It’s Valentine’s Day – a holiday where we celebrate love, or for some of us, we get to embrace our love of chocolate. Valentine’s Day is one of the few days annually where the large majority of Americans (over 80% by some accounts) consume chocolate in some form or another to celebrate. It’s crazy to think how much money the chocolate and candy companies rake in on this one day alone.
Maybe it’s been all of the Valentine’s chocolate advertisements over the past few weeks, but I have been really yearning for chocolate lately. And not the crappy chocolate in the heart shaped boxes. I have been craving homemade brownies. So, it will probably come as no surprise that I spent yesterday tinkering with my gluten free, Paleo brownies recipe to make it even better.
The Secret Ingredient: Ghee
Paleo brownies can be hit or miss. Sometimes they can be too grainy or not sweet enough. (BTW, I choose not to use any cane sugar or coconut sugar at all in my brownie recipe and instead use maple syrup and honey as the only sweeteners.)
I think I found the secret sauce to take the brownies to the next level. It’s drumroll … ghee. But not just any ghee, a top notch grass fed ghee from 4th & Heart infused with vanilla.
In case you are not familiar, ghee is a clarified butter that separates the oil from the dairy in the butter. It is typically well tolerated by people who cannot consume dairy since it does not contain any casein or lactose. I purchase this vanilla bean ghee from Whole Foods. It’s also available on Amazon or other online retailers if you do not have access to a Whole Foods. This flavorful ghee coupled with the cacao powder helps to make these brownies taste just like regular brownies that do contain gluten and dairy. (Just FYI – I purchased a large, 16 oz bag of organic cacao at Walmart for $8.49 but any high quality cacao/cocoa powder will do.)
A Knockout List of Ingredients
I believe I found the perfect combination of ingredients that will make you not miss regular brownies. Here goes:
- 1 cup cacoa/cocoa powder
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 scoop vanilla collagen powder (optional)
- a pinch or two of salt
- 1/3 cup melted vanilla bean ghee
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup of maple syrup
- 5 squirts of raw unfiltered honey from a squeezable honey container
- 1 tablespoon almond butter or peanut butter (without any sugar or oil added)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Oil a brownie pan or baking dish. (I like to use avocado oil.)
- Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix together. Set aside.
- Melt the ghee on the stove or in the microwave. Let it cool for a few minutes.
- In a KitchenAid bowl or separate mixing bowl, add all of the wet ingredients (minus the ghee) and mix everything together until smooth and fluffy on the mixer’s medium setting.
- Once cool, mix in the melted ghee.
- Slowly add in the dry ingredients, 1/2 cup at a time. Continue to mix until it is smooth and without any lumps.
- Pour the mix into the greased baking or brownie pan.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, checking after 25 minutes. Test the brownies after 25 minutes with a fork. Continue baking until the brownies are firm.
- Cool and Enjoy!
These amazing brownies are delectable are rich, chocolatey … and best of all, your friends and family will never guess that these brownies are paleo, cane sugar free, dairy free and gluten free.