I always plan – and inevitably fail – to make foods reflecting the flavors of each season. The November I made these brownies, I’d had such lofty hopes of making a million “Pin-able” pumpkin treats, maybe a pie featuring the fruits of fall, and as a grand finale contributing a dish or two to our family’s Thanksgiving table. But life got in the way. I never had time to bake or cook. The page on Foodimentary listing November food holidays was open in my browser, waiting hopefully almost all month, but I never did get around to honoring National Nachos Day or exploring National Bavarian Cream Pie Day…
I swore that that December would be different. Things were starting to look up since I had most of my college stuff finished after November, and I needed something to fill the void previously occupied by the Crazy-Fall-Senior-Year-Essay-Grind. Some seasonal baking was in order. So I decided on November 28th to get an early start on December. Time to make those peppermint bark ice cream brownies I’d been dreaming about!
Somehow my original idea for the holiday treat morphed into berry mint black bean ice cream brownies. While peppermint bark is a signature flavor of the season, I think these brownies are fairly jolly as well: the red berries and green mint chip ice cream are classic Christmas colors, after all. Another great thing about these brownies, jolly as they may be, is that they won’t make your waistline resemble that of Santa Claus. Free of gluten and low in fat, one of these scrumptious squares is the perfect guilt-free gift to your tastebuds, all year long.
Mostly I loved this recipe as it was. The only things I might change are: 1) adding chocolate chips to the brownie batter, and 2) making a better chocolate drizzle. The one I made was not watery enough to be properly called a “drizzle;” furthermore there wasn’t enough of it (probably because I didn’t use enough water.) So either make more, or make none – the recipe doesn’t really need it, in my opinion. I have included the chocolate sauce recipe as I did it with recommendations for adjustment.
Without further ado, here is the first of what I hope will be many December 2014 recipes!
Gluten-Free Black Bean Berry Mint Ice Cream Brownies
brownie recipe based on recipe from fitnessrxwomen.com
makes about eight servings (one 8″ square pan)
- 2 cups low sodium canned black beans, drained
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg white
- one 3-4 oz vanilla pudding snack cup (I suggest replacing with gluten-free yogurt to make it even healthier)
- 1/4 cup Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (or other certified gluten-free cocoa)
- 1/2 cup Truvia Baking Blend
- 1/4 tsp pure mint extract
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup berry flavored jam (I used Smucker’s Strawberry Preserves)
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
ice cream layer
- 2 cups mint chocolate chip ice cream (I used Safeway Select light & creamy 55% less fat Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream; be sure to use a certified gluten-free ice cream if you have allergies)
for topping (optional – not sure how gluten-free this is… I might omit this altogether as it was very subtle and really just a lame excuse to use up the last of our Hershey’s Hugs)
- 3 Hershey’s Hugs kisses candies
- a few drops of water
For brownies: Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Line an 8″ by 8″ pan with aluminum foil. Spray generously with nonstick cooking spray.
Beat eggs and egg white together. Combine black beans, beaten eggs, and pudding in blender. Blend until smooth.
Add the other brownie ingredients. Blend thoroughly until smooth.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or just until a cake tester inserted into the center of brownies comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow brownies to cool for 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
For berry layer: Chop raspberries into tiny pieces (so they won’t be hard to eat when frozen.)
Next, remove brownies from refrigerator. Spread jam carefully and evenly over the surface. Sprinkle raspberry pieces across surface of brownies on top of jam.
For ice cream layer: Spoon ice cream on top of raspberry mixture in little mounds. Flatten gently, trying not to get too much raspberry mixed in with the ice cream as you spread it to cover all of brownies as evenly as possible. (It might help to try freezing brownies in between creating raspberry layer and mint layer.)
After creating the ice cream layer, cover brownies and place in the freezer.
For topping: Again, I recommend either making more of this, and making it more watery so it drizzles better, or just leaving it out. But here is what I did:
Unwrap Hershey’s Hugs. Place in a bowl with a small spoonful of water.
Fill a heavy saucepan with about an inch of water. Bring to a boil.
Place plate with candies and water on top of saucepan; reduce heat to low. Stir constantly until chocolate has melted. Add water as needed to create the consistency of a chocolate sauce.
Drizzle sauce over completely frozen ice cream – it will harden once it hits the ice cream.
To serve: When brownies have been in the freezer for at least 2-3 hours, use a sharp knife to cut into squares. Serve with fresh strawberries and/or raspberries if desired.
Enjoy this colorful and cute treat!