The Medjool dates do wonders to bring everything together, but having made these brownies twice, here are my tips:
1. Measure precisely. If you're too generous in measuring the nuts, the brownies won't stick together (I made this mistake last time, but Todd and I still managed to consume the entire pan nearly instantaneously. They'll still come out tasty, just less presentable).
2. Ground the walnuts into a paste - let that food processor work!
3. Double the recipe (ok, I haven't actually done this, but I'm going to do it next time since my brownies came out thinner than I like).
P.S. Have you ever heard that your pasta water won't boil over if you lay a wooden spoon across the top of it? Well, it doesn't work. Please use that information as you see fit.
A Couple Cooks
1 cup walnuts (unsalted)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
1 1/4 cups Medjool dates (about 12)
1/4 cup almonds (unsalted)
Remove the pits from the dates. If the 1/4 cup almonds are not already chopped, place them in a bag and hit them with the back of a spoon to break them into pieces (we’ve found this is easier than chopping).
In the bowl of a food processor, place 1 cup walnuts. Process on high until the nuts are finely ground.
Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt. Pulse to combine.
Turn on the food processor. As the processor is running, add the dates one at a time. Once all the dates have been added, the mixture should be crumbly but easily formable (it may form into a ball depending on how long you process it). Throw in the almonds and pulse a couple times to combine (if a ball has formed, you can also mix in the almonds in a bowl).
Form the brownies: Line a small square dish with wax paper and press into the desired thickness (don’t worry if it does not fill the entire pan; the brownies are easy to shape). Alternatively, press the brownies into a mini-muffin tin or other mold. Place in the refrigerator or freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up; they can easily be cut when cold.