Combine all ingredients in a bowl (If using natural nut butter, gently warm it until it is easily stirred) and stir until completely smooth.
Notes: If using Apple Sauce or Unsweetened Protein Powder, or if planning to eat the brownies without frosting, I recommend including the sweetener of choice.
Using peanut butter gives a peanut-butter flavor, while almond or cashew butter taste more neutral. Sunflower butter or pumpkin seed butter can be used for allergy-friendly brownies. You can use regular unsweetened cocoa or a combination of regular and dutch.
Preheat oven to 325° F. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper.
Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper and spread into the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake on center rack 20-25 minutes (20 for super fudgy brownies) – they will be under-cooked when you take them out.
Let cool, then loosely cover with a paper towel and place in the fridge overnight, during which time they will firm up without losing their fudginess. They are also much sweeter the next day!
Frosting options are listed earlier in this post and you need about 1/2 cup total.
Once cut, the brownies can either be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to a month. You can even eat them straight out of the freezer if you wish!
As mentioned, they are more of a healthy snack than a decadent dessert – if you enjoy healthy desserts and snacks, hopefully you will love these!