Dense and fudgy, dark chocolatey cocoa brownies made in ONE BOWL with cocoa powder, coconut oil, and avocado oil. Just the right amount of sweetness from coconut sugar (plus a lower sugar option), rich flavor from espresso powder and vanilla, and don’t forget the melty hunks of dark chocolate throughout! T-minus 3 days to Fall semester.
It came a million times faster than I expected (although I’m not sure how–I’ve had the calendar for a year), so I’m scrambling to get organized for when the impossible schedule hits. I should probably be hitting the bookstore, filling out my planner, and skimming course materials, but I’ve decided to make brownies instead. Because what better way to enter a busy semester than with a freezer stocked with yummy goodies? Now THAT is thinking ahead.
While others are succumbing to processed junk food or experiencing symptoms of chocolate deficiency–such as falling asleep while studying, bad mood, or spastic breakdowns–I will be snuggled up with a warm fudgey brownie, all smiles with my head buried in my neuroanatomy textbook.
No joke. These are the rich, dark, dense, fudgy-chewy, melt-in-your-mouth, loaded-up-with-melty-chocolate kind of brownies. The outside is just firm enough to offer a little chew, but one bite reveals a soft, moist interior with the perfect degree of fudginess–neither gummy/gooey nor cakey/crumbly. Just melty dark chocolate brownie perfection.
And they couldn’t be simpler! At first I was skeptical about brownies that did not include melted bars of chocolate incorporated into the batter. But after my most recent struggle with seizing chocolate, separation, and expensive chocolate bars sacrificed to a dud batch, I was ready to try something new.
The solution to all my brownie woes?
COCOA BROWNIES.A messy bowl, I know. But that’s kind of the point. You can make the greatest brownies ever by simply mixing healthy oils, sugar, and eggs in a bowl, then folding in cocoa and whole wheat pastry flour…plus some other yummy additions like vanilla, espresso powder, sea salt, and chocolate chips. THAT’S IT. No double-boilers, extra bowls, or unnecessary stress or clean-up.
Just bake for less than twenty minutes, and warm, thick slabs of decadent chocolate heaven are ready to be devoured.And with wholesome ingredients and less added sugar (yet maximized flavor), you can feel pretty good about eating these, too. Chocolate tends to get a bad rap, but pure cocoa/cacao is a SUPERFOOD if there ever was one: Rich in magnesium and many other minerals, antioxidants (more than green tea and red wine!), including brain- and heart-healthy flavonoids, and a good source of plant-based fats.
Basically, we all need to eat more chocolate.
Just make sure to choose less processed varieties to get the most benefits; heavy processing depletes this magical bean of its antioxidants and thus many of its health powers. Raw cacao powder is best. I get Navita’s Naturals cacao powder and have a hard time not putting it in everything.
These also just happen to be dairy-free! Perfect for anyone with a lactose intolerance or sensitivity.
Tips for the Recipe
- Why two types of oil? I know it seems unnecessary, but the combination of saturated fat (coconut oil) and unsaturated fat (avocado oil) helps create the perfect brownie texture. If you use just one or the other, I can’t guarantee the results.
- I use coconut sugar to sweeten the brownies, but regular granulated cane sugar, brown sugar, turbinado, etc. should work just fine. (Coconut sugar just offers slight nutritional advantages over cane sugar, and I love the flavor.) For a lower sugar option, I recommend subbing HALF of the sugar with 1:1 monk fruit sweetener such as Lakanto.
- Whole wheat pastry flour is a game-changer for baked goods. It’s super soft and light, and you would never guess that these are 100% whole grain! Seriously, try using it in place of all-purpose in muffins, pancakes, waffles, cakes, quick breads–you name it. (The only exception may be bread/pizza dough, which needs higher gluten content.) –> One-Minute Healthy Chocolate Cake, Greatest Chocolatey Chocolate Cake, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Banana Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins, Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes…
- Ingredients are obviously important, but for a recipe like this, the method is crucial, down to the way you mix the ingredients. Nothing complicated at all–just pay attention. For optimal texture, you should beat the oils, sugar, and eggs really well, but the flour and cocoa not at all–or the brownies will turn out cakier.
- DO NOT OVER-BAKE them. Remember they will continue to cook after they are out of the oven, and they will firm up more as they cool.
- Finally, if not eating all of them immediately, I recommend freezing them in an airtight container after cooling completely. Then you have fresh-tasting, moist fudgey brownies whenever the craving hits!