Healthy Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting
Yields: 16 brownies
 
These brownies remind me of peanut butter cups! They’re supremely fudgy and incredibly rich, similar to 72% dark chocolate, and the creamy peanut butter frosting is the perfect flavor pairing! Leftovers will keep for at least 4 days (if not longer) if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F, and lightly coat an 8”-square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To prepare the brownies, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, egg whites, and vanilla. Stir in the Greek yogurt, mixing until no large lumps remain. Stir in the coconut sugar. Stir in the milk. Add in the flour mixture, stirring until just incorporated.
  3. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 300°F for 15-19 minutes (15 minutes yields the fudgiest brownies; 19 minutes yields slightly cakier brownies). Cool completely to room temperature in the pan, and let the brownies sit for at least 6 hours once at room temperature for the fudgiest texture before frosting and serving.
  4. To prepare the frosting, add the Greek yogurt, peanut butter, instant pudding, and liquid stevia to a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Cover the top of the bowl with foil, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Once the brownies have completely cooled and rested for 6 hours, spread the frosting on top just before serving.
Notes: For the gluten-free flour, use as follows: ½ cup (60g) millet flour, 2 tablespoons (15g) brown rice flour, 2 tablespoons (15g) tapioca flour, and ½ teaspoon xanthan gum. Most store-bought gluten-free flour blends (like this one!) will work as well, if measured like this.

Whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour, or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the white whole wheat flour. Oat flour (gluten-free, if necessary!) may be substituted as well, but be extremely careful when measuring it!

I don’t recommend using Dutched or special dark cocoa powder. The brownies already taste very rich and dark chocolaty without it!

Make sure you measure the cocoa powder and flour correctly, using this method or a kitchen scale. (← That’s the one I own and love!) Too much will dry out your brownies and make them taste bitter.

If your cocoa powder is very bumpy and/or clumpy, then sift it into the mixing bowl.

Brown sugar or granulated sugar may be substituted for the coconut sugar, but the brownies will no longer be clean eating friendly.

Any milk may be substituted for the nonfat milk.

If you’d prefer, ½ cup (120mL) of pure maple syrup, honey, or agave may be substituted for the coconut sugar and 4 tablespoons of the milk. (You still need to add those 2 final tablespoons of milk!)

The brownie edges should look firm but the center should still look somewhat glossy and underdone when you remove the pan from the oven. If the edges of your brownies begin to pull away from the edges of your pan within 10 minutes of removing them from the oven, then you’ve baked them long enough!

For the fudgiest texture, you must wait 6+ hours after your brownies reach room temperature before slicing and serving! If you cut into them while warm, they’ll taste cakey instead of fudgy. The brownies turn fudgier the longer they rest on the counter. I promise it’s worth the wait! (If you’re running short on time, then refrigerator your pan of brownies for at least 1 hour after they’ve cooled completely to room temperature!)

This is my homemade creamy peanut butter recipe! You just need 5 minutes to make it. You can substitute store-bought natural creamy peanut butter if the only ingredients are “peanuts” and “salt.” Don’t substitute crunchy peanut butter. I don’t know whether any other peanut butter will work (aka Skippy Natural, JIF natural, etc).

For a stronger peanut flavor in the frosting, increase the peanut butter by an additional 1-2 tablespoons (16-32g).

This is the instant pudding mix that I used. You just need the dry instant pudding mix—don’t prepare it according to the package directions! You may omit it for a clean-eating option, but you’ll need to increase the liquid stevia. If omitting the instant pudding mix, then only mix together the rest of the ingredients until they’re just incorporated. (Beating for a full 2 minutes would make the frosting fairly liquidy!) Without the instant pudding mix, the frosting won’t be as stiff, so it may drip off the sides of the brownies a bit.

If you’re not a fan of stevia, then substitute the equivalent of 2-4 tablespoons of powdered sugar of your preferred granulated sweetener. (I like using 2-4 tablespoons of this confectioners’ style erythritol!) Do not use maple syrup, honey, or agave—they make the frosting way too runny!

{gluten-free, clean eating option, low fat}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2019/02/24/healthy-fudgy-dark-chocolate-brownies-with-peanut-butter-frosting/