Peanut butter protein brownie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Brownie of the Gods

What do you get when you cross a five pound tub of protein powder with an impending 36-hour house arrest due to black ice and subzero temperatures?

A chocolate peanut butter protein brownie of the gods.

BOOMsauce!™ Rob

When I started Crossfit, I switched to whey protein powder (from my usual hemp). I wanted to cut back on the large quantities of fruit I was putting into my morning smoothies, and whey has always been my favorite tasting powder. (I try to avoid dairy/casein because I love my cow friends and hate the factory farming that brings dairy to my door, but it’s doggone hard to get enough protein without it unless I’m dedicated to cooking at home – which right now, I don’t have time for). I ordered a 5# tub of chocolate whey protein powder, and yowza! That’s a big tub of protein powder.

After eating too much cheesecake last weekend (and in the cheesecake-hangover week that followed), I’ve had cake-like things on my mind. So at lunch today, I found myself googling around for protein brownie recipes. Somebody has got to have figured this out by now, right? Well, unsurprisingly, there are quite a few recipes out there in the wild – but none of them looked quite like the brownie of my dreams. Most looked a bit dry.

So I took it upon myself to mash up a few different recipes. I also used this opportunity to try something I’ve wanted to test out for some time now – black beans in baked goods. (So, no, this recipe isn’t Paleo-friendly if you’re avoiding beans. It could be gluten free if you use gluten free oat flour or make your own oat flour from gluten free oats).

I am definitely not a natural in the kitchen, so I was fully prepared for this recipe to flop. Imagine my surprise when I took this gooey, peanut buttery, chocolatey amazingness out of the oven. It smelled so good and tasted amazing! It is truly not far off from the insane, sugary dessert of your dreams – minus most of the sugar. The macro profile is, dare I say, fantastic for a brownie, and it rivals my typical breakfast protein smoothie.

Some details on my version:

  • I used Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard protein powder in Chocolate.
  • I used homemade almond milk, unstrained. (For a full batch: 1 cup raw almonds, 4 cups water, 2 minutes in the Vitamix on high. Enjoy!) You could swap any dairy or non-dairy milk. My version is a little more caloric than commercial almond milk, but has 5x the protein and all of the nutrition of the whole nuts, with no chemicals or other junk.
  • I used a whole cup of peanut butter chips, because I am obsessed with peanut butter. A normal person would probably use 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
  • I used 2 tbsp agave, because the batter after 1 tbsp was just a little too bitter from the cocoa. These are not super-sweet – just a little sweet. You could opt to sweeten them with honey or stevia or whatever else you like – just be sure to adjust the amounts. (Stevia, for example, is a bit sweeter than agave, so you’d want to use less).
  • 1 cup of black beans is about 2/3 of a standard can (about 200g). I was tempted to use the whole can for convenience’s sake, but I was winging it as it was, so I didn’t want to get too frisky.
  • The coconut oil can probably be eliminated, but I wanted it in there, because – coconut oil. Don’t hate.
  • Most people could probably cut the pan into 12-15 smaller brownies, but I am not most people. Big honkin brownie get in mah belleh! I cut the pan into 9 good-sized brownies – big enough to be a quick breakfast or lunch (as opposed to snack-sized). (Besides, cutting an uneven balance of rows and columns into a square pan would not sit well with my obsessive-compulsive tendencies).
  • The can of black beans I used that expired 3 months ago tasted fine and hasn’t killed me yet.

Here are the nutrition facts, based on my version described above:

  • 20g protein, 29g carb (14g sugar, 4g fiber),  13g fat

Peanut butter protein brownie nutrition


Most similar recipes recommended storing these in the fridge, so I’ve put mine into an airtight container in the refrigerator – but they were definitely tasty warm and fresh from the oven.

The aftermath:

Empty plate

He gone!

Without further adieu, here’s the recipe. Enjoy!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Brownies

by Shelly Hokanson

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (Serves 9-12)

    Dry Ingredients

    • 1 tbsp baking powder
    • 1/4 cup oat flour
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 cup whey protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)
    • 1 cup peanut butter chips (or less, if you’re less obsessed with pb)

    Wet Ingredients

    • 1 cup black beans (cooked and drained)
    • 1/3 cup almond milk (or other dairy or non-dairy milk)
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    • 1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
    • 2 tbsp agave nectar (or other sweetener, to taste)
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 tbsp coconut oil


    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8×8 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
    2. Whisk together all dry ingredients except for the peanut butter chips. Set aside.
    3. Melt coconut oil (about 30 seconds in the microwave).
    4. In a food processor or blender, mix the wet ingredients (including the melted coconut oil) until smooth, about 1 minute.
    5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry.
    6. Stir until well combined.
    7. Fold in peanut butter chips.
    8. Pour batter into baking pan.
    9. Bake for 22-26 minutes, or until top has set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    10. Cool completely, then cut into 9-12 squares.


    Store covered in the refrigerator.

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    Chocolate Chip Cookies Gone Wild

    Chocolate chip cookies + peanut butter + pretzels.

    Salty, sweet goodness.

    ‘Nuff said.

    Inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest (where I lose way too many hours of my life).

    Chocolate Chip Cookies Gone Wild

    by Shelly Hokanson

    Prep Time: 10

    Cook Time: 12

    Keywords: bake dessert snack sweets vegan vegetarian pretzels chocolate chips peanut butter chips cookie

    Ingredients (18 cookies)

    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup white sugar
    • scant 2/3 cup canola oil
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk
    • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
    • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
    • 1/2 cup crushed pretzels (about 1 large handful)


    Preheat oven to 350F.

    Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Combine brown sugar, white sugar, oil, soy milk, and cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Mix at medium speed for 1-2 minutes until a syrupy consistency is reached.

    Mix in vanilla.

    Add baking soda, salt, and 1 cup of the flour. Mix until well combined.

    Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour and mix.

    Fold in chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and pretzels.

    Roll the dough into balls (a large cookie scoop works well). Flatten and place on cookie sheet.

    Bake for 12-13 minutes until edges start to brown.

    Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

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    Easy Turtles

    Last week, my mother suggested to me that I get some turtles candies for my grandmother this holiday season. Mmmm, turtles! I loves me some chocolate and caramel.

    Seeing as I’m on Christmas break (and have waaaaaay too much time on my hands!), I thought, why not try to make my own turtles? Coming up with no good reasons, I took a stab at it.

    * whips out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle weapons *

    Well, not really. But these were super easy to make and super delicious. I used walnuts, because I didn’t have any pecans on hand, but I will be making future batches with pecans. Yum!

    Easy Vegan Turtles

    Easy Vegan Turtles

    Easy Vegan Turtles

    by Shelly

    Prep Time: 10

    Cook Time: 30

    Keywords: chill sweets vegetarian vegan chocolate nuts

    Ingredients (12 turtles)

    • 2 tbsp Earth Balance
    • 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla soymilk
    • 3/4 – 1 cup sweet or semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips (or 4 oz. vegan baking chocolate)
    • 2 cups pecan halves or walnut pieces


    Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment and make room in the fridge.

    In a small saucepan, melt Earth Balance over medium-low heat and add brown sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly. Add 1 tbsp of soymilk to help dissolve the sugar, if necessary. Continue to add brown sugar until the mixture looks like caramel.

    Remove from heat. Allow to cool. (Place your caramel mixture briefly in the fridge or freezer if you can. This will help thicken it).

    Melt chocolate, either in the microwave (stirring every 15-30 seconds until smooth) or in a double boiler.

    On the lined baking sheet, make little clumps of a few pecans or walnuts.

    Spoon a bit of melted chocolate onto each clump of nuts. Then, spoon some caramel onto each. Lastly, spoon one more coat of chocolate on top.

    Transfer to the fridge to firm up, about 30 minutes.

    Store in the refrigerator.

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    The One Where I Made Donuts

    This may be the most delicious baked good I’ve ever made in my life.

    No joke, people.

    Chocolate frosted donut

    Chocolate frosted donut


    Some backstory: my favorite food bloggers have been taunting me with baked donut recipes for ages. There’s this apple cider donut recipe from Peas & Thank You. Then, there’s this mini donut recipe from Vegan Yum Yum. I loved donuts as a kid, but have avoided them like the plague for the last few years (because, well, I can only run off so many calories, people!) Baked donuts – and homemade ones, particularly – don’t have to be so evil.

    Upon deciding that I might be able to find some homemade donut wiggle-room in my diet, I set out to find donut baking pans – which were surprisingly hard to find! I eventually snagged this 6-donut pan at Bed Bath and Beyond, but don’t get too excited if you’re seeking your own; they’ve been out of stock for a while. Unfortunately, I only bought one. I should have bought at least 2 – maybe 4!

    Armed with my one 6-donut pan, I knew someday I’d make some donuts.

    It wasn’t until this glorious beast graced my kitchen counter that I found myself inspired to embark on donut-making:

    New KitchenAid Pro 550HD Stand Mixer

    New KitchenAid Pro 550HD Stand Mixer

    I got a really great deal at Costco – $269! This is the KitchenAid Pro 550HD 5.5 quart stand mixer. It’s got the commercial-style bowl lift (instead of the tilt-head, like the Artisan models). I’ve wanted a stand mixer pretty much my whole life, but could never justify spending the money. My plan was to get married and put it on my Gift Registry. As it turns out, I could be waiting a very long time for a stand mixer… so, Merry Christmas to Me!

    Using this mixer gives me flashbacks to standing on a chair in my grandma’s kitchen, helping her bake cookies. I’ve got memories of her mixer that I haven’t recalled for 30 years – but in a deja-vu moment, raising the lever that lifts the mixer bowl brought me straight back to gram’s kitchen. It was pretty wild!

    Now properly armed, I got to work making the donut recipe from Vegan Yum Yum. I was reading it out of the cookbook, but the one on the web site is the same.

    Happy disaster

    Happy disaster

    I was also simultaneously working on a cookie recipe and a bread recipe. Ahhh, the happy disaster known as my kitchen! I love my kitchen! I especially like that lift-up cabinet door. Turns out, it’s really convenient! I just leave it open while I’m working, and my spices and gadgets are easy to get to but out of the way. I wish the cabinet above it was easier to reach. I’m too short.

    But check out the view of the mountains in the background! Love love love. Virginia is beautiful.

    Getting back to the baking. OK, don’t shoot me for the Splenda/sugar mix. I know Splenda is evil, but so are junk food calories – and I bought this bag of Splenda baking mix before I went whole-foods organic, and couldn’t bear to throw it away when I was cleaning out my cabinets of processed crap. So I still bake with it sometimes… and when it’s gone, it’s gone. I swear.

    /end confession

    The important thing is that these donuts are insanely delicious and absolutely perfect in their flavors. I can’t even begin to describe how heavenly tasty they are. You must make them. Now.



    Even if you totally fail at drizzling chocolate on top, like I did:

    Iced donut with chocolate

    Iced donut with chocolate

    They still taste amazing.

    Somebody Needs to Make These

    So I came across this recipe for peanut butter cookie dough truffles, and I want to make it so bad! But if I do, well, I’ll have a bunch of peanut butter cookie dough truffles staring me in the face, and I will end up screaming, “GET IN MAH BELLY!” That can only lead to bad, bad things.

    I veganized the original recipe (though you non-vegan folks could just as easily use the original). Either way, SOMEBODY needs to make these!


    Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffles

    by Shelly

    Prep Time: 15

    Cook Time: 90

    Adapted from (veganized!)

    Ingredients (50-60 truffles)

    • 2 cups creamy peanut butter (optional: additional 1/2 cup for garnish)
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 6 tablespoons Earth balance, softened to room temperature
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 2/3 cup crisped rice cereal
    • 2 1/2 – 3 cups vegan chocolate chips or equivalent dark chocolate


    Beat peanut butter and Earth Balance in a mixer until smooth and creamy.

    Slowly add vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix until doughy consistency is achieved, adding powdered sugar by the tablespoon if necessary.

    Fold in rice krispies cereal.

    Roll dough into teaspoon-sized balls.

    Place dough balls on a parchment-covered baking sheet.

    Refrigerate for 60-90 minutes.

    Melt chocolate in the microwave (stir every 15-30 seconds until melted) or double boiler.

    Dip each dough ball in the chocolate until fully coated. Return to baking sheet.

    Refrigerate 30 minutes, then serve.


    Melt an additional 1/2 cup of peanut butter and drizzle over truffles before final refrigeration.


    Store in refrigerator.

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