Fudgy Walnut Brownies

What I’m about to say will strike a sour note in some of you, but I have to be true to my heart: A brownie isn’t really a brownie without walnuts.  If you don’t agree with this statement, we may no longer be able to be friends. Or at least not be able to bake brownies together.

I’ll go on further to say that a brownie, at its best, is fudgy, rich, chocolaty, and liberally studded with walnuts that have been toasted. They are the perfect treat. And if I’m being honest, I could probably eat a brownie every dang day of my life. Warm, chocolatey, carbs, you have my heart.

These brownies meet all of the aforementioned criteria and they’re even slightly healthier than your run-of-the-mill brownies. Not only do walnuts double the flavour profile of these brownies, but being a good source of fibre and omega-3 fatty acids, they’re also good for you. And did I mention that the brownies are also refined sugar-free, gluten free, and made with 85% chocolate? They’re sure to suit someone on your Christmas list. Now, to all those of you who are about to stop reading because I mentioned the words “sugar-free” and “brownie” in the same sentence, I urge you to continue. It’s for your own good. These brownies are going to turn your world upside down!

These are the best “healthy” brownies I’ve ever tasted. They might even top the list as some of the best brownies I’ve ever eaten, in general.  So go on, make these for your kiddos, your best friends, or sneak them into your grandma’s stocking. People are going to love them and you are going to love me for sharing them with you. Merry Christmas! Happy holidays! Much love to you all.

I was provided with some California Walnuts, recipe ideas, and a gift card to cover the cost of the recipe ingredients in exchange for creating this post, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Fudgy Walnut Brownies (makes 16 pieces, or serves 8 generously)

// Ingredients //
1 cup dates, pitted (about 16) *I used honey dates. Medjool dates are also a great option.
3 tbsp warm water
7 oz dark chocolate (good quality), chopped * I used 85%
6 tbsp butter, salted
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp quinoa flour
1 cup California walnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until they start to brown and smell fragrant, about 5 to 10 minutes. Once cooled, give them a coarse chop.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C). Line the inside of a 9-inch (23 cm) square pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In the food processor, place dates and 3 tbsp (30 mL) of warm water and blend into a smooth, creamy paste. This will take about 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove butter and chocolate from heat and mix in the date paste followed by one egg at a time until fully incorporated.

Sift together the cocoa powder and quinoa flour in a small bowl and stir into the chocolate mixture. With a wooden spoon, beat the batter vigorously for at least 1 minute until the batter is no longer grainy.

Mix in the walnuts and pour the mixture into prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the brownies feel just set in the centre.

*Note: Careful not to over-bake the brownies. When ready, remove the brownies from the oven and allow to cool completely.



  • Reply January 1, 2013

    kelly @ kellybakes

    I have a confession to make. I don’t really like walnuts. Well, back up. I don’t mind walnuts, but they’re not my favorite nut. Growing up, my mom would put them in banana muffins and I’d get mad and refuse to eat them. I’ll eat almonds in baked goods and pecans in pretty much everything, but I’m really picky about walnuts. The only baked goods I’ll give walnuts a pardon for is brownies…especially fudgy brownies. (or fudgey brownie sundaes with walnuts on top 🙂 Was going to try to make homemade luna bars, which require baking with dates so if those fail epically, I can bake these and redeem myself 😉 Happy new year!

  • Reply January 2, 2013


    I love walnuts in brownies! These look super good!

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