Monday, June 10, 2013

Raw Brownies with Avocado Cashew Frosting

I know there are some mixed feelings out there when it comes to avocado in sweet treats. For some people, the thought of an avocado milkshake or cheesecake sounds absolutely disgusting.  Guacamole for dessert?  But for many others (like me), the idea of an avocado flavored dessert is positively alluring and mouth-watering.  If you're one of those people, this post is for you!  :)  The avocado flavor is very subtle here, but the avocados mainly contribute to the creaminess of the frosting.  Visually, these brownies are sure to please. Who doesn't love multi-colored layered desserts?  And taste-wise, these are utterly delicious.  Summer is upon us and these will make an impressive and refreshing contribution to any BBQ or potluck.  Plus, there's no hot oven required!

Makes 16 small squares

1 cup of raw cashews, soaked in water overnight (or for at least an hour)
2 avocados
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or other sweetener)
Juice from 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of water (plus more to achieve your desired consistency)
  1. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews with water.
  2. Blend the cashews, avocado flesh, melted coconut oil, lime juice, vanilla extract, and 1 cup of water in a food processor or blender.
  3. If the mixture is too thick and chunky, add more water 1/4 cup at a time until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
  4. Transfer mixture to a bowl and refrigerate while you make the brownie layer.
Brownie Layer
1 cup raw almonds (or other nuts such as pecans or walnuts)
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or agave nectar)
5 tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Water, if needed
  1. Blend the almonds in a food processor until they're almost like powder. (you can also use almond meal instead)
  2. Add the dates, maple syrup, cocoa powder, and salt and blend until a sticky, crumbly mixture forms.
  3. If there are still big pieces of dates in the mixture, add 1 tablespoon or more of water and pulse the mixture a few more times.
  1. Press the brownie mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch square pan using your hands or a spoon.
  2. Spread frosting evenly over the brownie layer.
  3. Sprinkle with one of the toppings below, if using.
  4. Cover with foil and freeze overnight.
  5. Transfer the pan to the refrigerator to thaw for about an hour before slicing into squares.
Optional Toppings
Hemp seeds (as pictured)
Chopped nuts
Sliced strawberries, blueberries, or other fruit
Coconut flakes
Raw chocolate sauce
(basically, whatever you want!)

You'll likely have some extra frosting left over, but when has that every been a problem?  :)  The brownie layer can also be used as a crust for any raw cheesecake recipe, such as this one.  Freezing these overnight probably isn't necessary (I know it's a long time to wait!), but give it at least 3 hours so that the brownies will be easier to cut into nice, clean squares.  After that, the only thing to worry about is self-restraint.  It's hard to just eat one of these. (I should know)

Enjoy!  :)