Let it be known: I am not a vegan.
I am not even a vegetarian. And as perviously established, I don't bake. But I am a self-professed glutard, and as such birthday parties tend to be lacking in dessert options for me. My best gal friend turned 30 this week, and threw a birthday picnic potluck by beautiful Lake Merritt in Oakland, CA. The man and I are still getting settled in to our new apartment in Oakland, and our kitchen is in a questionably useful state of unpacking and organization. But I wanted to bring something homemade because 1) a friend of 18+ years deserves only the best, and 2) selfishly, I wanted to a bring a dessert that I would be able to enjoy. These brownie/fudge bites fit all my criteria: real food, no refined sugar, naturally gluten free, no baking required. Best of all they only require one piece of kitchen equipment: a food processor. Which I happen to have. And which I happened to have unpacked.
I loosely followed this recipe, extra points for the Eminem reference in the title! I totally didn't follow the measurements, because who has time for that?
Here's what I did:
2/3 bag of Trader Joe's (TJ) raw walnuts
1.5 bag TJ's dried unsweetened cherries (not in the recipe, inspired by my friend Kat)
1 package Mejool Dates from TJ (minus 5 that had been eaten at an earlier date haha)
2 Capfuls Vanillia Extract
3 (?) Heaping table spoons Cocoa Powder (who'd counting? Just keep tasting to see if it's chocolatey enough)
1/2 Tsp sea salt (optional)
PULSE in your food processor until it resembles dry brownie batter.
Now, at this point you are supposed to roll them into balls. Mine weren't sticking together because I didn't get the nut to date ratio right, but I was out of dates. So I put a big scoop of raw honey and a small dollop of coconut oil in a mug and microwaved it. That looked a little runny, so I added a heaping spoonful of cocoa powder and mixed it together. Note to self: this smelled AMAZING and would make a great frosting-like glaze for other items.
I put the brownie "batter" back in the food processor and added the mug's contents. The added sticky helped them adhere into balls, but they were a little sticky to the touch, so I rolled them in coconut flakes! Yum on yum.
The end result was delicious. Rich, fudge-like, and satisfying. They were a hit at the picnic, and I will definitely make them again. Next time I may try making a Mexican hot chocolate version with cinnamon and cayenne.
Leave me a comment and let me know what variations you come up with!