Guest Author - Caitlin McLeod
I am particularly fond of brownies, especially those made with pecans. Many years ago I baked brownies frequently for a beau, who pronounced them “almost as good as the ones my aunt makes,” a high compliment indeed.
If you, too, love brownies, you will adore this recipe, which is light, moist, rich, and buttery, and less sugary than most brownies. Plus there is the added advantage of their being gluten-free. Almonds are high in nutrients and minerals and can help lower cholesterol levels, so these brownies, made with almond meal, are actually good for you!
Note: For this recipe I used dark chocolate with the Trader Joe’s label; you can use your favorite brand instead. I suggest at least 65-75% cacao. You can also use unsweetened chocolate; you will need to increase the sugar
to 1-¼ cups if you do.
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 stick butter
1/3 cup raw sugar or maple sugar
4 beaten eggs
1 cup almond meal (finely ground almonds)
1 cup pecan pieces
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 drops Basil or Peppermint essential oil (optional)
1) Melt the chocolate and the butter in the top of a double boiler over hot water. Set aside to cool.
2) In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, vanilla and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Use either an electric mixer or a hand beater or whisk. If you prefer, you can substitute either the peppermint or the basil instead of vanilla; both are excellent partners with chocolate.
3) Stir the cooled chocolate mixture into the eggs by hand, scraping the chocolate out of the bowl with a rubber scraper. Mix until the batter is almost completely incorporated.
4) Next, blend in the almond meal until just moist, then add the pecan pieces and stir until the batter is smooth.
5) Pour the batter into a buttered, 9”x 13” pan, and level it with the rubber spatula.
6) Bake at 350º for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick or other tester comes out clean when inserted into the brownies.
7) Cool the pan on a wire rack. When cool, cut the brownies into
approximately 16-20 bars, depending on how large you want them. Serve plain or topped with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. Bliss!