Paleo Little Debbie’s Brownies
There’s few foods that remind me of my childhood more than Little Debbie snacks. You were always sure to find at least one box with the iconic logo sitting in my family’s pantry. Nutty bars, oatmeal crème pies, swiss rolls, and of course…cosmic brownies.
Over the years, these brownie legends have disappeared from our house. At first, it was because they started to taste differently then we remembered. Suddenly, those chocolatey, fudgy squares started to taste less like brownie and more like chemicals. Whether this was due to a recipe change or our adult taste buds evolving, we may never know. Either way, they just aren’t the same.
Then, between the health food movement and my son’s food allergies, these colorful brownies became a thing of the past. Extinct like dinosaurs, wiped off the face of my pantry shelves. Or at least I thought they were, until I stumbled upon a recipe from Life and Linen.
As with most of the my favorite recipe discoveries, it all started while I was scrolling through Pinterest. When I came across a recipe titled “Whole 30 No Bake Brownie Balls” I knew I had to investigate further. A few clicks and scrolls later, I realized all the required ingredients were items I already had on hand. GAME ON!
The recipe was quick, easy, and delicious! But of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have some ideas on how to take things one step further…
As I mowed through several of these fudgy delights, I realized they had a similar consistency and taste as the cosmic brownies from my childhood. My thoughts began to swirl. What would happen if I tweaked the recipe and formed them into mock Little Debbie’s? Would it work? I just had to find out…
In all honesty, this is probably the only recipe where I hit the jackpot on try #1 (though there’s always room for improvement). With the exception of rainbow mini chips, these delightful mock ups were a total success! The fudgy ring around my son’s mouth were all the confirmation I needed.
The best thing about this recipe is how easy it is to make. Simply toss all the brownie ingredients (pitted dates, SunButter, refined coconut oil, cocoa powder, and maple syrup) together in a food processer. Press it into a pan. Top with a melted mixture of chocolate chips and refined coconut oil. Sprinkle with Enjoy Life mini chips and refrigerated until solid. THAT’S IT! And I promise, these are totally worth the minimal effort! (full recipe below)
My son (who is an extremely picky eater) begged me to toss one of these treats into his lunchbox everyday until they were gone. It brings me great joy each time I can bring a little piece of my childhood into my kids’ lives. It’s even more gratifying when I can improve on it.
Not only are these healthy counterfeits paleo, but they are vegan and food allergy friendly. My son can never know what an original Little Debbie’s cosmic brownie tastes like, and to be honest, he’s not really missing out at this point. However, with recipe discoveries like these, I know he will have plenty of childhood treat memories of his own. And it’s my hope that you will love this nostalgic alternative just as much as we did. Happy snacking!
Paleo Little Debbie’s BrowniesDifficulty: Easy
16 large dates with pits (the pre-pitted ones are tougher and won’t give you as fudgy of a consistency)
1/2 cup SunButter (I prefer the sugar free)
2 tbsp refined coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp 100% maple syrup
1 cup Enjoy Life semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp refined coconut oil
chopped walnuts, optional
- Line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper for easy removal. No parchment paper? You can lightly grease the pan with extra coconut oil instead.
- Remove the pits from the dates and toss into a food processor with SunButter, melted coconut oil, cocoa powder, and maple syrup. Mix until well blended.
- Press mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Set aside.
- Combine 3/4 cup of chocolate chips and 1 tbsp coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Once melted, pour over brownie mixture.
- Top with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and walnuts if desired.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour until set. Remove from pan and cut into 8 rectangle pieces. Gently make a shallow center cut line if you like the original Little Debbie look.
- Wrap individually and store in the fridge for up to a week…if they even last that long!