Guest Post: Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Today's guest post is from Becky at Quinoa & Cookies.  If you're looking for delicious gluten-free recipes, Becky's blog is the place to visit.  Her spritz cookies were a big hit with my family at Christmas. Hop on over and check it out!

I’m a girl, which means I like chocolate. But do you know what’s even better than chocolate? Chocolate and peanut butter together. Sure, it may sound like an ad from the 1970s, but these really are two great tastes that taste great together!

These brownies are the epitome of chocolate peanut buttery goodness. The brownie itself has a deep, rich flavor without being overly sweet. The frosting balances out the brownie, lending that additional sweetness, as well as just a touch of saltiness. These brownies are decadent and satisfying, and sure to please anybody with a dessert craving.

The best part? They are both gluten free and vegan! I’ve known many a skeptic who feel that food that isn’t “normal” is inherently inferior…these brownies prove them wrong. Honestly, if you don’t tell, nobody will know!

So whether you want a crowd pleasing dessert that complies with many dietary restrictions, or simply something to satisfy your own sweet tooth, these peanut butter cup brownies are just the thing for you!

Ingredients
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, separated
½ cup white sugar, separated
¼ cup canola oil
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp flax seed, dissolved in 6 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp warm coffee
¾ cup gluten free flour, with xanthan gum
¼ tsp baking soda

Topping
1 cup peanut butter
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup salted, roasted peanuts

* Vegan Chocolate Glaze (equal parts powdered sugar and cocoa powder, thinned with almond milk)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325. Line a 8x8 pan (or 7x11) with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together applesauce, ¾ cup cocoa powder, ¼ cup white sugar, and ¼ cup canola, until everything is incorporated. The mixture should be moist throughout.

3. Stir in remaining white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix on low until it is homogeneous.

4. Add in flax eggs and coffee, and beat vigorously, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

5. With the mixer on low, beat in remaining cocoa, flour, and baking soda. Continue to beat until everything is incorporated and the mixture is glossy. The batter will be thick.

6. Transfer batter into prepared pan, and bake for 45 – 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely, frost, top with peanuts, and drizzle with chocolate glaze.

7. To make the frosting: beat together peanut butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla, and slowly add almond milk till you reach desired consistency.

Don't forget to visit Becky over at Quinoa & Cookies!