Tiny Treats feature: Hazelnut brownies with maple chocolate ganache

Hazelnut Brownies with Maple Chocolate Ganache | A Dash of Compassion

‘Tis the season to turn off the oven and enjoy more raw treats, so a couple of weeks ago I pulled out the Tiny Treats collection—you know, for old times’ sake. I wanted to make something for a friend’s birthday party that weekend and I knew these hazelnut brownies would be a hit (and they were).

After all, who doesn’t love chocolate? And especially when it involves other delicious, whole ingredients like nuts and dates and maple syrup. The chocolate frosting on top of these squares of heaven has become one of my favourites, not only because it’s so easy to pull together but because it’s incredibly rich and creamy. See?

Hazelnut Brownies with Maple Chocolate Ganache | A Dash of Compassion

In case you’ve forgotten about our beloved ebook, this is the perfect time to flip through it once again like I did (or consider buying a copy for a friend). I own a nice collection of ebooks from other talented bloggers and chefs but I often forget about them because they’re not staring at me from the bookshelf in my kitchen but instead are hidden within a secluded folder on my desktop. I think I need to do something about that.

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share this amazing recipe from page 27 of the ebook. Just because I love you so. And because chocolate never goes out of style.



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Hazelnut brownies with maple chocolate ganache

Yield: 20 to 24 tiny brownies


For the date paste:

  • 11/2 cups (300g) Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water until soft (about 30 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup (120mL) water, or as needed

For the brownies:

  • 2 cups (280g) raw hazelnuts
  • 1 cup (130g) raw macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup (40g) natural cacao powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25mL) sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5mL) pure hazelnut extract
  • 1/2 cup (160g) date paste

For the ganache:

  • 2/3 cup (60g) natural cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup (120mL) pure maple syrup, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60mL) melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup (30g) chopped raw hazelnuts (for topping)


  1. To make the date paste, drain the soaked dates. Using a blender, blend the dates and as much water as is needed to achieve a smooth, thick paste. You may need to stop and scrap down the sides of the blender container a few times along the way. Set aside to use in the brownies.
  2. To make the brownies, use a food processor to process the hazelnuts and macadamia nuts to a coarse meal. Take care not to over process or the nuts
    will start to form a paste.
  3. Add the cacao powder and salt and pulse to combine. Finally, add the date paste, vanilla extract and hazelnut extract and process until it forms a thick dough.
  4. Line an 8x8-inch square pan with parchment paper and press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  5. To make the frosting, use a clean food processor to blend the cacao powder and maple syrup until smooth. With the motor running, pour in the coconut oil and blend until emulsified.
  6. Spread the frosting evenly over top of the brownie base, using an offset spatula to smooth out the top. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.
  7. Chill the brownies in the freezer until set, about 2 hours. Cut into small squares. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Exclusive recipe from Tiny Treats.



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13 Responses to “Tiny Treats feature: Hazelnut brownies with maple chocolate ganache”

  1. Heathy — June 25, 2013 @ 10:52 pm

    These look sooo good Nicole! I think I need to make them :) And meant to tell you that I sold the kitchen aid on the weekend. Too bad you don’t live closer.

    • Nicole — June 26, 2013 @ 9:49 am

      Thanks, Heathy! And I’m glad you were able to sell your mixer so quickly (although sadly, not to me). Hope you enjoy the rest of the summer!

  2. Barbara — June 25, 2013 @ 11:32 pm

    I was just wondering if the hazel nuts could be substituted by any other nut?? I would love to make these for my daughter but she’s very allergic to hazelnuts. Thank you for your help, I’m still relatively new to this eating raw thing.

    • Nicole — June 26, 2013 @ 9:52 am

      Yes, no problem! I’ve made this recipe with almonds (to sub hazelnuts) and walnuts (to sub macadamia nuts). So I know that combo works. Hope you and your daughter enjoy the brownies!

  3. Suzanne — June 26, 2013 @ 7:31 am

    I love the combination of chocolate and hazelnut, especially in brownie form! I also love the idea of ebooks- less clutter!

    • Nicole — June 26, 2013 @ 9:53 am

      Thanks, Suzanne! I hope you enjoy the brownies and the ebook! :)

  4. Kelly @ Vegan Iowan — June 26, 2013 @ 10:51 am

    The ganache looks great – I was never sure how to incorporate coconut oil into frosting. thanks for sharing!

    • Nicole — June 26, 2013 @ 4:21 pm

      You’re welcome! The trick is to not over-process once the coconut oil is added – just process until emulsified and no longer.

  5. Wow, I am so excited to make these! I’m new to raw desserts, and this recipe looks perfect for a beginner!

  6. Rosanna — August 20, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

    The best raw brownie EVER! I just made this recipe and it’s DIVINE! I didn’t think it was going to taste this good, but the hazelnuts and chocolate together just reminded me of Nutella (with only the good stuff!). I would like to eat the whole pan at once! (hubby is having two squares a day!).. Thank you Nicole!!!

    • Nicole — August 20, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Rosanna!

  7. Stacy — January 26, 2015 @ 6:43 pm

    Is the ganache sweet or a little bit on the bitter side?

    • Nicole — January 27, 2015 @ 10:03 am

      The ganache is more on the sweet side because of the maple syrup. But the bitterness of the cacao powder and the richness of the coconut oil helps balance it all out. :)

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