slow cooked black beans:
first, soak 2 pounds of black beans overnight. the next morning, drain the beans and pour them into the slow cooker. cover the beans by about 2 inches with cold water. put on the low heat setting for 8 hours.
when the beans are ready, let cool and then portion into 2 cups and put in ziploc freezer bags for leftovers! it feels good to restock my fridge with beans! black bean brownies:
preheat the oven to 325 degrees. line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper and lightly oil with canola oil spray.
melt 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate and 1 cup butter in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high. stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely. place 2 cups of black beans, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, seeds from 1 vanilla bean, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor or a blender. blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. the batter should be thick and the beans smooth. set aside.
in a large bowl, mix together the remaining melted chocolate mixture, 1/4 cup instant coffee, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. mix well and set aside.
in a separate bowl, with an electric mixer beat 4 eggs until light and creamy, about 1 minute. add 1 1/2 cups honey and beat well. set aside.
add the bean/chocolate mixture to the coffee/chocolate mixture. stir until blended well.
add the egg mixture, reserving about 1/2 cup. mix well. pour the batter into the prepared pan. using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup egg mixture until light and fluffy and drizzle over the brownie batter. use a wooden toothpick or skewer to pull the egg mixture through the batter, creating a marbled effect. bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the brownies are set. let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares.
note: keep brownies in the refrigerator. they will slice better when cold.