I made you brownies for Valentine’s day! Or maybe because I had a chocolate craving….. but let’s just go with the former. ;)
I’m not sure why Valentine’s day isn’t also National Chocolate Day. It may as well be. The real National Chocolate Day is October 28th which is actually pretty smart planning because now we can eat tons of chocolate on Valentine’s day and on October 28th. Genius.
While we’re on the subject of chocolate, let me introduce you to these brownies. These puppies are thick and densely fudgy and I could eat them all day.
They are sweetened with maple syrup and I promise the maple flavor is not detectable at all. Since maple syrup is liquid, I used cocoa powder to chocolatize (<– let’s get this added to Merriam Webster) these brownies. And because I can’t help myself, I added chocolate chips too.
Fudgy Naturally Sweetened Brownies
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
- 3/4 c. maple syrup (I used grade B.)
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 t. instant espresso or coffee (can omit if you don’t have it)
- 1/4 t. salt
- 3/4 c. cocoa powder
- 3/4 c. flour
- 1/3-1/2 c. chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate.)
- roughly 1/3 c. chopped hazelnuts, optional
Preheat the oven to 350º. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs, instant espresso powder, and salt. Next add in the cocoa powder and flour. Whisk the batter or use an electric mixer until the batter is smooth. It’s okay if there are still some small clumps. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper or grease with butter, pour in the batter and smooth it evenly in the pan. Top with chopped hazelnuts if using. Bake for 33-36 minutes. (35-36 if using a glass baking dish and 33-34 for a metal, dark-coated baking dish) The brownies are done when you can smell them from the oven, the center is set, and a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Let the brownies cool for 10 minutes or completely for clean, square slices.
Leftover brownies (if there are any ;)) are awesome warmed up in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.