I'll never forget the first time I stumbled onto Laura's (The First Mess) blog. I don't quiet remember how I got there, but I do remember spending pretty much that entire afternoon reading through every single post and drooling over every single recipe. I not only fell in love with Laura's charming "real" writing, I also fell in love with her style of cooking. Fresh, healthy, super creative, but (the best part) is that her recipes are really really approachable. It is exactly my kind of cooking. I felt like we were kindred food spirits.
When Laura first announced that she would be writing a cookbook, I thought two things. There is no doubt this book is going to rock, and it cannot get into my kitchen fast enough. Well ..... it's finally here and it is everything I thought it would be. Beautiful photos, wonderful writing, thoughtful and easy to follow recipes. There are also lots of tips and tricks (like her recipe to make almond milk when you forgot to soak your almonds) with each page turn, I kept saying to myself .... DANG, this is so smart! Laura also has a wonderful way of making plant-based meals that that would please the masses, beyond the usual plant-based coverts. You know, those people who might need a little convincing that plants and veggies can be indulgent, delicious, comforting, but healthy at the same, she's got that covered.
As I read through each recipe and headnote, I had already bookmarked about 20 recipes before I even got close to the dessert section, but when I did arrive there and onto to these brownies, that's where I stopped. I have been looking for a solid gf+df brownie recipe that isn't dry, or doesn't use a lot of unnecessary ingredients. When I read Laura's description in the headnotes, and read about how it was her crowning dessert achievement, I was sold. These would be the first thing I would be making from this book. This recipe is a winner, and it's gotten me even more excited to cook my way through this gorgeous book. Congrats Laura, you are a rockstar, and this book is such a plant-based gem.
Friends, go out and buy this book!!! -----> HERE
This recipe is reprinted from The First Mess Cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Laura Wright
fudgy nut + seed butter brownies ...from the first mess cookbook!
As mentioned, this recipe is from The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright. The only thing that I changed from Laura's recipe was that I used one pot (and skipped using a double broiler), in order to melt the chocolate and blend with the other ingredients. The only reason being I was hoping to have one or two less pans to wash (since I've been doing a lot of dishes recently). It came out perfect, and I hope Laura would approve! Enjoy!
3/4 cup of smooth nut or seed butter (almond, hazelnut, sunflower, or peanut butter)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
3/4 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 cup ( 1 bar) of 70% dark (dairy-free) chocolate, broken up into chunks
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons of coconut flour
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
3 tablespoons of nuts or seeds (I used a mixture of almonds, and added some coconut flakes)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8x8" square baking pan with parchment, leaving some hanging over the edges.
- Place a medium saucepan over very low heat and add the nut butter, maple syrup, apple sauce, and vanilla and stir until the nut butter is melted and the ingredients are combined. Then add the chocolate chunks and cocoa powder and stir continuously until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt until everything is combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the nuts, seeds, and toppings that you like on top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the brownies are firm, and lightly cracked on top. Cool the brownies completely in the pan, and then transfer them to a wire rack by gently lifting the sides of the parchment paper to release. Cover and place the brownies in the fridge for at least 1 hour. This is crucial in order for the brownies to set, and hold together while cutting. Laura recommends running a chef's knife until hot water and drying it off before slicing into the brownies.