients with your sifted dry ingredients (which include psyllium husks), bake for about an hour, walk around the house Hoovering up the amazing baking-brownie smell and then sit down to stuff your face with THIS (yeah, I cut a big piece as soon as they were out of the oven, stuck it in the freezer and hopped around impatiently for it to cool down enough):

bestbeanbrownies

I love this recipe (the white choc chips made an appearance again) and Arthur loved it too.  I did use slightly less coconut sugar and they were great.  You absolutely can not pick up the flavour of beans.  I could taste the sunflower oil so if you don’t like that taste, perhaps another neutral flavoured oil would suit you.  I didn’t mind it at all, which is why I polished off most of the finished product.

I will definitely make this again and perhaps add some pecans or walnuts.  I’m planning on baking for Christmas gifts this year so if it’s not too hot to use the oven, these brownies will be a main feature  😀

Spiced Sweet Potato Blondies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

(subtitled ‘Where Veganopoulous steals from the children’)

Tomorrow we’re going to a small event with a few other families, where the invitation says to bring a plate to share.  I immediately thought of a fruit platter but someone beat me to it.  So my mind wandered to the roast sweet potatoes I’d just pureed and was getting ready to freeze.  I’m going to start using sweet potato more in my baked treats, but that’s a blog post for another day.

Anyway, I remembered a sweet potato recipe from Isa Chandra M”s and Terry Hope R’s ‘Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar’, specifically, the Spiced Sweet Potato Blondies.  I had all the ingredients available except chocolate chips, though these are listed as optional.  I also omitted the pecans (or walnuts) as I avoid using nuts when taking food somewhere involving children, unless I’ve been told nobody present has an allergy and that nuts are okay.  Instead of the nuts and optional choc chips, I added sultanas.

This recipe was super simple to make.  I did change the sugars– I used a combination of coconut sugar and raw sugar.  My cooking time took quite a while longer but I would blame my oven, not the recipe:

sweetpotatoblondies

The taste is great and I love the coconut sugar.  But when I cut off the edges to eat them myself, the blondies were just waaay too sweet.  Sweet enough for me to decide not to serve them to kids.  Perhaps changing the sugars is to blame but next time I make these, I’m going to halve the sugar, maybe more.  They do taste good though and I would be happy to make a far less sweet version again to serve to kids (I’d make a gluten free version as well).  I’d probably play around with cutting the oil down as well.