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Even during Healthy January, everyone needs some Extra Fudgy Ricotta Brownies.

Extra Fudgy Ricotta Brownies | @hbharvest

It’s true.

Don’t worry though, I made these healthy…ish. They are totally Healthy January approved, at least in my book anyway!

Plus, it’s FRIDAY, and we all need a brownie to celebrate making it through these first few days back after the holidays. Plus, it’s the very first Friday of the new year!

You guys? I cannot tell you how happy I am that it’s Friday. It’s been a long (short) week back after the holidays. It was a week filled with mostly good things…hello to walking through the studio barn with Christina, one of our amazing designers from Park and Oak, plus spending a good amount of time working on a new project for 2018. Along with maybe just a little stress (but then that’s nothing new).

One of my goals for the new year is to try to be as positive as possible, which for me is pretty hard. I tend to focus more on the negative, but 2018 is going to be the year I work at changing that! What goals/resolutions are you guys making this year? I’ll be sharing a few of mine in Sunday’s Nine Favorite Things post, which will finally be returning, after a month of all things holiday here on HBH.

Very excited!

But wait, I’m getting way ahead of myself here. First, I need to tell you about these brownies…their story…and their deliciousness!

Extra Fudgy Ricotta Brownies | @hbharvest

Extra Fudgy Ricotta Brownies | @hbharvest

As mentioned above, this week was filled with plenty of fun and exiting things, but it was also filled with just a smidge of stress, which is always to be expected when it comes to me and my brain (meaning I am a crazy person and I know it). When stress comes about, I always turn to baking (or call my mom). Something about doing exact measurements and baking something sweet for my family, friends, and I to enjoy always brings a sense of joy and happiness to me.

This week, I really wanted to do something rich and chocolatey, but since we’re in the beginning of healthy January, I wanted to make a chocolate treat that we could all feel good about eating.

Enter these gluten free, butter free, processed sugar-free, extra fudgy brownies…with double the dark chocolate on top, because I mean, dark chocolate contains all the antioxidants, and it’s pretty much health food. Duh.

PS. don’t question my thinking because I can argue longer.

Extra Fudgy Ricotta Brownies | @hbharvest

Ever since I made this Ricotta Banana Bread about a year ago, I have been obsessed with baking ricotta into my desserts. I love the moist texture, creaminess, and killer flavor it gives sweets. I also love that it’s protein rich and a good sub for things like butter and sour cream.

Normally, I don’t think I would have ever thought to stir fresh ricotta cheese into my brownie batter, but again, after that banana bread I realized what a major addition it can make to baked goods. When I had a container sitting in the fridge this past week, it was practically screaming at me every time I opened the fridge to make something with it.

Then the baking/chocolate craving came, and well, you can probably guess what happened from there.

Extra Fudgy BROWNIES.

Extra Fudgy Ricotta Brownies | @hbharvest

Just like any other brownie recipe, these are pretty simple, but unlike any other brownie recipe, these are filled with better for you ingredients, like dark chocolate, real maple syrup (in place of processed sugar), and almond flour.

Now, I’m not saying these are actual health food, but I am saying they are a healthier option when it comes to sweets. These brownies are perfect if you’re looking for ways to cut back, but still enjoy the sweeter pleasures in life.

The batter is mixed up all in one bowl, then just bake, cool, make the chocolate fudge frosting, spread the frosting over the brownies, cut, and eat. Quick, simple, easy, and delicious.

Fair warning, these brownies are probably not for those of you who like extra, extra sweet chocolatey things. The brownies, while super fudgy and yummy, are not extra sweet. I wanted to be sure to keep the sugar content as low as possible, so I used extra dark chocolate and a touch of maple to sweeten things up a bit. I found them to be perfect for my taste, but if you prefer a sweeter brownie, these might not be your thing.

If you love dark chocolate however, these are very much your thing. Also, if you love cheesecake, these are also probably for you. The ricotta gives the brownies that cheesecake like texture. So good!

After work today I’m taking Asher to redeem her Christmas present and get her nails done at the “spa” (what she calls the nail solon). I think these will be the perfect brownie for the two of us to bake together once we return…she’s SO excited, I love it!

You guys should do the same…the brownies, not the spa visit (although if you love the spa, you should do that too!).

Extra Fudgy Ricotta Brownies | @hbharvest

Extra Fudgy Ricotta Brownies

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 16 brownies
Calories Per Serving: 204 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper.
    2. Heat 2 ounces dark chocolate in the microwave until melted and smooth. Stir in the ricotta, eggs, maple syrup, instant coffee, and vanilla until completely smooth and no clumps remain. Add the cocoa powder, almond meal, and salt. Stir until just combined. Stir in the remaining 2 ounces of chopped dark chocolate.
    3. Evenly spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the brownies are just set. DO NOT over bake or these will become cakey. Allow to cool before frosting.
    4. To make the frosting, melt together the maple syrup, coconut oil, and dark chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa power. Pour the frosting over the brownies and spread in an even layer. Place the brownies in the fridge and allow the frosting to set 30 minutes to 1 hour. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place or in the fridge. Enjoy!
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Extra Fudgy Ricotta Brownies | @hbharvest

Because everyone needs a little chocolate here and there.

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  1. 5 stars
    These brownies are amazing! Will be one of my go to favorites now. Love dark chocolate and have never baked with ricotta before these. I have your cookbook and use recipes from this site all the time — thanks for the inspiration & tasty dishes.

  2. 5 stars
    These are amazing!! I love the texture and flavor. The fact that they are healthy is a bonus, but I would eat these because they are delicious. And the recipe must be very forgiving, because I did not use precise measurements (as I currently don’t have access to all my kitchen equipment). Thanks for a great recipe!

  3. These look so yummy! Is there anything I could use to sub for the coconut oil in the frosting? I’m allergic. Thanks!

    1. Of course! You can just use melted butter. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  4. Just last week I was thinking of ways how I could put ricotta into my cookies and sweets, beacuse I’m obsessed with it, and then I see this recipe. Literally running to the store to get a fresh container of ricotta, so i can try this.

  5. 5 stars
    It’s 1030pm and I just put the finished brownies in the frig for the night. Easy recipe and will be so good for dinner party tomorrow night for all those that are over loaded with sugar from the holidays. Ate one just now and umm. Perfect for dark chocolate lovers. Liked the use of almond meal flour, so gluten free and which added its own sweetness and the ricotta makes them so moist. Thank you, Tieghan, from another Coloradian, down the mountain from you in 5280 land.

  6. Hey Tieghan,
    I love these ricotta brownies and have already told my mom she should make a batch for when I leave (there’s some ricotta in the fridge that might go to waste otherwise). These seem like the perfect brownies for the end of the week! I made my mom and my step dad your moms chicken florentine with garlic roasted polenta for my last night before heading back to college, and they absolutely loved it! 🙂
    I’ve also been a bit anxious lately and agree that baking is a good place to channel your stress. That’s one of the reasons I love baking so much (I have OCD and it helps to make everything exact), as well as making things for the people I love. 🙂 But I’m glad you’re able to spend some time with Asher! I hope she enjoyed getting her nails done and making these brownies today. ?
    I’m looking forward your nine favorites post this week and hope you have a nice weekend!

    1. That is amazing! I hope you and your mom love these brownies! I am really glad that baking and cooking have helped with your stress! It has definitely helped me as well. Thank you Kristin!

  7. I just made your ricotta banana bread last night and thought, what am I going to do with the rest of the ricotta left over? Well, now I can make these yummy looking brownies! BTW…the banana bread was awesome! I was afraid it wouldn’t be sweet enough without sugar but it was perfect, the chocolate chips made it taste sweet enough–probably didn’t hurt that I added more than a cup of chocolate chips 🙂
    I just got your cookbook for Christmas too! So excited to finish reading through all of the recipes in it.
    Happy New Year!!

    1. Haha that is perfect! I hope you love these brownies, Penny!
      I am so glad you got the book! Let me know what you make!!

  8. I find ricotta can be expensive and sometimes hard to find so in baking recipes like this, food processed cottage cheese can work just as well 🙂

  9. I have a question. I’ve never baked with chocolate pieces. When you say dark chocolate, are you talking about about baker’s chocolate or just a dark chocolate bar? These sound wonderful, and several of my family members love dark chocolate, so I’m definitely planning to try this recipe. Thanks.

    1. hi! Just a dark chocolate bar. Like Lindt or Ghirardelli. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    Loving this recipe! Ricotta in brownies sounds so interesting! I’m saving this one! Your recipes are so inspiring! Love reading about them.

  11. Oooooooh, ricotta in a brownie?? I’ll eat cheese with literally anything so count me in, these look great!

  12. 5 stars
    Ah! Love these brownies! They look and sound amazing. I’m with you on the not too sweet front. When I first became a pastry chef I developed quite a keen taste and tolerance for sugar, but now that I’m a lot more well rounded the aim is to try and use less sugar and still have it taste stunning. Well… you did it! Gorgeous recipe!

  13. 5 stars
    Here’s to more positivity & to these insanely amazing-looking brownies! And have fun at the spa/salon 🙂