Crazy Brownies from "Plant-Powered Families" cookbook by Dreena Burton

Crazy Brownies

These brownies are incredible! They are fudgy and dense and sweet. Make them and see whether your family can even GUESS what’s in them! Ingredients (16 brownies)
Course Cookies, Dessert
Servings 16 brownies


For Brownies

  • 1/2 cup kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup peeled precooked, and cooled yellow or red potato (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini or nut butter see note and nut-free option
  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter see note
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons nondairy milk
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or 11/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons nondairy chocolate chips mini are nice

For Ganache

  • 1/4 cup coconut butter
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 pinches sea salt
  • 3 - 3 1/2 tablespoons nondairy milk see note
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup


For Brownies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8" × 8" brownie pan with parchment paper. Using a small or mini food processor, puree the beans, dates, potato, tahini, and coconut butter until smooth, and then add the maple syrup and milk and puree again. Add the cocoa powder, sugar, arrowroot, vanilla bean powder, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt to the processor and puree until combined. (If your processor is too small, transfer the date mixture to a bowl, and use a spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients.) Stir in the chocolate chips. Transfer the mixture to the brownie pan, and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 22–24 minutes (brownies will firm with cooling and are more fudgy with less baking, so don’t overbake). Remove, let cool completely, frost if desired, and cut into squares.
  2. Potato Note: Potatoes add moisture and density when combined with the beans. If you don’t have cooked potato, substitute 1/4 cup of potato starch and increase the milk to 5 tablespoons.
  3. Nut-Free Option/Tahini Note: I use a good-quality tahini, with a mellow, buttery flavor and smooth texture. If you don’t have nut allergies, try substituting macadamia or almond butter. Another 1 tablespoon of nondairy milk may be needed if the nut butter is quite thick/dense.
  4. Coconut Butter Note: If you don’t have coconut butter, you can substitute another 11/2 tablespoons of a nut butter like macadamia, almond, or cashew butter—or more tahini.
  5. Frosting Note: Chocolate Ganache (below), is wickedly good on these brownies!

For Ganache

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut butter, cocoa powder, sea salt, milk, and maple syrup over very low heat (or use a double boiler for better heat control). Whisk through until the coconut butter is melted and all the ingredients are smooth. Transfer to a glass dish to let cool. Refrigerate until completely chilled, then use for spreading between cookies for cookie sandwiches, and as a thick frosting for cakes or brownies.

Recipe Notes

For Ganache: