Go Back

Elena's Secret Squirrel Brownies

Elena Bjørn
If you're looking for a brownie that's higher-than-usual in protein, lower-in-than-usual in fat and has loads of omegas, B vitamins and fibre then this is the recipe for you. That said, if you're just looking for a really tasty brownie this will still absolutely do the trick.
Prep Time 30 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 36 brownies
Calories 141 kcal


  • 24cm square baking tin
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Electric mixer
  • Mixing bowls
  • Moulinette or blender


  • 60 g peanut butter I used smooth, you can use whatever you like. Almond butter would also work.
  • 50 g unsalted butter You could use coconut oil if preferred.
  • 245 g dark chocolate Around 70% cocoa is great, much higher will result in dry, bitter brownies.
  • 65 g white chocolate
  • 65 g milk chocolate
  • 60 g plain flour To make these gluten-free you can swap this for 55g more ground almonds.
  • 50 g finely-ground nuts and seeds I used a mix of linseed, flaxseed, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, hemp seed, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews and Brazil nuts, milled in a moulinette until relatively fine. Good old shop-bought ground almonds would be perfectly fine, though!
  • 65 g cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 360 g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste Extract would be fine.
  • 2 tbsp brewer's yeast (debittered) This can be omitted without affecting the recipe at all.


  • Preheat your oven to 180°c/160°c fan and line your baking tin with greaseproof paper.
  • Measure out your peanut butter, unsalted butter and dark chocolate into a bowl and melt gently in a bain marie. Alternatively, you can melt it carefully using the microwave on low power in 40 second increments until the chocolate is melted. Mix until uniform in colour and texture, and put aside to cool slightly.
  • Mix your eggs and sugar with your hand mixer, or use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, on high. You want the mixture to roughly double in volume and be very pale and fluffy. This could take 3-8 minutes depending on your mixer's speed.
  • Once the egg and sugar mix is voluminous enough, gently fold in the chocolate/butter/peanut butter, plus your vanilla paste or extract. Use figure-of-eight motions, taking care not to knock out too much air, until fairly well combined. Don't worry about making it completely uniform for now.
  • Whisk your ground nuts and seeds, flour (if using), brewer's yeast and cocoa powder together in a bowl briskly until all lumps are gone and the ingredients are evenly dispersed. Add in your white and milk chocolate, chopped into chunks (I like a variety of sizes, just for texture.) Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture gently until no dry streaks remain.
  • Pour your brownie batter into the lined baking tin, spreading evenly if necessary.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on how you like your brownies. Slightly longer will yield a more fudgy/chewy brownie, while less cooking time will give you more of a dessert-style gooey brownie. To check that your brownies are cooked, give your pan a little shake. If any of the batter is still wobbly it needs a little longer.
  • As difficult as it may be, leave your brownies to cool completely before slicing. This will give you much tidier pieces. Make 6 slices in each direction to yield 36 squares. This is the serving size I'd technically recommend in one go but let your heart guide you. I'd be lying if I said I only ever had one at a time.
  • Serve with tea or coffee, or with a scoop of ice cream if you're feeling decadent (as you should!)


You could make this recipe egg-free by substituting the eggs with 1tbsp milled flax seeds hydrated in 3tbsps of warm water and one very ripe medium-sized banana thoroughly mashed, plus a tsp baking powder to compensate for the loss of volume from the eggs.
You could also try swapping the butter for dairy-free spread and the chocolate for vegan chocolate to make it dairy-free (and combine it with the above swaps to make these brownies vegan) but as I haven't tried this myself I can't say how well this would work. If you do try it, I'd love to hear from you! I wouldn't recommend using all peanut-butter, as the batter is already fairly thick and I think this would likely make it far too stodgy, if you could even mix it at all.
You could also experiment with different nut butters, ground nuts and add-ins. I know my mum would like to to throw in some whole pecans, but for me this recipe is about hiding the nuts and seeds in plain sight. 
I am certainly not trying to pretend these brownies are a "health food". I am not remotely qualified to do so, and I also don't want to participate in the perpetuation of diet culture. They just happen to be delicious brownies that cunningly disguise some ingredients that are beneficial to most people's nutrition without being particularly perceptible to the palate. 
Keyword baking, beginner, brownie, cake, chocolate, health benefits, thyroid