Desserts - Phase 1 - Kara's Fabulous Beany Brownies!

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03-31-2008, 03:48 PM
Okay, taken from a daily thread where it was hiding, here's Kara's (tomandkara) famous adaptation of the black bean brownie recipe!

Kara's Fabulous Beany Brownies
1 can navy beans (see below for other bean suggestions), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
about 1 t vanilla extract
4 egg whites
1 c nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup sugar-free caramel syrup (Target brand)
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped fine (I think it would be better with sugar free chocolates, chopped - I'll have to look harder for those next time.)

Mix ingredients together in a blender/ food processor until pureed. Pour into a greased (i.e. SBD-safe "grease") 8x8 cake pan. Stir in some baking chocolate (or sugar free chocolate chips) and nuts (if desired).

Bake a half hour at 350*F, plus a couple minutes.

Kara's Review:
I think Great Northern beans would be fine. I prefer white beans over black beans. They have less inherent flavor. Usually I use cannellini beans, which are the same as Great Northern. I just didn't have any in the cupboard this time around.

Also, I would inform people that they are made with beans. My father-in-law has diverticulitis and ate someone's "pumpkin" pie made with kidney beans once and it made him really sick. Not a lot of people go around announcing that they have intestinal issues, so you might not know.

This recipe is GOOD! The first one I tried was an interesting bean-y concoction. This one passes for "brownie".

07-30-2008, 02:48 PM
I made a mistake in making these brownies this week that turned out great, so I thought I'd share. I jotted the ingredients down on a sticky, and I hadn't made them in a while, so where I scribbled "1 cup milk", I thought I needed a cup of liquid milk instead of dry milk powder, so I added 1 cup water and 1/3 cup dry milk (I do this instead of liquid milk in my baking). Anyway the batter was very thin and watery and I thought I'd ruined them, but when I realized what I'd done, I added the other 2/3 cup milk powder and went ahead to bake them and see if they came out edible. I had to bake them for quite a while, but they came out so moist and fudgey, yumm! So if you like moist and fudgey brownies, add some water to the batter. A cup was too much, but I think next time I'll try it with half a cup. And increase your baking time - I think mine were in for about an hour, but I'll try to get a more exact time next time I make them. Which will be soon! In the meantime if you try this, just keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

04-14-2009, 11:21 AM
I am going to try this recipe instead of the normal black bean brownie recipe.

Question what is agave nectar and where do I find it?

04-14-2009, 07:06 PM
I am going to try this recipe instead of the normal black bean brownie recipe.

Question what is agave nectar and where do I find it?

Agave nectar is derived from the agave plant, and is very low on the glycemic index scale. It has the consistency of honey, and the taste is similar. It is ideal as a sugar substitute for diabetics, and it doesn't trigger cravings. You can usually find it in the natural foods section of your grocery store, and at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

04-15-2009, 08:24 PM
I will have to check as I don't think we have either of those here! So can I use Splenda in place of this?

04-15-2009, 09:28 PM
Hi LM, I see you are in MD, so am I. I don't know what part you are in, but there are some Trader Joes around Balt/Wash/Annapolis area, check their website, maybe there is one near you. If not, agave nectar can be found at health food stores, and I have started to see it in groceries too. I think I picked some up at Giant not long ago. Look where the honey and syrups are.

Just FYI, and of course it is fine to use Splenda too. When Kara was experimenting, I think she included the agave nectar to cut some of the artificial sweetener taste.

04-16-2009, 11:39 AM
OK I have to say these blow the regular bean-y brownies out of the water. Now b/c I didn't have the Agava nectar I just used 1/2 cup splenda, still YUMMO! Now these I will have to not over indulge on. I cut the 8X8 pan into 30 bite size peices! I had 2 for a mis am snack with a HUGE glass of water.

I did add some SF chocolate chips to them as well.

02-09-2010, 10:03 AM
I made these. Last night while eating one I kinda thought if I added some mint to them they would be yummy. Do you think this would work?

I mixed my brownie with frozen cool whip. I smashed it all together it reminded me of oreo blizzard or something.

I didn't think the bean brownie was sweet enough, but the cool whip helps.


02-09-2010, 03:08 PM
Tammie, I usually add mint extract to regular brownies, so I'm sure it would be good in these.

I totally laughed when I read Laurie's initial post. I had no idea these were so "famous"! :)

03-06-2010, 07:02 PM
OMG Kara if these taste as good as the smell, I've died and gone to heaven. I followed the recipe to a tee (I was tempted to add one whole egg but held back!) and used Great Northern Beans. I can hardly wait the 30 minutes! Will let you know...

03-06-2010, 07:51 PM
OK, these were 500x better than the black bean brownies. The tweaking was almost spot on. I can't tell if I am missing sweet or not because each time I tried it, I thought I needed more sweet but then waited to actually chew and it was became sweet enough. No beany flavoring and this recipe is a lot more cake-like than others. Mine even poofed a bit in the middle before settling to cool (barely let them cool BTW).

Overall, these are excellent Kara. You done good!

03-07-2010, 08:27 AM
I'm going to try this recipe....I tried the black bean ones like you did before Jenn and I really did not like them. These that you made look so much better! Did you use Navy beans or Great Northern Beans in Kara's recipe??? Thanks :)

03-07-2010, 10:25 AM
I'm going to try this recipe....I tried the black bean ones like you did before Jenn and I really did not like them. These that you made look so much better! Did you use Navy beans or Great Northern Beans in Kara's recipe??? Thanks :)

Hi Lisa! I used Great Northern Beans.

03-07-2010, 04:49 PM
I finally was lured to try this recipe after reading all these comments, and I must say, these brownies are superior!

I followed the recipe exactly as Kara posted it, and I was a little worried that they would be too sweet with both the SF syrup and the agave, but they were perfect! I tossed the "other" brownie recipe and will make these often.

Thanks, Kara! :)

03-09-2010, 09:38 AM
Could I use SF Vanilla syrup? I don't have the SF caramel. This is the syrup that I use in my coffee in the morning? Anyone think this would work as a substitute?

03-09-2010, 09:44 AM
Lisa, I'm sure vanilla would be just fine. This recipe evolved from the black bean brownies recipe, which I didn't care for but saw promise in. I just started messing with it and posting in the daily about how each new batch turned out. This happened to be the one where I got the baking powder/soda combo right and Laurie copied it out of the daily and put it up here in the recipe thread months later because people were looking for it. I'm thinking about trying peanut butter in them, at Kadyn's request, so I'll have to post how that goes.

03-09-2010, 01:57 PM
I finally tried these yesterday, and have to say they were fantabulous!! I followed the recipe, but used 2 whole eggs instead of the 4 whites, and it was just fine.

I had SF chocolate, and when I served my pieces for dessert I drizzled a little over the top.

The other recipe works fine on P1,but I wasn't personally fond of it, but there is no comparison, once a person is on P2!

03-09-2010, 01:57 PM
Dumb question- Do these count towards our sweet treat for the day, or towards our beans? Look at me, trying to sneak in 2 desserts! :D

ETA- I used a slightly different recipe (had no dry milk) and used Splenda, not agave but I did throw in some semisweet choc. chips.


03-09-2010, 07:19 PM
I used it as both because of the agave/splenda and cocoa and unsweetened chocolate but it only has about 1/9th a can of beans so more so sweet treat than beans I think.

08-27-2010, 07:40 PM
I wanted to like this. I really, really did. And maybe it's just that I'm not yet all THAT desperate for brownies, but I wanted to try it. The only things I changed were used 1/2 c Splenda rather than agave, and regular skim milk instead of powdered because my eyes and hands are faster than my brain. And two whole eggs rather than four whites.

Okay, then I realized after I poured the batter in that a "blender" isn't the same as the "mixer" I used. But whatever. :dizzy:The tiny goofup on the texture I can fix next time. BUT mine came out waaaaaay too chocolaty and I'm just not the kind of gal who normally says that about anything. It's not that they're not sweet enough, but rather, they're too overpoweringly chocolate. Is it maybe the two baking squares in addition to the powdered chocolate? Because I'm not sure which to cut down for next time.

I WILL try these again! And THANKS for everyone who went to the trouble to post their changes and results. Big help to us all!

04-21-2012, 05:42 PM
Thank you for this recipe! I subbed a teaspoon of espresso powder for the cinnamon but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. My son and boyfriend didn't believe me when I told them the ingredients.

04-21-2012, 11:34 PM
I made these but made them Cheesecake Swirl instead! I didn't have the unsweetened chocolate so I decided to do cheesecake swirl instead. I mixed 4 oz of FF cream cheese with one egg and some SF vanilla syrup to taste. Then I dropped spoonfuls of that on and swirled.

04-22-2012, 02:03 AM
I will have to try that, tar118! Lovelove cheesecake swirl brownies.

04-24-2012, 09:12 PM
On Sunday I made a pan of 'real' brownies for the menfolk.

I did not have agave so I used about 1/4 cup Splenda ( I was not a fan of the taste of Splenda in the bean muffins I made, so that's why I cut back) I do not have a I tried to mash the beans with a potato masher, then tried to cream them smooth in my KitchenAid.

I listened to Lexxis and used 2 whole eggs. I did not have the unsweetened chocolate.

I used mini muffin tins, with paper liners. I got 48 of them! calculated to about 15 calories per little cake. I've put them in a big ziplock bag in the refridgerator.

I find them ... okay :D I am sure if they were smoothly processed that would help the texture, there is the occasional lump of bean that I get :rofl: If I put a tiny schmear of all natural smooth pb on them, they are much better to me, and I have to have them with a big cup of coffee. But if they become my evening treat, it is a perfectly acceptable treat.

07-14-2012, 09:12 PM
Overall, I thought these were just okay—they did the job for a brownie craving without all the added calories/junk in real brownies. I’ll probably make them again, but I think I will have to play around with the ingredients. Here is what I used:

2 cans Great Northern White Beans (I added an extra can because the mixture was way too thin)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk 1%
1/2 cup sugar-free maple syrup
1/2 cup splenda
2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted

I put it all in the blender like the directions said, and then baked them at 350 for 40 minutes. But... the consistency was a bit weird. Some parts were crumbly and some parts were mushy almost like chocolate mousse. Should I have used the 4 egg whites but whip them up first? Not sure how else to get a smooth, but moist texture.

Also, I think I will add more splenda next time or use SF vanilla syrup instead of the SF maple syrup, they weren’t sweet enough for me, even with 1/2 cup of splenda.

Any other suggestions?

06-28-2013, 03:02 AM
:( I really really wanted these to work. With all the great reviews I couldn't wait to bake these! I followed the instructions to the T (except I swapped sugar free maple syrup for sugar free vanilla syrup).

They've been in the oven a full hour now and they will not set. The top is hard, and has kind of cracked, like a desert surface. But the insides are super gooey still. Almost like a custard. But the flavor is PERFECT. you would never know they were baked with beans. Why in the world didn't the texture part work for me? Alouati said they tried two cans of beans because they thought the batter was too thin. Maybe I should have done the same? I don't know, but I'm very disappointed... :?:

( i swirled some peanut butter in one corner of the dish to try, in case you're wondering what that is in The picture I uploaded :)
Any advice?