They are first of all, delicious. Rich and thick with puréed black beans and ground espresso; a healthy energetic kick with no refined sugar and no flour.
Ideally, I'd try the recipe again and then write another post because I have a few suggestions. But since I'm too impatient to share my experience with you, dear reader, I will reveal the suggestions without trying them in hopes that you can use your own good judgement.
1 - Since I don't have a food processor, I couldn't purée the beans as well as I wanted. So this would be a good idea. I used a potato masher which worked fine....
2 - If you halve the recipe, which is what I did, you need an 8 X 8 inch square pan, not a 9 X 13 which is what I had to use because my square pan was in the freezer full of rhubarb crisp! The original recipe on www.101cookbooks.com calls for an 11 X 18 inch jelly roll pan, which would be amazing, if you were making the entire recipe, that is enough to last you until 2084.
3 - The recipe calls for espresso powder or instant coffee. If you're going to use ground coffee, use very very finely ground beans. I used a medium grind and, well, I was kind of crunching on the grains. This wasn't so bad, and the flavour was amazing, but improvements could be made.
4 - If you substitute the agave nectar with honey, the taste will be too strong. I'd use sugar instead, brown, or maybe even molasses? Mmmm, better stick with sugar.
5 - Last, oh go ahead, do it, put a dollop of peanut butter on top and eat it with a spoon!
For obvious reasons I do not need to copy and paste the recipe onto this page; plus, Heidi Swanson has kind of changed my life, so going and checking out her website, plus her cookbook, would be a fantastic idea. Also, while you're reading the brownie recipe (which she in fact got from someone else as well!) scroll down to the bottom of the page and check out the chocolate cake recipe made with coconut milk, maple syrup and whole wheat flour. Wow. I'm in awe of her creativity and inspiration to use alternative ingredients for the every day white flour, white sugar we always turn to. No it's not always cheap to buy these substitutes, but I find that if you buy one and then see what else you can do with it, use it up, and then try another one, you're no worse off than you were when you bought it.
By the way, my fellow outdoor clothing sellers loved them.