German Chocolate Brownies

I am a firm believer in giving my body what it wants. Sometimes my aching body wants a rest day, so I take one. If I am fighting to keep my eyelids open in the afternoon, I take a nap. It sounds simple, but I used to be so hard on myself about these things! I thought skipping the gym or catching up on sleep meant I wasn’t working hard enough. Now I know that by listening to my body’s cues about what it needs, I can feel like my happiest, healthiest, best self.

When it comes to food my body wants, I satisfy my cravings with whole, natural, real foods. If I am craving something salty, I use a tin of anchovies to make Caesar vinaigrette for a spinach salad. If I want something greasy, a couple cage-free eggs fried in grass-fed butter does the trick. When I really want something sweet, I love a baked sweet potato topped with cinnamon. On special occasions when I have enough time, I might even bake a paleo-friendly treat to have on hand!

Every time I post a recipe for baked goods, I feel the need to acknowledge that “paleo-ified” or “paleo-ish” brownies, cookies, etc. are not the foundation of the paleo lifestyle. Even gluten-free, dairy-free baked goods are an occasional treat due to their sugar content. However, I have been CRAVING chocolate lately. These brownies are a result of that. If your body is calling for something sinfully decadent, then these German Chocolate Brownies are THE way to answer!

German Chocolate Brownies

These brownies prove that you CAN have it all. Fudgy brownie, creamy caramel frosting, crunchy toasted coconut topping, and a (relatively) clean conscience come together for a heavenly dessert experience.

Ingredients

½ cup coconut oil, melted

½ cup cocoa powder

2 Hershey’s dark chocolate bars (1.45 oz)

½ cup agave nectar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup coconut flour

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 can coconut cream

½ cup brown sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon coconut oil

¼ cup almond butter

3 large Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

½ cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

For the brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease bottom of a 9x9 baking pan with coconut oil and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine coconut oil, cocoa powder, and Hershey’s chocolate bar. Whisk until smooth over medium low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in agave nectar. Whisk in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Add coconut flour, salt, and cinnamon to mixture and gently fold together with a spatula. The mixture should be very thick. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

For the coconut caramel: In a medium saucepan, whisk together coconut cream, brown sugar, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to lowest setting. Let mixture simmer for 45-50 minutes until it looks slightly thickened. Remove from heat and add coconut cream mixture to a blender along with coconut oil, almond butter, and chopped dates. Blend until smooth. Pour into a greased cup or bowl and refrigerate until thick, about 30 minutes.

For the toasted coconut: Place coconut into a dry nonstick pan. Toast over low heat, stirring frequently, until coconut turns a light brown (about 8 minutes).

To assemble: Pour coconut cream caramel mixture over cool brownies and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and mini chocolate chips. Return to fridge until brownies are set and ready to cut, about 5 minutes. Enjoy!