Make: No-Bake, Low-Cal Cherry-Almond Brownie Bites

Make over your dessert habit with these 85-calorie brownie bites.

My husband and I recently found ourselves elbow deep into an ice cream-every-night routine. I don’t know how we got there—I mean, it was technically light ice cream, but if I’m being totally honest, we were each having multiple servings each night and going through two gallons of the stuff a week. I felt shame. I invited my husband to share my shame, and he accepted the invitation. So we decided to forego ice cream and took it off the weekly food-shopping list, but we needed something sweet to satisfy our late-night cravings.

He opted for those old-fashioned caramel cream candies. And although I was tempted to go that route, too, I wanted something that would provide nutrients while still hitting the spot. After much searching and tweaking, I came up with the recipe below and excitedly pulled out my heavy food processor. I was honestly surprised and completely thrilled with the end result: a chewy, sweet-tart, chocolatey bite that I could feel good about eating. I quit the light ice cream that had an ingredient list full of words I couldn’t pronounce, and replaced it with a mindlessly easy recipe full of healthy, recognizable foods. Win.

I told my husband he could keep his caramels; I was no longer interested.

Cherry-Almond Brownies Bites
Makes 25 small brownies

3/4 c. roasted, unsalted almonds
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. unsalted, creamy almond butter
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. dried cherries
1/4 c. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

1. In food processor, blend almonds, cocoa and salt until finely ground.

2. Add almond butter and vanilla and pulse until evenly distributed.

3. Add dried cherries and process until finely ground and combined, about 30 seconds.

4. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment, letting extra paper hang out over the sides.

5. Dump mixture into pan and press firmly and evenly into the pan using your fingers, pressing into the corners and edges.

6. Microwave chocolate chips in 30-second increments, stirring in between. When smooth, transfer to a small plastic bag and press into one corner. Snip the tip off the bag with scissors and drizzle chocolate across the surface of the brownies.

7. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

8. Cut into 25 squares and store in the fridge.

Per serving: 85 calories, 3.9 fat grams, 25 milligrams sodium, 11 grams carbs, 3.4 grams fiber, 5.9 grams sugar, 1.8 grams protein.

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Becca Boyd is a wife and new mom who teaches culinary courses to students in the Radnor School District. She creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen and blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics.