Rich, indulgent, a little bit playful, and made with whole food ingredients - these raw brownies are gluten free, vegan! The lavender essential oil can be substituted for another essence, such as rose or tangerine, or with a warming spice like cardamom, cinnamon, or nutmeg.
The brownies in the photo were sprinkled with purple sweet potato powder found in Japan, but dried lavender, flower petals, or freeze-dried berry powder would be just as pretty. :)
1 cup dates
1 cup walnuts
1/3 cup oats or coconut flakes
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup cacao powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon melted cacao butter*
1/4 teaspoon salt
2.5 tablespoons cacao powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon almond milk (or other plant-based milk)
1 drop lavender essential oil**
2 tablespoons melted cacao butter*
Pulse oats (or coconut flakes) in a mini-food processor or small blender such as NutriBullet, into a coarse flour. Make sure to keep some texture, do not over process. Empty oats into a bowl, and repeat for pumpkin seeds, blending into a course flour. Set some of the pumpkin seed flour aside for garnish, and add the rest to the oats.
Add dates and walnuts together into the blender or food processor, and pulse until a rough dough has formed. Again, do not over-process, texture is key. Add date mixture to the bowl with the oats and pumpkin seeds, and mix in cacao powder, melted cacao butter, maple syrup, and salt, until well combined.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper (size approximately 6 x 6 inches), and press brownie dough evenly into mold. Place in freezer while you are making the frosting.
Whisk all ingredients together, except cacao butter. Stream melted cacao butter in to emulsify. If mixture seems thick, or 'broken' - meaning that the fat looks separated or curdled, add in additional almond milk 1 teaspoon at a time, until mixture is smooth.
Pour frosting over brownies, sprinkle with pumpkin seed flour, and additional course salt, and return to freezer.
Brownies are easier to cut while frozen, but are best enjoyed thawed. Leave brownies at room temperature for 10 - 15 minutes before enjoying.
*Cacao butter can be melted in a double boiler, or in a bowl set over a pan of hot water (this way the cacao butter does not come in direct contact with the heat source). You will need approximately twice the amount of chopped hard (cold) cacao butter to achieve the desired melted amount. For example, 2 tablespoons chopped cacao butter will yield 2 tablespoons melted cacao butter.
**Some essential oils are contraindicated during pregnancy or with certain health conditions. If you do not wish to consume lavender oil, substitute vanilla or rose extract, or use a pinch of your favorite warming spice such as nutmeg, cardamom, or cinnamon.