BEST AVOCADO BROWNIES RECIPE

WARNING: these are NOT healthy brownies. Yes, as the title suggests, they have avocado in them which would make you think this is a recipe that’s lighter and somehow better for you. I’m pretty sure they’re not. They’ve got butter, they’ve got sugar. They’re decadent, luscious and are a game changer when served with your favorite vanilla bean ice cream [mine is and always will be Breyers Natural Vanilla, FYI].

Now I did just say these are not healthy brownies. But there are some healthy benefits to this specific recipe and that’s mostly found in the form of chocolate I use. I make mine with 100% natural cacao powder I use this specific brand, but any cacao will do. Personally, I can tell a real difference between cacao and cocoa. You can read more on what makes these two products different here, but basically I find cacao to be a richer, deeper flavor profile than traditional cocoa powder. [unless you can find the seriously good cocoa powders out there, which are hard to come by and sometimes pricey]. Plus, it’s got loads of great health benefits since it’s not processed the way cocoa is, so not a bad thing to try out I’d say!

The avocado I find does a phenomenal job in creating that moist [yes, I know most of us hate this word, especially when creepily whispered, but sometimes it needs to be used!] consistency to the brownie. I do plan to experiment more with removing more butter and adding more avocado to the ratio to see how ‘healthy’ I can get these bad boys without them becoming strange, and if I come up with a version two, I’ll be sure to share it here! Head do the bottom to read the recipe and please share if you make them and what you think!

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BEST AVOCADO BROWNIES

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1 cup unsweetened cacao powder

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1.5 cups sugar

  • 2 large eggs at room temperature

  • 1 very ripe avocado mashed

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2-3 tbsp coffee or espresso [not the ground, but the already made stuff!]

  • 1 stick unsalted butter softened

  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts [optional]

Preheat to 325F

Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer. Blend in the eggs, avocado, vanilla and coffee. In a separate bowl combine the flour, cacao, baking soda and salt. Add the dry to the wet mixture and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans (you can reserve a small handful to dot the top of the brownies). 

Bake in a greased 8x8 baking dish for 50 minutes to an hour. I prefer them gooey and a little under so you can adjust the cooking time to what works for you! Bakes 16 squares

TIP: This recipe doubles well if you’re baking for a crowd, just don’t double your amount of salt [I typically do 3/4tsp for a double batch]

ALL THE UPDATES! WHERE HAVE I BEEN? MOVING TO DALLAS AND BUYING A NEW HOME

I felt a little bit sick when I saw the last time I’d posted was in mid SEPTEMBER. EEEEK. It’s been over FOUR months since I’ve posted here! I feel a ton of guilt about it. Having a blog is a personal space where I write and share and in these four months, I’ve done almost no writing or sharing, here or otherwise. Even my social media accounts [Instagram and Facebook] took a major backseat.

I’ve been very much off the grid. It’s been a whirlwind of life changes. Family changes. House changes. Location changes. Just about everything that could shift in my life has. So many things have changed for the good, but change nonetheless is daunting. I’ve especially discovered how difficult change can be to my creative outlets.

These first few months of the new year I’m set on reworking my two websites [this one and my design business, A Simpler Design]. They’re my most satisfying outlet to work on, and I just haven’t given them the attention they deserve. I need to get back to taking beautiful photos, sharing what I cook, where I go, what I’m working on, all the things. I’ve started sharing little stories on my instagram account and as I do, I’m reminded that many of those short musings are essentially blog posts, only on a different platform. To ease myself back into blogging and writing life, I’ll start sharing my short daily somethings here.

In the meantime while I get that up and running, I thought I’d share photos of my beautiful home in Dallas, Texas and a [semi] brief update on how I got here. In October I sold my beloved home in Atlanta, Georgia [how I miss you Greenwood!], bought my new home [Edgefield is my new smaller, but just as beautiful gem!], drove from Atlanta to Dallas with my entire fur baby family in tow. In November, I did some renovations to the house straight away [mostly cosmetic, but still messy!], hosted my first Thanksgiving in said new home [literally the day after my countertops and sink were installed!], and completely decorated my new home [almost entirely with things I already owned, but still an endeavor because unpacking and organizing is a bitch!]. December brought the holidays, more organizing and decorating [so much holiday decorating on top of it all!], and my mom came and stayed for a couple weeks [she missed the fur babies and me too possibly hah]. January has been a struggle bus. I’ve been sick since just after Christmas, and have had ups and downs with relentless colds and coughs and fevers and bleh and I’m starting to wonder if I have pneumonia and AHH. But I’ve been trying to truck through and keep telling myself February will be my month of health since January was a complete bust in that department. #goals if I’ve ever needed them!

There’s so much I want and need to accomplish in these coming months, and I’m hopeful for the year ahead. Never-ending sickness aside, I’ve been so lucky in many ways, and so thankful to have such supportive family and friends, and I know there are only more good things to come this year.

Ok…now you can check out the photos of my house! [of course these are just the real estate ones and I haven’t gotten around to photographing it with all my things in and with the renovations I’ve made, but of course I will share all that in due time!].

Missed you and glad to be back and rambling :)

xx Jo

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WHOLE HOUSE VIDEO TOUR [WHAT'S BEEN KEEPING ME BUSY!]

September is one of those months that always kicks me back into gear. I get weirdly, disturbingly, overly excited to do work and get things done. Even though my ‘back to school’ days have LONG since passed, I still get that nudge to get myself sorted, and start focusing on all the things I took a break from over the summer. My blogs, my furniture painting, even my Airbnb took a breather for a few months.  I spent time traveling, which I’ll get around to sharing more about in future posts, but the real reason I had a brief hiatus from all the things was due to my house being put up for sale. I’ve lived in my 1930s bungalow for 10 years now, and it’s hard to imagine myself anywhere else. I still don’t know if I’m ready to part with it [nothing is final!], but regardless of my hesitations and undeniable love for this house, we’re going to give it a try!

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Staging a house is normally fun for me, but it’s a TON of work when it’s your own place. Having to figure out how to somehow hide all of your things so the house appears spacious and uncluttered while still living in it is nothing short of a nightmare! If anything, this process will turn me into a minimalist yet! [don’t hold me to that though, I’m no Marie Kondo] Normally I only share design-y things on A Simpler Design, my business website and blog, but this is my personal hub, and there’s nothing more personal than sharing my home.  Today I’m posting the video our realtor had made of the house.  When I first watched it, I couldn’t believe it was the home I’ve lived in all this time! It felt like I was watching some big reveal moment on an HGTV show. We put a good bit of work into the house this spring, and this video gives you a quick glimpse [though nearly 4 minutes does feel a little long for a promo video…but there are A LOT of rooms!] of the finished product.  I’ll be doing room tours on my other website, so feel free to head there if you want to snoop a bit more into my home!