Anyone who knows me knows that I am a deep and abiding lover of “treats”. Nick has learned (through trial an tribulation) that when I wake up grumpy and miserable on our long, early Saturday work days, the one sure fire way to cheer me up is to say, “Do you want to get a treat?” And yes, of course yes, I do want a treat.
Autumn is a sad time of the year for me, for all of its cozy pumpkin-y beauty, because it signals the end of summer, my favorite time of the year, and the approach of winter, my least favorite. But this fall, despite the non-stop drizzling rain, and the chilly mornings and evenings (and all-days), I am trying to embrace all things autumnal with outstretched striped-sweatered arms. Mostly though, I’m a newly wed with a brand new kitchen-aid and a slew of pretty cooking things, and I am stepping out of my safe universe of cooking and tip-toeing into the foreign world of baking. Because for all my love of treats, I typically purchase them at little bakeries. But you know? Since my Baking Adventures have begun, I haven’t had to buy a treat in weeks! So I’m saving money, because I have them…everywhere..on hand. Right? Well. All I can say is its a really good thing that my new town in Maine has lots of back woods running trails…
Right now it is harvest time at Lovers Brook Farm, and my handsome husband is bringing in the beans (quite literally) and with that in mind, I decided to give Sweet Bean Brownies a shot. Yes. Really. Bean Brownies. A little more wholesome (less sugar than your average homemade brownie recipe, and no flour.) and lots more nutritious thanks to a plentiful amount of beans which are one of Gods Gifts to mankind, making us strong and sturdy…that’s the Bean Farmer in me talking. Please do not be tricked. Never have I ever harvested a bean.
Unlike my husband and my dazzlingly attractive dog who are both old hands.
I got the recipe for these Bean Treats from a fellow Bean farmer that my husband knows. To begin, I used 15.5 ounces (roughly two cups) of Bhaers Best Boston Beans which are superior to other beans because Nick grows them, but if you are not so lucky to be able to find this variety in your own specialty grocery store, believe you me, a can of black beans will do you just fine.
First, puree the beans in a food processor or blender until they are very, very smooth. Then, add in a quarter cup of chocolate chips and puree some more until you have a pile of bean paste that will smell disturbingly beaney, but don’t worry.
Put the bean paste in a bowl, and heat your oven to 350. Then, crack in three farm fresh eggs.
I like to use Olive oil in my baking which I know is not universally agreed on. But I like the added nuttiness and the added nutrients. But do whatever you like, because regular oil is just fine as long as you add three tablespoons.
Then, add a pinch or two of salt, and four tablespoons of cocoa. I sifted mine in because it gets so clumpy.
Finally, pop in a teaspoon of vanilla, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a cup of brown sugar. The recipe called for white, but I prefer using brown because it makes things more moist, and dense. And I like it better.
Right before you pour it into your greased 8X8 pan, stir in another quarter cup of chocolate chips. Or more if you like. I won’t say a word.
Bake it for just thirty minutes, or until it looks dark and cracked on top, and a fork comes out dry in the middle.
Then, enjoy one with a nice cup of coffee or a shot of milk.
You know? They really are tasty! They have a nice dense texture, different than a “real” brownie (more beaney) but very chocolatey and chewy. Give them a dollop of cinnamon ice cream and they’d be heavenly.
So, here is the rundown of the recipe.
Heat oven to 350
15.5 oz cooked beans
1/2 cup chocolate chips seperated
3 TBS oil
4 TBS cocoa (unsweetened)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Puree beans with 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Put paste in bowl, add all ingredients and combine. Add in the last 1/4 cup chocolate chips, and pour into 8X8 pan. bake for 30 minutes.
And enjoy them. They cost almost nothing, and if you, like me, have a bean farming husband, he will be oh so pleased.