So this recipe has its origins in a recipe rescue of an ultra stripped down & healthy brownie from The Big Man’s World. I was having a difficult time getting my batch of vegan brownies to firm up, but the original post does mention that they taste better when left out overnight. Being the impatient gimme-my-chocolate person that I am, I decided to change it up and make a sweeter version that resembles a cookie sandwich.
Health seekers, don’t be frightened when I say “sweeter.” My recipe calls for pure vanilla extract & honey to add sweetness, not the granulated white sugar of a “traditional” brownie recipe.
These snacks are a great way to indulge in chocolate without ingesting a lot/any butter & sugar. Plus, the ingredients are common enough & this is a great last-minute use of those bananas that have been eyeing you from the fruit bowl, just begging to be used and not tossed.
(Almost) lastly, some full disclosure up front: if you’re looking for a decadent, rich & ultra sweet brownie recipe that’s also extra healthy & clean, I would keep looking (or please tell me about it!!). However, I have yet to (in my many years of searching) come across any healthy/clean eating brownie recipe that satisfies those cravings. Let’s face it: ultra sweet & super rich come from sugar & butter–two things you’re hard pressed to find on a diet menu.
Moving on, then. These treats are far healthier than a regular brownie, plus they’re tasty & fun to assemble. Also, even though this recipe calls for them to be “frozen,” you can let them sit out for as long as you’d like after their initial freezing time. I decided to stick these in the freezer because (as I mentioned earlier) I was having such a difficult time getting the original vegan recipe to firm up. I have a hunch this could be because I added honey to the batter, but I’m telling you, I tried; after 45 minutes in the oven but being nowhere closer than I had been at 20 minutes, I decided to make a makeshift recipe. Voila!
Cleaned-Up Dark Chocolate Brownie Sandwiches
- 1 cup of overripe bananas (about 3 medium-sized bananas)
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (or any smooth nut butter)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon honey + extra honey to drizzle
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Dark chocolate, for drizzling (the darker, the healthier)
- Chocolate graham crackers (clean it up even more by making them yourself!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease pan of your choice (I chose a 9×9).
- Melt peanut butter, either in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- Mix together bananas, melted peanut butter, cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of honey & 1 teaspoon of vanilla until smooth.
- Pour mixture into greased pan and cook for 25-30 minutes (since this is a flourless recipe, brownies will not be as firm as traditional brownies; poke the center to test for doneness).
- Once brownies have cooled, assemble cookie sandwiches in whatever portion you see fit. I prefer the traditional square method, just like how you’d assemble a s’more.
- Once you’ve put the desired amount of filling between your graham crackers, melt dark chocolate in the microwave. If you would like your chocolate to be more drizzly, stir in a teaspoon of Crisco (I chose not to do this since it detracts from the “healthy” sides of this recipe).
- Drizzle chocolate & honey, respectively, over the sandwiches.
- Put sandwiches in the freezer for 15 minutes, or until brownie centers are firm.