Seasonal Flavors: Brownies with a Secret Ingredient


By Denise Zito

No, not that secret ingredient; we’re in Virginia, not Colorado. File this one under ‘now I’ve heard everything!’ My friend Rhonda joined me for dinner the other day and brought black bean brownies! ‘Oh, good’ I said politely, meanwhile thinking, ‘good heavens, what will this be like?’ The answer: delicious, moist, a bit crumbly and tasting exactly as though they contained flour.

Rhonda has some gluten-free friends (don’t we all?) and uses this recipe when she needs a dessert that everyone can enjoy.

Of course there is a bit of a downside: traditional brownies bake in about 25 minutes while these will take twice as long. They kind of violate that important rule to ‘under-bake chocolate’—which doesn’t seem to hold true with this recipe.

Can you just not wait to serve these and shock the populace?

Black Bean Brownies

  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups mashed black beans
  • 1 cup pecans (leave them whole—I think it’s much better that way)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Use a heavy saucepan to melt the chocolate with the butter. Remove from heat and add the sugar, the eggs, vanilla, mashed beans and pecans.

Bake in a greased and floured OR parchment paper-lined 8 X 8 inch baking pan, for 50 minutes. Check for doneness using a toothpick. These brownies will always be somewhat moist, i.e. your toothpick won’t come out completely clean.