Sesame + Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Brownies

Sesame + Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Brownies ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSesame + Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Brownies ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSesame + Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Brownies ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSesame + Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Brownies ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSesame + Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Brownies ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

I spent a lot of time with my own thoughts this summer. Yes, of course Matt + I would bike together more often than not, sometimes we’d just pedal and enjoy the quiet, sometimes Matt would sing made up songs without end and I’d try to tune him out and – if that failed – try to sing along. Sometimes we’d slowly take our own rhythm and I’d fall behind, just lost in my own day dreams. I remember spending some mornings going through Norway, winding through the fjords, not seeing Matt in the distance but knowing he wasn’t that far ahead, feeling solo but comforted all at the same time. And then some days, when I was lucky, I’d turn a corner and see him sitting at a picnic table in front of the sea, boiling water for our lunchtime pasta with the road map open on the table and, in that moment, I had all I could ever want. Well, almost.

We’d often get to chatting about our thoughts during our mornings alone, Matt would always drift towards adventures, the north, a log cabin, kayaking, dogs, and anything the like. And for me – brownies. Simple and predictable. I’d find myself daydreaming about baked goods and cakes and soups and also – hummus. I never complained about our lack luster travel diet, but it only seemed to fuel my imagination about all the things that I wanted but couldn’t have, make or bake. I jotted down the recipe for these brownies one day while waiting for our pasta to cook, and when I finally got around to making them here at home, they tasted exactly like what I had been dreaming about for so long. Fudgey, chocolatey, nutty and just a little salty.

Matt has just taken off for a winter back in Scandinavia, and here I am eating my feelings in a big pan of brownies. I made them again after he left, baking just seemed like the right thing to do. I’m actually feeling more excited than anything really, he’s off on such a great adventure that I know he’s going to love and I’m here surrounded by friends and family to eat brownies with all winter. I guess right know it’s all I could ever want. Well, almost.

Sending brownies + love for your week ahead x

Sesame + Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Brownies ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSesame + Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Brownies ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSesame + Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Brownies ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSesame + Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Brownies ⎮ happy hearted kitchen


SESAME + SEA SALT DARK CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

These are everything. They’re nutty and fudgey and salty and sweet and bursting with rich chocolate flavor. They are easy to whip up and don’t take too long in the oven. If you can, let these brownies cool completely, even over night. I love the flavor and texture so much more the following day. But if you must eat them warm, keep it a-la-mode with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.

I buy my tahini at a middle eastern supermarket in our neighborhood. It comes in massive jars and is much cheaper than anything at the health food store. The tahini I use here is pretty thin in consistency, easily pourable and great for drizzling. If you find yours to be to a bit thick I might recommend melting it through with the coconut oil in order to get the right texture for the brownies.I would love your feedback for this one so let me know if you try it.

Brownies will keep in a sealed container for a few days, or longer in the fridge.

Makes 9 square brownies. Vegan + Gluten Free.

Ingredients

1 + 1/4 cup rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)
1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or nut milk of choice)
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
Flaky sea salt to finish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C

Line an 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper.

Place oats in a blender or food processor and pulse until it becomes a coarse meal, a few bigger pieces are ok, I like the texture it adds.

Place oat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and chia seeds in a medium bowl and whisk together until well combined. Melt coconut oil in a small pot. Once melted whisk in almond milk, tahini and maple syrup. Pour wet ingredients into dry mix and fold to gently to incorporate. Spread batter out into prepared baking dish and even out the top. It will be pretty thick so it might need some help getting to the corners. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or just until set around the edges but still a little soft in the center. The brownies should be soft but firm on top. Remove from oven and let cool completely before slicing. I actually love the taste of these even better the next day, they get softer and fudgey-er, just screaming for a big scoop of ice cream.


Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!

53 Comments

  • Reply
    Warm Vanilla Sugar
    November 17, 2015 at 2:51 am

    Drifting off and thinking about brownies makes sense to me! They are just so perfect – in so many forms! I love the sesame flavour to these. They are gorgeous and sound great!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 18, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      Thank you Katrina! Daydreaming about food is a pretty common thing for us ladies I think! hope you’re well x

  • Reply
    sweet kabocha
    November 17, 2015 at 3:05 am

    I’ve been separated from my boyfriend for 20 days only and that drove us crazy. I hope you two will be soon reunited! By the way, I can’t wait to have everything I need to make those brownies – from a baking pan to coconut oil. I just moved in California for a while and I have to completely set the kitchen :D

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 17, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      Valentina! You moved to California! Oh I’m heading over to Sweet Kabocha right now to catch up on your big move! Setting up a kitchen from scratch can be so much fun – it always feels so good to start fresh! Hope you’re enjoying your time in the south so far! A bientot x

  • Reply
    Sarah | Well and Full
    November 17, 2015 at 3:28 am

    These brownies look so yummy, Jodi! I love that there’s tahini in them too. Warming + comforting + tahini-y! Sending you lots of love and big big hugs <3

  • Reply
    Sus Davy
    November 17, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Beautiful as always Jodi, can you send some across the pond please? Matt is so lucky to have such a supporting wife, who encourages him to follow his dreams. I hope these next few months aren’t too hard on the hearts, sending lots of love as always xx

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 18, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Thank you, Sus! I would love to come and sip tea and eat brownies and chat life with you on your little boat. I hope you guys are doing good over there, thinking of you xx

  • Reply
    Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist
    November 18, 2015 at 12:27 am

    Beautiful from top to bottom. I find your words so relatable. They speak directly to me as if I could be writing them. Which is strange in some ways because I am nowhere near the adventurer that you are. It seems to me your write from your heart and that is what I relate to. These photos and this recipe are so enticing. I can’t wait to try these!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 18, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      Kathryn, thank you so much – it means a lot to me to hear your say that. Sometimes I’m just sure what to say but throw it out there anyways not really knowing where my words might land – so I’m glad we’ve connected this way. Hoping this week is treating you well, and that you are well with a few treats! x

  • Reply
    Athletic Avocado
    November 18, 2015 at 3:09 am

    These brownies are gorgeous! I love the idea of using tahini as a binder!

  • Reply
    Maikki
    November 18, 2015 at 5:51 am

    These sound amazing! I really like tahini both in sweet and savory dishes :)

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 18, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      Oh me too, Maikki! Thank you x

  • Reply
    danielle is rooting the sun
    November 18, 2015 at 6:12 am

    beautiful brownies, jodi – – so everything that i crave when my sweetness hits. i love to indulge in the aspect of chocolate and saltiness, and your addition of tahini is great. – – my your heart stay soft and eased by daydreams on silken clouds. xo

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 18, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      Thank you Danielle – I do love the sweet/salty contrast when it comes to dessert, nothing to rich or sweet either, so these were just perfect. Always love hearing from you x

  • Reply
    Claudia Brick
    November 18, 2015 at 11:19 am

    These brownies sound so completely beautiful Jodi – I haven’t done much in the way of more whole food, healthier baking, but this sounds like a great recipe to start with – love that it uses tahini and maple syrup! Your writing is so lovely as well – I hope your winter separation isn’t too hard and you can skype and viber lots :)

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 19, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you, Claudia! Even though these are whole food, plant based, ‘healthy’ brownies – they are still quite decadent! That’s why I love playing around with flavors like this. A brownie you can feel good about eating (or 5!). Wishing you well x

  • Reply
    Ashlae W.
    November 18, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    I’m a huuuuuge proponent of eating your feelings. And these look like a delicious way to gobble ’em down (chocolate! tahini! CHOCOLATE!). I hope Matt has a great adventure, that you enjoy (and embrace) the quiet, and that you both are reunited again, soon. <3

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 19, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Thank you, Ashlae! Yes indeed – soon! I couldn’t pass up the chance to travel back to scandinavia again this winter, so going to visit him is really just an excuse ;) wishing you a tahini + chocolate filled weekend x

  • Reply
    Allysia K
    November 18, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Oooh, this is a really simple GF recipe – like I could make this right now because I have oats! That’s usually the thing that puts me off most with GF baking, is the endless array of flours and etc. that I don’t have. These look amazing!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 19, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      Oh I’m so glad, Allysia! I can agree, the endless list of flours and binders can often turn people away from GF baking. I love using oats because they are easy to find, relatively inexpensive and work well to bind gf baked goods too. Hope you give them a try and wishing you a happy weekend ahead.

  • Reply
    Nicole Spiridakis
    November 18, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Vegan AND gluten-free? Be still my heart. These look amazing and while I’m tempted to make them it’s 8:30 pm here right now so I think I will wait ’til morning. While the separation is so hard, it’s so great he is getting such an incredible experience. And, like you said, there are brownies to help ease it a bit … Thinking of you!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 19, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Nicole! Than you so much! I saw on instagram that you gave these a try – yay! I’m so glad you did. Hoping you are enjoying them and wishing you a cozy weekend ahead x

  • Reply
    Shelley Ludman
    November 19, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    these brownies! jodes! we’re hosting guests this weekend and I’m thinking these will be a must in the house — super low on sugar, so maybe even toddler appropriate! these next few months are going to fly by, filled with skiing adventures, lady dinners and maybe even a pitch perfect movie night ;) big hug and see you soon xx

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 20, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      Big hug back at you, Shelley! Have a great weekend with your guests, keep me updated on the brownie situation! xx

  • Reply
    Lise Buntschuh
    November 19, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    I could not wait and had to make them immediately! They are delish! but….mine are super gooey….they don’t hold their shape at all…more like little brownie balls than anything else. Any suggestions on what I might have done wrong? I even baked them 2 x longer than suggested… Tx!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 19, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      Hi Lisa! Wow I’m so glad you tried them and thank you for your feedback! To be honest I’m not sure! Did you follow the recipe exaclty? I was a little worried they might be on the drier side for some people so I’m curious what could have happened here. Maybe the recipe wasn’t clear – you used 1 + 1/4 cup of oats? Did you let them cool off? Placing them in the fridge might help the coconut oil solidify more. Let me know so I can figure it out for everyone else too :) Thanks again x

  • Reply
    Teffy
    November 19, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Those look amazing!!
    I’m a HUGE tahini lover, it’s one of the ingredients I could never live without! I’ve never added it to a brownie before, so really keen to try this. X

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 20, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      Thank you, Teffy! Always happy to meet another tahini addict. I love the nutty-ness of it combined with chocolate – its a winner x

  • Reply
    genevieve @ gratitude and gree
    November 20, 2015 at 4:47 am

    As the weather gets cooler I have been craving all sorts of warm, fudgey, goooooey things! Brownies are at the top of that list- I just made a batch yesterday and I can’t stop. I read somewhere that thinner tahini means that it’s fresher, whereas sticky, thick tahini usually means it’s old and has been sitting around. Happy weekend Jodi!! xo

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 20, 2015 at 5:29 pm

      Ah thanks gen! I always wondered why some tahinis are different than others when the list of ingredients is always just sesame seeds! I’m soaking up all the delicious supermarkets that the city has to offer me. Brownies are always on my list too. Wishing you a happy weekend x

  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well
    November 20, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    This brownie is magical, and so are your sweet memories on your biking trip. I just love reading about them Jodi! You just needed some mail order brownies to make the trip complete ;) joke joke. I love how you support Matt even when its hard, its so sweet and encouraging and just a beautiful picture of what marriage is really about. Lots of hugs your way, friend, and enjoy your ENTIRE batch of brownies to yourself :)

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 22, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      I most definitely did enjoy all those brownies, well almost all! A friend came over at brownie o’clock and I had to share. Memories of our trip keep coming back to be in the strangest ways, just like an old movie or song you loved but completely forgot about it – it’s so fun to think about it all. And so fun to know that Matt is back there keeping the adventure alive! Lots of sunday love your way, Jessie x

  • Reply
    Athletic Avocado
    November 21, 2015 at 3:47 am

    these look like total perfection, so gooey and chocolatey! noms <3

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Kathryn
    November 24, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Oh, these brownies look like everything I want in life right now + I’m pretty sure that I have all the ingredients at home <3

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Thank you Kathryn! I actually just made another batch to bring in to work tomorrow – black friday brownies :) I like the addition of a little espresso or vanilla too x

  • Reply
    bekkisimpson
    December 9, 2015 at 4:35 am

    These look amazing! I just saw them on The Kitchn. I have a question though – I have oat flour already and I’m assuming that would work, would it be a cup for cup swap, or should I use less? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      December 9, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      Hi there! I did try making these with oat flour actually and they didn’t turn out quite the same – I guess because oat flour is such a fine grind it soaked up the liquid ingredients a little bit more. Still good though! I would suggest using only one cup of oat flour here instead :) Would love to know how it goes! x

  • Reply
    odessa
    December 11, 2015 at 3:56 am

    These look so good! I love the unique addition of the sesame seeds and tahini – I bet these are awesome :)

  • Reply
    Katja
    December 13, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    I made these brownies last weekend and I LOVE the flavour (chocolate + tahini + sesame…. so perfect!) but I found the mouthfeel not so perfect. My guests also commented on the brownies, “the taste is great but they stick to the roof of my mouth too much” and I recognize this. Because I love the combination of flavors, I’m wondering if you have any recommendations? I don’t know if it’s the oats, the cacao powder or the tahini which causes this…

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      December 15, 2015 at 2:57 am

      Hi Katja! Thank you so much for your comment, I always appreciate people letting me know how the recipes work out, the good and the bad, it really helps me know what happens out in your kitchens! I do know what you mean, when I was testing variations of this recipe I had one that really stuck to the roof of my mouth. However I thought that I had solved this problem with this final recipe, so I’m sorry that it didn’t work out 100% for you. I’m not quite sure why, I guess it could be a number of things. I find these best right out of the fridge actually! I love the flavor too, so I will be making them again soon, and I will definitely test out a few different options and let you know what I come up with. Sorry I can’t be more help – thank you again for your feedback! x

      • Reply
        Katja
        December 15, 2015 at 10:18 am

        Thanks for your reply and thank you for testing out some options to see what might be the reason! The taste and fudginess of the brownies is so perfect that I’m determined to see if I can make it work ;-) I do have to say that you were right, they were better the next day and even better two days after I made them, still fudgy but not so much sticking to the roof of my mind. I think maybe it has the cacao (I know it tends to do that) but I don’t really understand. If you know more, I’d love it if you could enlighten me! X

        • Reply
          Jodi Kay
          May 31, 2016 at 5:04 am

          Hi Katja! I know this is way after the fact, but I just made this brownies and I used almond milk instead of water and ground chia seeds instead of flax. I think the use of nut milk actually makes a big difference! So I’ve updated the recipe here too :) Just wanted to let you know – hope you’re well! x

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    Liz @ Travelling Table Tales
    July 25, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    These look unbelievable! I cannot wait to try them. I love simple, healthy, delicious brownie recipes. I just bought a jar of tahini too, so I am looking forward to kitchen experimentation. xxx

  • Reply
    Sarah
    April 12, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Anything with tahini has my attention – immediately! Have you ever tried the black tahini…mmmm….. Got these currently making magic in the oven – while I lick every speck out of the bowl. Made a few changes to fit what I had in the kitchen: date syrup in place of the maple; and coconut yoghurt in for the almond milk. Can’t wait to eat them – all.

    • Reply
      Jodi
      April 13, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Hi Sarah! I’m so curious to know how they turned out! I love the sound of date syrup in there – must be so nice and rich! Thanks for saying hi – always love meeting another tahini lover :) x

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