DJ Foodielow-carb, low carb, sugar free, sugar-free, gluten-free, gluten free, primal, paleo

Coconut-Almond Brownies

Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 30 mins | Total: 45 mins | Servings:20..

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I'm not going to sugar coat this one, my friends. These brownies sucked. What follows is intended to provide a chuckle, perhaps with a very mild point (but probably not).

I knew I had a full day of making all desserts, all day. So, I invited several people over, to help me consume all the tasty treats. These brownies sat quiet and alone, while the rest of the mouthwatering goodies were devoured. These brownies looked good! They definitely appeared delicious. The batter was AMAZING. If you ever need a sugar free, all natural brownie batter fix ... this is the way to go. This brownie batter was phenomenal! When I put the spoon in my mouth, I was transported to that place children go when their mother hands them the gooey whisk full of cookie batter, right as the rest of the cookies go in the oven. My eyes rolled back into my head and I was a 7 year old boy, completely thrilled with my batter. I had no doubt that these brownies would win awards.

The batter, my compadres, was a lie. A facade!

There are many competencies that I have. I can dream all sorts of flavorful and interesting dishes in my mind, simply by combining a variety of flavorful ingredients with a blend of interesting cooking techniques. I can almost always kind of totally trust the end result will be to my satisfaction, sort of. On very rare occasions, I stumble and make something less than tasty. More often than not, it's wonderful and good as, or better than I'd hoped!

Baking, on the other hand, is more about ratios, reactions and science. It's about leavening power (the "rise"), the order the ingredients are added, the mixing and blending process and the final structural integrity of the ingredients. Baking is a lot of formulas. When the formula is off, the end result is usually way off and cannot be salvaged. A sauce, on the other hand, can be manipulated all day, without much thought of adherence to a strict recipe.

Baking is all about the perfect execution of the formula.

I am a solid baker, when it comes to wheat flours. I understand gluten and how it works. I understand the leavening agents. I understand sugar melting and liquefying within batters, as it baked. I understand all of that. However, in a world without wheat, sugar or gluten ... well ... all of a sudden ... the world has changed. I don't know which way is up! How do these things work?! What are they supposed to do? Will it deflate? Will it rise? Be chewy? Will it be dry and brittle? Will it absorb moisture? What in heckfire is going on with these things?!

I knew I wanted to make brownies. I wanted to make them sugar and gluten free. I wanted them to be dense and moist and chewy. I wanted AWESOME brownies. I set to figure out the quintessential sugar free, gluten free formula. I looked far and wide, and combined all of my newfound knowledge into this here recipe. Oops, I think I had a typo, somewhere!

"Why am I even showing this recipe?", you might ask. Partially, because the batter is so good. Also, to shed a little light on the frustrating transition to a new way of thinking. Some information translates and some, frankly, doesn't. Finally, I'm also curious if anyone has any insight what went wrong. Why was this a bizarre cardboard brick? It was the strangest texture. Dry, but not totally brittle. Airy, but far from light. Full of chocolate and almond flavor, but somehow incredibly bland, at the same time. I blame the coconut flour, personally.

I can only describe the flavor as ... "disappointment".

Embarrasing Note: After writing this whole diatribe, I just tried to more thoroughly dissect my notes, and I'm 98.6% certain that I misread my own recipe. I think that if I had used 1/4 cup coconut flour and just 1/2 cup of almond flour, that this recipe would've been awesome. 3/4 of a cup was the "total" amount of nut flours ... not "each".

I'm going to go hide, now.

. .
IngredientsCaloriesFatProteinCarbsFiberSA'sNet Carbs
1 1/4 cup (280g)  fresh whole butter, softened200022000000
1 1/2 cup (300g)  'Swerve' or other sugar equivalent (Buy Now) 00030003000
4 large (200g)  whole eggs28620262002
1 tbsp (12g)  vanilla extract34.62001.5001.5
3/4 cup (84g)  almond flour (Buy Now) 480421818909
3/4 cup (84g)  coconut flour (Buy Now) 3729215436018
3/4 cup (64.5g)  unsweetened cocoa powder14713.512.7537.521.75015.75
1 tsp (4g)  baking powder (Buy Now) 5001001
1 dash (1g)  salt0000000
1 cup (256g)  unsweetened almond butter1560128564832016
Totals (of 20 Servings):4884.62432.5g133.75g462g98.75g300g63.25g
Per Serving:244.2321.63g6.69g23.1g4.94g15g3.16g *

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 F.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar equivalent, until it has a white "whipped" look.
  3. With the mixer running at a slow speed, add one egg at a time.
  4. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix them well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer. Mix until just combined.
  6. Grease a standard casserole dish (9x13).
  7. Pour the batter into the dish. Spread flat into the pan.
  8. Place periodic spoonfuls of the almond butter into the top of the brownie batter. You want "spots" of almond butter.
  9. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove when a toothpick comes out dry.
  10. Cool on a cooling rack.
  11. Cut and offer to someone with whom you still hold a grudge.

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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition ...

Comments

I have just learned the hard way to make sure to read the whole page and comments BEFORE I make one of your recipes!!  I was in a hurry and didn't read anything but the recipe.  :-(  Brownies are in the oven.  I am new to low carbing and am learning about how these new flours work.  The batter was not wet and very sticky, but unfortunately I didn't know any better.  I will know better next time.  I will try again with the advice from the comments.

 Jaime  1/20/2015

 (Reply)

---Reply posted by DJ on 1/20/2015
Jaime, I'm so sorry! Obviously, this wasn't my intention. It's funny, if you read my "How to Cook" page, the first suggestion I make is, "Always read the recipe.". The GOOD news is, I think this is the only recipe that is genuinely dreadful. There is one other (a pie) that never set. Even though it was a failure, it was still delicious. It just wasn't what I wanted. So, aside from this recipe and the "Puddle Pie", you should feel safe around here. Again, sorry about that! (read the recipe! ;) )

Please let me know if there's anything I can do to ease the pain. I do feel badly! :/

Thanks for checking back, Leah. I'm personally a BIG fan of dark chocolate, so this wouldn't have bothered me, in the slightest. I DO know that at one point, I tried this recipe a second time. I don't remember what I did, but I remembered not really loving it. I "think" I chopped it up and poured a sort of chocolate flavored Jello over it, turning it into a kind of chocolate brownie pudding. THAT was tasty! Maybe chop it up and add to ice cream, or something like that. There's bound to be a good use for it. Sorry it wasn't instant magic! :/

 DJ  10/10/2014

 (Reply)

I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt. I made these tonight using your suggestion of ½ cup almond flour & 1/4 cup coconut flour, they weren't necessarily dry, but they were crumbly and the chocolate seemed too dark for my liking.

 Leah  10/7/2014

 (Reply)

Fantastic, Claire! I may need to revisit this one. You're one of MANY people that have come back to me with ideas and improvements on this one. It's nearing time to try and crack the brownie code. Thanks for the input and reminder! :)

 DJ  4/28/2014

 (Reply)

I made these using all ingredients and measurments except only 1/4 cup coconut flour and 3/4 cup almond flour. I used a slightly smaller baking dish than recommended, baked for 20 minutes. They were soft and moist. My only issue was that i used salted butter, as that was all I had. With my salted almond butter was a bit too salty. Really delicious!! Try them again!

 claire v.  4/26/2014

 (Reply)

LOL! That's funny. I DID use them in a very similar fashion! I made a Jello with coconut milk, and poured the warm liquid over them. When it solidified, I had a coconut brownie Jello, which was AWESOME! Ice cream would be tasty, too! The brownies by themselves were ... not that good, sad to say. :(

 DJ  3/24/2013

 (Reply)

I bet this batter would be really good swirled into some ice cream before the final freeze.

 unknown  3/24/2013

 (Reply)

Hi Eric! Yep, that's exactly what I was thinking. I do know coconut flour absorbs "all moisture within reach". I've seen recipes with scant coconut flour, but loads of eggs. I really do think I just read my recipe wrong. The good news is ... if that's true, then taking this silly story and slapping a happy ending on to it, should be easy! I may add an extra egg to it. Let's see what happens!

 DJ  2/11/2013

 (Reply)

I think you nailed it when you say that you should have used 1/4 cup coconut flour instead of 3/4 cup. I still haven't figured out how the stuff (coconut flour) really works, but I do know that it is incredibly thirsty (hence the dry consistency of your brownies), and needs a TON of eggs to work well. So I would add eggs if the revised recipe still doesn't work. Perhaps a bit of coconut oil, too, if the chocolate flavor still disappears.

 Eric  2/11/2013

 (Reply)

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