Okay, nobody freak out. First things first, no, your brownies will not come out green, they will not taste like avocado (though they will taste deceitfully buttery, which some may consider the same thing) and yes, you can sub avocado for oil or butter in just about any baking endeavor, if you're feeling daring.
I've been wanting to try this method for some time now. Always debating where to hide the avocado, brownies seemed like the perfect gateway. The cocoa would play as a coverup, which it did quite well. I got my final push of inspiration alá The Chubby Vegetarian. A blog dedicated to the reminder that a meat-free life doesn't mean you deprive yourself of a full range of foodie goodness, chocolate included.
For this recipe, you'll need:
One avocado, mashed (Disclaimer: all avocados are not created equal. I bought one the other day that was the exact size and shape of a baseball, while I've picked up other monsters that weigh in around three pounds. Not kidding. For this recipe, a medium-ish, regular-shaped avocado is best.)
3/4 cup of cane sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 ounces of dark chocolate
1/8 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Okay, my favorite thing about this recipe? How to choose, but one of them is definitely the fact that ripe avocados are already the texture of room-temperature butter. No waiting for it to thaw out and soften, it's already there! Maybe sure you go for one that isn't overly ripe, however; they tend to develop a stringy, unappealing texture that even chocolate can't solve. Find one that is firm; not rock-hard, not mush. (Tip: avocados will ripen basically overnight if you put them near some bananas.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together your avocado, sugar and cocoa powder. If you can't fight your curiosity, this is the stage to have a taste. Not bad, right? Melt your chocolate (which is ideally broken into smaller pieces) and your milk in the microwave for thirty seconds. Stir, resist drinking and heat for another thirty seconds. Add to your magic mixture and stir until combined.
Add your eggs, flour, salt and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly. Fold in your walnuts and then spread your mixture into (ahem) a 5 x 8-inch pan. Or, if you're as unprepared as me, a round cake pan. Which in fact worked beautifully. I half considered whipping up another batch, baking another brownie round and sandwiching them together with raspberry jam. Next time.
Bake for 20 minutes - I went for about 22-23 minutes. Then again, my oven is old. Chubby Vegetarian suggests you let these lovelies cool for 30 minutes. I find that to be appalling and/or humorous. I tried. Seriously. I opened windows so the place would smell less chocolatey. I made it about 16 minutes. But who doesn't love a warm (okay, hot, but GOOD) brownie?!
These were perfect. Honestly. I've never made brownies, either avocado or butter-based, though I have taste-tested my fair share of both homemade and boxed varieties: this one wins.