Friday, April 2, 2010

The Secret Ingredient Is....

A few months ago, there were some recipes in the food section of the newspaper that used "secret" ingredients. I filed the article away for future reference; I found it the other day and decided to try one of them, Black Bean Brownies, for Easter.
Black Bean Brownies
1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained (The recipe called for a 16-oz can, but when I went to the store it appears that size deflation had taken place. All the cans were 15 oz. I drained the beans, measured them and used a bit more than half to account for the change.)
3 eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unbleached/unrefined sugar (I used the plain white stuff)
4 tablespoons of unbleached flour (Mine was generic bleached)
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish.

2. Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, sugar and flour in a blender; blend until smooth. Mix in nuts; pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

3. Bake until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. These do not come out fluffy, but will be quite dense.
I would never have thought of making brownies with black beans! It was a little difficult to mix everything in my blender, which is older and doesn't have a lot of power. I suspect that unrefined sugar and unbleached flour are healthier than what I used, but I didn't have any in the house and didn't want to make a special trip to the store.

The brownies smelled great coming out of the oven, but they seemed a little dry when I cut them; there weren't any of those messy crumbles that are so annoying (but SO good to snack on as you clean up!) . The recipe indicated there were 16 servings, although that yielded very small pieces.

My plan is to put them out on Sunday without saying anything and see what reactions I get. If they're inedible, I can always throw them in the compost pile!


  1. Can't wait to hear how these are received!! A good way to get a healthy snack. I will be making a picnic to take to the airport ..... my kids will be coming through and have a layover on their way home from Disney World. I am so excited to get to see them on a holiday! I think I will stick with the tried and true goodies, though.

  2. Kathy-A picnic at the airport. How exciting! Do you have a spot in mind?

  3. I can smell them all the way over here :0)