The other day, I committed a cardinal sin in the world of brownie-making…I overbaked the batch. Anyone who has ever had a brownie knows that a dry brownie is not worth eating at all. They were just the slightest bit overbaked, but they weren’t even close to the fudgy deliciousness that makes a brownie so irresistible.
The upside to this failure was that it gave me an opportunity to test a recipe I had been playing around with in my head. My pantry is filled with various kinds of nut butter galore after winning a Wild Friends giveaway. The chocolate hazelnut spread, in particular, kept catching my eye in the pantry and so rather than risk yet another eats-the-whole-jar-with-a-spoon incident, I decided I would incorporate the luscious, chocolatey spread into these flourless brownies.
Although I love Nutella, I must say that I like the WIld Friends chocolate hazelnut spread I used in this recipe even more! It has a rich, dark chocolatey flavor despite being made without palm oil (which is a leading cause behind deforestation in countries like Indonesia). Wild Friends’ chocolate hazelnut spread also has only 9 grams of sugar per 2 tbsp. as compared to 21 grams in Nutella. So, it’s basically the wonder-child of the nut butter world.
It also happens to make these brownies so incredibly fudgy and pillowy soft! I told myself I would never post a brownie recipe unless I thought it lived up to the Ambitious Kitchen tahini brownies I adore, but this recipe may be my magnum opus. Rich and decadent with an espresso kick, these brownies are absolutely divine!
Tips for Making these Brownies:
- Use Dutch-process cocoa powder: Most brownie recipes aren’t particular about the kind of cocoa powder you use and most occasions, I will use whatever I have on hand, but to really enhance the chocolatey flavor of these brownies, nothing compares to Dutch-process cocoa powder. Dutch-process cocoa powder is essentially alkalized cocoa powder, making it much darker in color and smoother in flavor. I bought the Droste brand cocoa powder at Whole Foods, but if you can’t find Dutch-process cocoa powder, I suggest using Ghiradelhi or Guittard brand cocoa powder to ensure you get a rich chocolate flavor.
- Sift the instant coffee/espresso powder: By sifting the powder, you avoid getting any coarse granules of espresso in the brownies and get a much more even consistency. Both instant coffee and espresso powder will work for this recipe!
- Make sure to check the doneness with a tester: To be honest, I usually don’t follow recipe instructions to test brownies, cupcakes, or any other baked goods before taking them out of the oven, but these brownies require that you do so. I love an extra-fudgy brownie as much as the next person, but these particular brownies tend to look done before they actually are. You will know these are done when your toothpick, cake tester, etc. comes out with moist crumbs.
- 1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
- 2 eggs (at room temperature)
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (melted and cooled)
- 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp instant coffee or espresso powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup chocolate chunks
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and lining an 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper, then spraying with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, sift the espresso powder one tablespoon at a time, then add in the cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt to the bowl. Whisk to combine the dry ingredients.
- In a large bowl, add the chocolate hazelnut spread, melted and cooled coconut oil, eggs, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. Whisk together the wet ingredients until you achieve a smooth consistency.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and using a rubber spatula, mix everything together, creating a thick batter.
- Mix in the chocolate chunks, reserving some to sprinkle on top of the brownies, and add the batter to the prepared pan.
- Use the spatula to smooth the batter into an even layer so that batter reaches all edges of the pan. Top with more chocolate chunks and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until a tester comes out with moist crumbs.
- Remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. The brownies can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1 brownie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8.6gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 165mgCarbohydrates: 23.1gFiber: 3.5gSugar: 15.5gProtein: 7.1g