I have spent the year navigating through this gluten free + dairy free lifestyle and while some things claim to be an “awesome alternative” I’ve not found that to be entirely accurate – however – I have found many that absolutely are an those are the ones I want to share with you!
I love brownies. A lot. Probably more than cookies or any other sweet. Just something about a gooey, fudgey, chocolatey treat gets me going (especially with a glass of almond milk, ya know what I’m saying?) As always when attempting a “clean” version of one of my favorite treats I remain skeptical until the very first bite but these absolutely delivered and I can’t recommend them enough!
- ⅔ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (I use dairy free chocolate chips)
- 5 Tbsp coconut oil (can sub butter, avocado oil, vegan butter, ghee)
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar (can sub white, brown, or maple sugar)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup blanched almond flour
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking soda (if paleo) or baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅔ cup additional chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (can sub nuts) Optional: coarse sea salt to sprinkle on top
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.
- In a small saucepan, gently melt chocolate and oil over low heat until smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until slightly lighter in color and until they pass the ribbon test (when you lift the whisk the mixture should stream down evenly in “ribbons”). Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients–almond flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
- Working slowly, whisk the egg/sugar mixture into the saucepan of melted chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Stir in vanilla and mix in.
- Stir in the dry ingredients and fold until just mixed.
- Fold in the additional chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into your prepared pan and smooth the surface.
- Bake at 350 degrees 20-24 minutes, or until edges are set and the center is still ever so slightly underdone. (The remaining heat should set the center as it cools)
- Sprinkle with coarse salt, if using, and allow brownies to cool before slicing.
Whisking the eggs and sugar. I’ve learned that you really want to whisk the eggs and sugar until they pass the “ribbon test.” When you whisk them and lift up the whisk, the mixture should stream down pretty evenly in “ribbons” rather than in big lumpy clumps. If you’re not there yet, just keep whisking.
Try not to over-mix. When you’re mixing in the dry ingredients, you can give it a good mix, but you want to stop when the dry ingredients are incorporated. This is less important in gluten free baking, but I have over done it a few times and I feel like they ended up a little more dry.
Don’t over-bake. My trick for fudgy brownies is always to pull them out when the center is juuuust about set. They’ll finish setting as they cool and won’t end up too crispy or dried out.
Coarse Sea Salt. I LOVE adding a little coarse sea salt to the tops of these (I realize I didn’t do that in the photos, but it’s incredibly good. The tiny hint of salt wakes up the chocolate and provides a nice balance of flavors. If you’re not a salt-with-sweet fan, feel free to skip it!
Almond Flour: There are a LOT of different brands and blends of almond flour and most of them produce different results. I recommend using a very finely ground blanched almond flour rather than a coarse grind or almond meal which is made with skins-on almonds. I’ve had good luck with Bob’s Red Mill, Honeyville, Hughson, Trader Joe’s blanched almond flour, and even Target’s brand.
Substitutions: You can use just about any fat you like here–avocado oil, butter, ghee, vegan butter, coconut oil, etc. Choose your favorite and go from there. The recipe can take it.
Swap the Sugar. I’ve used coconut sugar which is lower on the glycemic index, but if you don’t have it or like it, feel free to substitute white sugar, brown sugar, or even something like maple sugar. It will all work.
A huge gracious THANK YOU to One Lovely Life for this incredible recipe that I will probably print + laminate and make over and over and over again.