Hey pals! Yeah, we’ve got some triple decker goodness going on this round–berry between chocolate kind of goodness. Imagine two rounds of cakey, fudgy and intensely chocolaty brownie cookie with a blorp of thick berry cashew creme in the centre, airy as marshmallow and with the zingy tart brightness and bounce of berries. This is what these chocolate brownie berry cookie sandwiches are, and boy do I love them.
DISCLAIMER: I have never had a whoopie pie before. I have a sneaking suspicion these might be perilously close to a whoopie pie, but until then and until my current impression of whoopie pie as muffin-like cakey cookie sandwiches is refuted or rebutted, these shall remain under their christened name. Deal? Deal. I’ll throw you a brownie cookie sandwich as a bonus. Who even came up with whoopie pie, anyway…it sounds rather dubious a name and reminds me too much of those trick cushion things that make the poor victim who sits upon them sound like they released a whopper of a, uh, butt exhale. Yeah…butt exhale…clearly I need to get more sleep. I’m sorry. But you get what I mean.
Half drunken rambling aside, these babies were made with some cool goodies I got from my friends at Bare Blends! Bare Blends, in case you didn’t know, is a super cool bunch of folks down under that have environmentally friendly, super natural and organic, along with tasty and delicious under their hat. Founded in 2012, this group of cool beans set out to offer protein powders, blends and superfoods that aren’t pumped full of artificial chemicals, sweeteners, enhancers and other non body nor environmentally friendly substances and–very importantly–taste good too. I really love that more and more companies are getting into the urgent need to use sustainable resources, to make environmentally friendly a core goal of their production and focusing more in using natural, sustainable ingredients–and Bare Blends are one of the first few companies I saw, especially for one that produces protein powder, that set out to pioneer a green way. The super cool packaging for their products is made of recycled paper instead of plastic, and they choose certified organic ingredients free from synthetic fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics and chemical pesticides (and which also ensures soil fertility due to higher organic matter content and biological activity, how cool is that!).
The brownie cookies in these recipe have some of Bare Blend’s raw peruvian powder protein added in–a vegan (!!) blend of South American superfoods like sacha inchi, which is a Peruvian peanut cultivated in the Amazon and Andes containing healthy fatty acids and easily digestible vegan protein, along with some of my other favourite superfoods like maca, cacao, vanilla bean, mesquite, and lucuma to name a few. The end result is an energy-packed, fragrant nutty blend filled with minerals and protein that can keep you going for a long while. And since I wasn’t aiming to use it for any reason in particular like muscle building or performance after exercise, taste is certainly very important–and I must say that it was impressive. I was cautious about the Peruvian peanut (is it like peanut butter peanut?? is it an exotic peanut?? how exotic can peanuts get, right??) but when I first tasted the blend in pancakes and in a smoothie, it was simply amazing. The Peruvian powder protein gives a flavor that has a milder, more nutty type of peanut flavor as opposed to the full-on peanut party you get from peanut butter, and that is highlighted with a sort of lighter richness, a malty chocolaty flavor from the maca and cacao, and a subtle but fruity and caramelly sweetness. All in all: you get peanutty, malty, chocolaty, and caramelly. So good. And it’s so easy to mix into just about anything–pancakes, oatmeal, smoothies, bakes, raw desserts…definitely thumbs up for this one.
Another package the guys sent over was their bare berries blend. This was such an interesting product–it’s basically a freeze dried powder of a delicious blend of berries, so it’s like a concentrated fairy dust of everything berry nice that makes all your food a beautiful rich beet-shade plum if you add in enough! Yeah, concentrated fairy dust describes it reasonably well. Inside this fairy dust is pomegranate, blueberries, sour cherry, lingonberry, red and black raspberries, black currant, concord grape, acai berry, macqui berry and more–14 berries in total, which makes it a positively massive berry bash going on inside. The powder is a deep rich plum shade and I used it in my berry cashew creme here–it yields a tart, zingy burst of berry flavor and a punch of antioxidants. Can’t express how much I love it. And if you’re short on berries or if the fruit section in your supermarket is jacking up the prices recently, a spoonful of this will ensure you still get the nutrition and the zingy berry feel in your smoothies.
And the last one I got, but not the least–their bare greens blend. I admit, I was hesitant about this one. Berries I can deal, Peruvian peanuts turned out pretty tasty, but I’ve always been skeptical about greens that aren’t, y’know, broccoli or spinach or bok choy. Greens in smoothies I’ve never tried in particular, but I was game to try for this one. And it didn’t disappoint! I had it for a side along with some toast for an after school snack one day, and it tasted amazing. It gave a sort of grassy, fresh zing to my simple smoothie base of frozen banana, almond milk and strawberries. Not in a bad, bitter herbal taste either–sort of like a fresh exhale of mint, but without the mint flavor and a little bit of a matcha sort of feel (and I found out that it did, indeed, contain matcha! So huzzah for discerning tastebuds). It contains kale, wheatgrass, chlorella, matcha, barley, spirulina, and spinach amongst other fun ingredients to form a pack of freeze dried veggie power–vegetables, grasses, algae and matcha. I know, it sounds a little dubious and something overly ‘healthy’…but believe me, it’s good. And covers your vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients sufficiently as well. Get on the green stuff, I say! Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street is green too.
All in all: I’m honestly so glad to have gotten the chance to work with the amazing dudes. Do check them out at Bare Blends–I can’t believe how fortunate I have been to be able to try such products from a company that deserves all the customers it can get, and to be able to test out things that align with my firm belief of environmental respect and care. They’ve also been incredibly understanding and supportive and I couldn’t have asked for more. You can check out my Instagram (and theirs, too) for more ways in which I use these products/ways they can be used!
Back to these cookies though: they have the Power of the Peruvian Peanut and a Battalion of 14 Berries in their cashew creme. Not something to be trifled with taste-wise, because these guys will rock your socks. Soft, fudgy chocolate cookie with a crunch of almonds on top and an almost mousse-like cashew creme in the centre filled with bright berry flavor–what more could you want? Little sandwiches of happiness. Give these a try.
(disclaimer: I was not paid to advertise these products, Bare Blends sent them to me for review. All opinions expressed are mine, and I think it’s pretty darn delicious.)
Chocolate Brownie Berry Cookie Sandwiches
You will need:
For the cookies
-1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
-1/4 cup coconut oil
-1/2 cup raw cane sugar/coconut sugar
-1/3 cup cocoa/cacao/carob
-3 tbs Bare Blends raw peruvian powder protein (or protein powder of your choice/more cocoa/peanut flour)
-1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
-1/2 cup wholewheat pastry flour
-1/2 cup oat flour
-2 tbs rice flour
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-crushed almond slivers
For the cashew creme
-1/4 cup soaked cashews
-handful of frozen berries
-1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
-2 tbs plant based milk
-1 tbs coconut oil/coconut butter
-2 tbs maple syrup
-2 tbs silken tofu/soy yogurt/coconut yogurt/greek yogurt
-1 spoonful bare berries blend
Blend all the ingredients for the cashew creme together in a small food processor or blender attachment, adding a little more plant based milk if needed for the mixture to reach a thick, creamy consistency. Transfer to a bowl, cover with clingwrap and chill in the fridge until needed.
Whisk the applesauce, oil, sugar, vanilla, cocoa, and peruvian protein together in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly incorporated. Sift in the dry ingredients on top and fold it in with a spatula–you should get a moist, tacky dough. Cover the bowl with clingwrap and chill for at least half an hour in the fridge or until the dough is cold enough to handle.
When the dough is cold enough, preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll out ping pong ball sized mounds of dough in your palms into balls before flattening into round cookie shapes onto the parchment paper–these won’t spread much, so flatten them before baking. Scatter crushed almonds on top of half of the cookie dough rounds and press them in slightly. Bake these for 12-15 minutes until the tops are firm when prodded lightly; let them cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
When the cookies are cool, sandwich one almond and one plain with the prepared cashew creme. Chill the sandwiches for at least an hour (overnight is ideal for the cookies to set up really fudgy and for the creme to turn into an almost ice cream texture) before serving!