I was in the Berkshires a few weekends ago and had the opportunity to stop by my favorite yoga retreat, Kripalu, for dinner. Of course I had to stop in the cafe to buy a few bags of their homemade vegan and gluten-free OMG Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies. They are baked chocolate cookies with chocolate chunks, dried cherries, walnuts, and a load of sugar. And they are to die for. So it got me thinking about taking the elements that I love about them—the chocolate, dried cherries, and walnuts—but making them raw and without refined sugar.
And so these raw cherry walnut brownies were born. They just so happen to be to die for as well. You won't believe how easy these are to make. Really the only piece of equipment you need is a good food processor. You know how much I love my basic Cuisinart food processor. And I truly believe it is an indispensable tool in your kitchen. From raw brownies to hummus to pie crust—you can make it all in a food processor. You can buy mine using the link below.
Get started by soaking 1/2 cup of pitted dates for an hour. These will end up in your top ganache layer. While those are soaking, build your base layer.
Pulse a cup of raw almonds and a cup of raw walnuts for 15 seconds.
Then add unsoaked pitted dates and cacao powder and pulse for 30 seconds to break up the dates and incorporate the cacao powder. Last, add the cacao nibs, chopped dried cherries and walnuts and 2 tbsp. of liquid responsibly sourced coconut oil. Pulse this for a few seconds and put entire mixture onto a lined pan.
Press this mixture down firmly with clean hands or the bottom of a flat jar to compact the base.
Place in the freezer and get started on the top ganache layer. Start with a clean food processor and add your drained soaked dates, the cacao powder, kosher salt and almond milk. Process this for a minute. Then in a separate cup, combine the filtered water and the liquid sustainably sourced coconut oil and through the top of the food processor—with the food processor running—slowly stream in the water/oil mixture.
Process for another minute until a smooth frosting consistency forms. This is your delectable ganache.
Get your base layer out of the freezer and pour the ganache over it.
Spread evenly with a spatula and sprinkle on more chopped dried cherries and walnuts to garish.
Put your pan back in the freezer for another 45 minutes or so to set. Remove and cut into squares.
The perfect summer gathering dessert. Keep them in the freezer until ready to serve and get ready to blow your guest's minds with this cool and rich brownie.
Time: 1 hour to soak, 20 minutes to make, 1 hour in freezer
1 c. raw almonds
1 c. raw walnuts
2 1/4 c. pitted dates
2 tbsp. cacao nibs
1/3 c. chopped dried cherries
1/3 c. chopped walnuts
2 tbsp. liquid coconut oil
1/2 c. pitted dates, soaked for 30 minutes
1/2 c. cacao powder
1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4. c. liquid coconut oil
1/4 c. filtered water
1/4 c. chopped raw walnuts
1/4 c. chopped dried cherries
An hour before beginning, start soaking the top layer’s 1/2 c. pitted dates in double the amount of water for an hour. Drain and set aside after an hour.
For the bottom layer, in your food processor pulse the almonds and walnuts10-15 seconds until they form a course meal. Add the dates and process for 30 seconds until combined. Add the rest of the base layer ingredients (nibs, cherries, walnuts and coconut oil) and pulse a few seconds to incorporate.
Line a pan with parchment or wax paper. Dump contents into pan and spread evenly with clean hands. Press down firmly to mold. Place pan in the freezer until the top layer is ready.
In the cleaned food processor, add drained soaked dates, the cacao powder, the unsweetened almond milk and kosher salt. Process for a minute, stopping to scrape down sides. In a separate cup, add the liquid coconut oil and filtered water together. With the food processor going, slowly pour in the oil/water mixture in through the top hole. Blend for another minute minutes, until it resembles a creamy frosting consistency.
Take the pan out of the freezer and pour the top layer on. Spread evenly and garnish with chopped walnuts and chopped dried cherries. Put back in the freezer until hardened, approximate one hour in total.
Remove by the parchment paper and place on cutting board. Cut into squares. Store any leftovers in the freezer.
Makes approximately 16 - 20 squares.