Fudgey Chocolate Chunk Brownies (gluten-free, grain-free, vegan)

I’ve been having a weird month. I got shingles, and I seem to be having a challenging time clearing it. Maybe it activated some autoimmune stuff? Nobody knows. An overeager doc sent me to the hospital on Friday, so Scott and I celebrated his 42nd bday in the ER. Promptly followed by drinks at Throwback ‘cuz turns out NOTHING IS WRONG WITH ME. At least, nothing that anyone can figure out. That’s the most annoying part of having a “silent” illness like autoimmunity: NOBODY HAS ANY ANSWERS FOR YOU. After 4+ years of this, it leaves my anxiety flags flying high. Especially when I have some weird viral infection that I can’t clear. Anyway, I digress. The point of this post is about the brownies. When I’m an Anxious Annie, one of my self-soothing practices is to make baked goods and eat them. AND I MAKE NO APOLOGIES ABOUT THIS, TO BE CLEAR. The cool thing is you get to benefit from my anxiety. Surprise bonus! Enjoy these brownies!

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Fudgey Chocolate Chunk Brownies

  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons canned pumpkin

  • 1/2 cup sunbutter (other nut butters will work fine here, too)

  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1 flax egg (1 Tablespoons flax meal + 3 Tablespoons water*)

  • 6 Tablespoons cacao powder

  • 3 Tablespoons almond flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 

  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks

  • 3-4 medjool dates, chopped


*Mix flax meal and water in a small bowl. Let sit 5 minutes, until water is absorbed and mixture is gelatinous. I used a flax egg here because we were all out of real eggs. But I do like the texture flax eggs create in baked goods - extra chewy and dense. You could try using a real egg if you want. Texture may be different.

Combine wet ingredients (pumpkin, sunbutter, syrup, flax egg) and stir to combine well. Add dry ingredients (cacao, almond flour, baking soda and salt); stir to combine.

Cut up some very dark chocolate. This is what I used for chocolate chunks. You could also use chocolate chips. Stir chocolate and chopped dates into the brownie mixture.

Transfer to a greased 9x9 glass baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!