By the Gracious Vegan
I owe the base recipe to Forks over Knives, although I introduced the date paste to replace half of the maple syrup. The peanut butter swirl satisfies the craving for salty-sweet and, for me, makes the flavor deeper and more satisfying. You could go whole hog and serve these squares as a dessert with chocolate banana ice cream and my healthy, delicious chocolate sauce.
Makes one 8-inch-square pan of brownies
Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, extending paper over the edges.
Wet ingredients. In a small bowl or in a measuring cup, fork-whisk together the following ingredients.
2/3 cup date paste (or you could use another 1/3 cup of maple syrup in addition to what's called for below)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons smooth almond butter
1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dry ingredients. In a medium bowl sift together the following ingredients.
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
Peanut butter swirl. In a separate smaller bowl, fork-whisk the following ingredients together.
1/3 cup natural peanut butter (I like smooth)
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Add the applesauce mixture into the flour-cocoa mixture and stir until just combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
Drop the peanut butter mixture onto the brownie batter in about 8-9 dollops. Use a knife to swirl and feather it lightly into the top of the brownie batter.
Bake for 30-33 minutes or until firm. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then lift the uncut brownies out of the pan with the edges of the parchment paper. Let the brownies cool another 5-10 minutes before eating, or let them cool completely.
Timing: About 50 minutes, then cooling time.
Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO