Chocolate Chunk Black Bean Brownies with Cherries and Toasted Pecans

Chocolate Chunk Black Bean Brownies with Cherries and Toasted Pecans

Black bean brownies are great. But you know what’s better (provided no nut allergies)? Black bean brownies chock full of the goodness of chocolate chunks, dried cherries, and toasted pecans. Oh yeah, I went there. And you should, too.

Note – I updated this recipe late-March 2023, so if you made it before then, I think it now is much better! It’s sweeter and much more, well, like a brownie. I hope you enjoy!

Chocolate Chunk Black Bean Brownies with Cherries and Toasted Pecans

Recipe by A Legume a DayCourse: Desserts, On-the-GoDifficulty: Easy
Servings

9

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Baking time

20

minutes
Calories

279

kcal

Black bean brownies taken up a notch with the rich nuttiness of toasted pecans and the classic combination of chocolate and cherries.

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 15-oz. can)

  • 1/2 cup (40 g) oats (dry; old-fashioned or quick, but try to keep it to just 40 g)

  • 1/4 cup (64 g) peanut butter

  • 2 Tbs (11 g) cocoa powder, unsweetened

  • 1/2 cup (72 g) brown sugar (packed)

  • 1/4 cup (55 g) neutral oil (like canola or vegetable oil)

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • ~1/4 tsp salt – use your judgment here, based on the saltiness level of the beans and peanut butter you are using

  • 1 – 2 Tbs milk of choice, or as needed

  • Add-Ins
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) chopped pecans, toasted and then roughly chopped – or use walnuts if you prefer

  • 1/4 cup (40 g) dried cherries, roughly chopped

  • ~1/2 bar of your favorite chocolate bar (I like plain dark chocolate in this), or 1/2 cup chocolate chunks or chips

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (~175 degrees C).
  • Toast pecans and roughly chop them after they are done and have cooled slightly (read: please don’t burn yourself). See note below about toasting pecans!
  • Drain and rinse beans well.
  • Blend oats in a food processor or high-speed blender to the consistency of flour.
  • Add beans, oats, peanut butter, cocoa powder, brown sugar, neutral oil, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt to a high-powered blender and puree until smooth. If it is not blending well, add a tablespoon or two of milk to help it along. The batter will be very thick – that’s okay!
  • There are no raw eggs or uncooked flour (tragic fact for those of us who love the flavor of raw cookie dough: uncooked flour is also a food safety risk, not just raw eggs). So, at this point, I would recommend tasting the batter for flavor. If you want to add a little more of anything, now is your chance!
  • Add the toasted pecans, dried cherries, and chocolate of your choice to the batter and stir by hand to combine – do not blend, you want chunks in the batter! If it is too hard to do this in your blender/food processor, you can move the batter to a separate bowl to more easily stir in the add-ins.
  • Spray/grease a baking vessel of your choice (like an 8×8 baking pan or mini loaf pan), or line it with parchment paper. Pour in the black bean brownie batter.
  • Bake until the edges are firm and the middle is set, ~12-20 minutes depending on the size of your pan.
  • Allow to cool slightly in the pan so that the brownies hold their shape when you remove them.
  • Enjoy! If you have leftovers, they store well in the fridge for a few days. They also freeze well, which is a lovely way to keep these on-hand. Warm them slightly before eating to enjoy nice and melty bits of chocolate.

Notes

  • You can wait until the oven is preheated to toast your pecans, or you could toss them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper while the oven is preheating. This is my strategy to save energy and time, but totally your call! Either way, I recommend toasting pecans halves and then chopping them after. Keep an eye on them, tossing as necessary. Toast them so that they slightly darken in color, majorly boosting flavor and texture. When they are done, put them in a bowl to cool – leaving them on the cookie sheet can result in continued cooking and burnt pecans. I tested this (unintentionally) so you don’t have to… you’re welcome. 
  • Yes, you can use chocolate chips instead. But I really do recommend chocolate chunks or even chopping up your own chocolate bar – they melt so much better, making for amazing gooey chocolatey bites.
  • I love my mini loaf pan because it makes these into pre-shaped little brownies my husband and I can easily pack to enjoy a sweet treat while hiking, at work, etc. Muffin tins and 8×8 pans also work well.

Bean Brownie Nutrition Facts

I created these nutrition facts in Nutritionist Pro to give you an idea, but please understand that they can vary slightly between different brands, ingredients, etc.

Chocolate Chunk Black Bean Brownies with Cherries and Toasted Pecans Nutrition Facts

More Beans!

Maybe you want to have a black bean party (because who doesn’t?!) by enjoying a savory black bean dish and following it up with these black bean brownies? Try this Black Bean and Sweet Potato Bake, which is especially perfect this time of year as we head into fall flavors (or perhaps spring, summer, or winter flavors, depending on what time of year you’re reading this – hah!). Or maybe I just feel that way because I have been at over 10,000 feet elevation for the last week and every morning is already under 40 degrees F even in August…

Or do you want to try more delicious ways to bake with beans? Because once you add beans to baking, I challenge you not to be hooked! Beans adds an amazing texture and moistness to baked goods while also conveniently boosting nutrition. So go ahead and check out these awesome Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Bean Blondies! These use maple syrup instead of brown sugar for the sweetness.

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