slow cooked black beans + black bean brownies

as your reward for making a big pot of black beans, i am going to share the most amazing brownie with you featuring, yep, you guessed beans!

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.