It's BEAN a While (Black Bean Brownie Recipe)

Only my friend, Jessica will truly appreciate the title of this post.  Hope you like it, Jess. :P

Did you guys have a good weekend?  I'll confess that after my terrarium workshop over the weekend, all I want to do after work is make whimsical terrariums.  I'm like that with knitting sometimes... or home projects... or even a really good book.  Do you ever find a hobby or project that totally consumes your free time?  I kind of love when it happens (despite the mess that usually follows) because it forces me to totally relax and re-focus outside of work.

I have the type of job where I could always be working on something.  Probably most self-employed people could say something similar.  I also really like to be busy... Like, all the time busy with a capital "B"!  Corey would love to tell you how annoying I am on vacation (Perhaps I'll get him to write a post about it sometime.) because I'll sit down on the beach with my rum punch and within twenty minutes I'm antsy to explore or snorkel or take a trip off the resort... You get the picture!  Little side projects (like blogging) really help me to focus on something besides work without feeling anxious because I'm not engaged in something.  FYI, I just re-read this and my finger is itching to open a new window in my browser so that I can look up my symptoms to see if I have some sort of disorder.  I am resisting the urge.  Thought you should know. :)

So, I mentioned that I'm in "working-to-fit-into-a-wedding-dress" mode and that Corey has been extremely supportive in my efforts to workout like some crazy exercise fiend... Okay, I probably use the term "exercise fiend" rather loosely and I really mean someone who is in terrible shape but spends one hour a day on a treadmill.  Well, a part of my plan involves eating very differently and certainly much cleaner.  Part of this means cutting out most of the flour from my diet... Which sucked at first, but I'm feeling really great at this point.  Now, I'm sharing this, not to prepare you for this to turn into some sort of food blog... Because it's not!  No, I just wanted you to have some background to explain why on earth I would ever consider making brownies with beans!

That's right.... I said BEANS!  I actually made brownies with the "musical fruit" and I sort of did it to prove a point.  You see, I have been eating clean for a couple of weeks and I was sort of craving a treat so I started looking up brownie recipes without flour.  There are tons of great recipes out there but one caught my eye because the main ingredient is actually cooked black beans.  I immediately thought  "Wow, these crazy diet people must be nuts if they can trick themselves into thinking that beans taste like fudge!" and, while that's partially true, these honestly taste like brownies to me, so I suppose I'm nuts too!  I never post recipes here, but I feel like these brownies were more of a science experiment and I'm so shocked that they turned out that I just needed to tell someone.  I really expected making them would somehow prove that I was right and the internet was wrong, but I was actually pleasantly surprised to lose this bet with myself.

Wow, that was a long lead-in to the recipe.  You're probably waiting for me to just get to it... Unless you're grossed out by my bean brownies and are vowing never to come to my house for dinner in case I've ground up brussel sprouts in the ice cream.  If that's the case, you'll probably skip the recipe, but here it is, and I'll even make it easy to find for those of you who don't have the patience to read today's ramblings!


By the way, if you'd like to see the original, here's the link.  This makes a double batch if you use an 8x8 inch brownie pan like I do.  Maybe I'll make them extra thick next time. :)

You'll Need:
4 ounces unsweetened baker's chocolate
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 can (approximately 550 ml) cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped nuts or dried fruit (I had some figs lying around, which I threw in)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup instant coffee
2 tablespoons cocoa
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 eggs
1½ cups sugar or splenda (or a little more if you like things sweet) dissolved in 1 cup of water

Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Line your brownie pan with parchment paper and lightly oil with cooking spray.

Melt the chocolate and butter in your microwave for about 2 minutes.  Stir with a spoon, since the chocolate may not appear melted.

This next step can be done with a food processor, but I used an old pastry kneader and some elbow grease.  Mix together the beans, nuts or fruit, vanilla extract a few spoonfuls of the melted chocolate and butter.  Blend until smooth... It's important to get rid of the beanie texture!

In a large bowl, mix the remaining melted chocolate and butter with the coffee and salt.  Add it to the bean mixture and stir until blended.

In another bowl (you'll have plenty of dishes to do after making these!) Beat your eggs WELL.  I didn't have an electric mixer unpacked so I improvised with a milk frother.  They're the same, right?  Add your sugar/splenda and water and beat well.

Add the egg mixture to the bean mixture, leaving about 1/2 cup aside to create a marbled effect later.  Mix well and pour batter into the pan.  (You may need more than one pan, if it's small.)

Beat remaining egg mixture until light and fluffy and drizzle over the brownie batter.  Use a toothpick to pull the egg through the batter.

Bake for 40 Minutes.  Allow to cool completely (refrigeration is best) before cutting.  Store in refrigerator.

If you make them, let me know what you think!  I'm curious to know if I'm the only person who is shocked by how much they like these.

Where have these BEAN all my life?

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