Cherry Almond Brownies

recipes sweets Feb 05, 2020

If there’s one way to my heart, it’s through chocolate. I’ve been a certified chocoholic since birth, and truly nothing has changed. So when I began to brainstorm a treat to bring to my Super Bowl party last week that would likewise serve as a Valentine’s Day-appropriate recipe, brownies just seemed like a no brainer. They’re a crowd pleaser to say the least, but this particular version certainly takes them to the next level.

One of my all-time favorite combos is chocolate and cherry, so why not combine these into an easy baked treat? Not only does the red pop from the cherries scream Valentine’s, but they also bring even more interest and flavor to this favorite dessert.

While you can certainly just use the fresh (or frozen) cherries by themselves, I likewise threw in dried cherries as well for some extra chew. I love the texture of these two types together, and they keep you guessing what every bite has in store.

Another way I took these chocolate treats up a notch? Almonds! Perhaps one of my favorite secret ingredients to slip into desserts is almond extract as it adds a little extra something you might not be able to put your finger on but makes a huge difference.

Likewise, the slivered almonds on top both make these brownies prettier (who doesn’t love that?) and adds some crunch and texture as well.

Though one needs no to excuse to enjoy some fudgey goodness, the incredible benefits of cacao might help fuel your addiction even more. Cacao powder is the made from crushing cocoa beans and removing the fat, but unlike traditional cocoa powder, it doesn’t include any added sugars.

This ancient superfood is high in antioxidants, particularly polyphenols, which are linked to various health benefits including increased blood blow, reduced inflammation and lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Cherries as well are remarkably nutrient-rich and can aid in a restful night’s sleep, muscle recovery, immune system function and even in reducing symptoms of arthritis.

If you’re looking for more ways to get your chocolate in this Valentine’s Day (or any day), check out more of my recipes here! And for those fellow cherry lovers, be sure to whip up a batch of my Chocolate Cherry Almond Granola, Cherry Blueberry Crumble Bars and Vegan Pistachio Cherry Cheesecake Bars.

Whether you’re looking for something to bring to your Gal-entine’s girls night or a way to show your significant other how much you care, this recipe is easy to whip up and super delicious. Plus, it’s surprisingly dairy, gluten and refined sugar free. But don’t stop here! For another healthy brownie recipe, check out my Fudgey Walnut Black Bean Brownies as well.

Happy Valentine’s Day, fellow chocolate lovers!


  

 YIELDS16 Servings
 

 

Ingredients
  •  1 ½ cups gluten free oat flour
  •  1 cup fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
  •  ½ cup dried cherries, unsweetened (optional)
  •  ½ cup dark chocolate chips (look for stevia-sweetened if possible; I used Lily's Dark Chocolate Baking Chips)
  •  ½ cup cacao powder
  •  2  eggs
  •  ½ cup maple syrup
  •  ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  •  2 tbsp plant-based milk (I used almond)
  •  1 tsp vanilla extract
  •  1 tsp almond extract
  •  ½ tsp baking powder
  •  1 tsp cinnamon
  •  ¼ tsp salt
  •  slivered almonds and more chocolate chips to top

 

Directions
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray an 8 x 8 inch baking sheet with non-stick spray (I used coconut oil spray) or line with parchment paper.

Add oat flour, cacao powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt to a bowl, and mix.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, milk, vanilla extract and almond extract.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix to combine completely.
Fold in the chocolate chips, fresh and dried cherries.
Pour batter into your baking dish, smoothing into an even layer.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely before cutting - they will continue to set up as they cool!
Slice into 9 or 16 squares.

Enjoy!

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