Oh how I love local restaurants that use local food. One of my faves is The Biscuit, an adorable little breakfast and lunch place a few blocks away from us. Granola pancakes with house-made granola, Chicken Apple Hash with sharp cheddar cheese, Chorizo Omelette with locally made chorizo...and OH the potatoes! Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside...and though I usually choose the whole-grain toast, I have to admit that the biscuits are out of this world. Obviously.
But this post is about Breakfast Brownies. Yes! Brownies for breakfast! When I saw these at The Biscuit in the bakery case, I was shocked and amazed and in love with them. Hearty, oatey, fudgey, chock-full of dried cherries and apricots. Just the right amount of sweet.
But we are on a seminary budget, which means we rarely eat out. Which means if I want a Breakfast Brownie more than once a year or so, I have to figure out a way to make it myself.
So that is what I did. I rummaged around the internet looking for a recipe that might slightly resemble these unique treats, and did not find much. So I took what I could get, and modified it heavily. I used whole grain flour that has been soaked overnight with the oats in yogurt - a process that helps break down and make use of the minerals present in the grains. I also used unrefined sugar, pastured butter and eggs, and unrefined sea salt. I still wouldn't recommend eating these for breakfast every day, but if you are looking for a nourishing, rich, hearty, chocolately treat for breakfast or anytime...this is it.
So here's the recipe. Don't forget to start them the day before you want to eat them!
1-1/4 c. rolled oats
3/4 c. whole wheat flour (amazingly, I've gotten the best results with traditional red whole wheat)
1/2 c. yogurt
1 c. butter, divided
1 c. sucanat (unrefined sugar)
1/4 c. honey
1 T. vanilla extract
3/4 c. cocoa powder
1 t. baking powder (aluminum free)
1 t. unrefined salt (such as Real Salt or celtic sea salt)
1 t. instant coffee or espresso powder
1 c. dark chocolate chips
1 c. chopped walnuts/pecans
1 c. dried fruit - tart cherries, apricots (chopped), cranberries, or something else!
1. In a stand mixer, combine oats, flour, yogurt, and 1/2 c. butter. Make sure everything is evenly moistened. Let soak overnight, at least 7 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan. Melt 1/2 c. butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add sucanat and honey and stir. Heat until bubbling, then remove from heat and stir. Whisk in the cocoa, baking powder, salt, instant coffee, and vanilla.
3. Add the eggs to the soaked flour & oat mixture and mix thoroughly. Then add the contents of the saucepan. Mix just until thoroughly combined.
4. Stir in chocolate chips, nuts, and dried fruit.
5. Spread into 9x13 pan. Check after 25 minutes, and bake until the center feels firm (Do not over bake or they will be crumbly).
|They make a great gift, too!|
I also think they would be great with some dried blueberries mixed in there [update: I tried it with dried blueberries and loved it...but the hubby didn't.]...and it might be fun to try them as muffins! You could also try it in a smaller pan to get a thicker brownie (perhaps a round cake pan cut into wedges?); then it would be more like The Biscuit's version. :) In that case, I'm sure it would take a bit longer to bake. Experiment - have fun!
This is part of "Is Your Flour Wet?" a free eBook put together by many Real Bloggers, full of soaked, sprouted, and sourdough whole grain recipes. Download it here!