So, I think it’s pretty clear from the rest of my posts that I am neither vegan nor gluten-free. However, I consider these types of cooking a challenge – because everything IS better with butter, let’s be real – and I like a challenge. Plus, I feel like I should have recipes in my back pocket for when I’m entertaining someone with different dietary needs. Or, for when I have too many regular brownies and need to pull myself together.
This actually came together randomly – Dixi was over for a pizza and movie night, and I happened to have the brownies on hand already. I was going to pull them out, realized I had coconut milk in the fridge and bananas in the freezer, and thought “sundaes!” Because what goes better with horror movies and hot tubs?
A note about this overall: it’s obviously not as sweet as an actual sundae would be. That may or may not be your speed, but don’t go in expecting a replica – this is not a substitute, it’s more like a riff. I have a lot of other notes below in the ingredients and the instructions – don’t let that scare you. As long as you have a food processor/blender, everything in this recipe is fairly simple.
“Brownies:” (barely adapted from this Food 52 recipe)
- 2 c chopped pecans (even better if they’re toasted)
- 2 c pitted dates (seriously, spend the money and buy the pre-pitted ones. Pitting them yourself is horrible – you’re forced to realize exactly how much they look like cockroaches. And it’s sticky and messy – not worth it, I promise.)
- 2 T coconut oil (I omitted this originally, and you can, but it helps give a more ‘fudgy’ texture.)
- 1/3 c nut butter (I used peanut butter – but honestly, you’re basically making pecan butter out of the pecans, so you could just throw in extra of those, if you like.)
- 1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut (You will have to go to a health food store or order this online. You can sub in sweetened if you like, but the unsweetened is nice on a lot of other things.)
- 1 t vanilla (I know this may sound a little snobby, but good, quality, real vanilla is SUPER important in this recipe. You’re not cooking anything, so you really need the ingredients to be the best you can afford.)
- 2+ T unsweetened cocoa powder (See quality note above. Also, I probably added more like 3. The dates are pretty sweet, so if you like a little bitter in your sweets, don’t be afraid to up this a bit.)
- 1 T maple syrup (this is to taste – you may want as much as double.)
- Dash of salt
4 frozen bananas (Peel, chop and place in freezer bag for at least 4 hours – these take a lot longer to freeze if you leave them whole. Also, don’t do what I did and leave the skins on, it’s a pain.)
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated at least 2 hours
- 1 T vanilla
- Sweetener to taste (I didn’t think it needed any, but you may want to add maple syrup or a little sugar.)
- Pulse pecans in a food processor until smooth, like peanut butter. Add dates and pulse to mix.
- Add other ingredients and mix until smooth. Taste to make sure the sweetness level is where you want it.
- Line an 8×8 pan with wax or parchment, press mixture into pan until flat (ish – it doesn’t have to be perfect.)
- Freeze for 30 minutes-1 hour.
- Slice and serve! They keep well for about a week in the fridge or the freezer, separated by wax paper.
- Add bananas to food processor or blender. Pulse until broken up, then blend until smooth.
- (It’s really important to do this right before you make the sundaes – once the bananas melt, they go from ice cream consistency to banana mush.)
- Scoop solid part of coconut milk off the top of the can. Beat with vanilla and sweetener until smooth.
- Layer it up like your favorite sundae and go to town! You may want to break the brownies up over top of the banana, instead of serving underneath.