I wanted a super moist brownie with sweetness and chewy texture that didn't have sugar. I try to limit my sugar when it's tasty, and I have been thinking about dates lately and how sweet and great they are.
Usually, when baking, I say follow a vegan recipe or modify a vegan recipe because it's so hard to get ratios and measurements right. It's science, chemistry, not the intuitive stuff of cooking. This time, I wanted something that called for eggs that I could use my dates to replace. I found this recipe on cooks.com that sounded right, then I went from there.
Here's what I used:
10 dates large dates equalling 3/4 cup when pitted and squished down
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp flax meal
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
First off, I feel it's important to use great moist dates. I'm not sure how this would turn out without very plump and juicy dates that blend well and are super sweet.
Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9 by 9" pan with parchment paper. Put pitted dates and hot water in food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer into a bowl and add maple syrup, flax, vanilla, and oil and stir until smooth like a carmel. Then put in dry ingredients in a pile on top, finishing with the baking powder. Stir from the top of your pile down so that your dry ingredients mostly blend before they get mixed into the wet completely. The alternative is to stir your dry ingredients together in an different bowl or to sift them inot the wet to combine them well. Once everything is a gooey combination, spread it into your pan and bake for about 25 minutes. Test at 20 min and then go from there. A toothpick inserted should come back mostly clean. It might still stick a little, but there should be no goo. Let cool and then slice into small squares. I did 16 squares and that made my brownies 160 calories each. Not bad, if you ask me.