Bourbon Miso Pecan Brownies (Gluten Free, Butter Free)

I love fudgy brownies. But I’ve been wondering over the years as I’ve been baking these rich, fudgy squares does it really require the half pound of butter in that batch, even if I do melt a substantial amount of chocolate? After some naval gazing and an opportunity to collaborate with Four Roses Bourbon, I had an eureka moment.

I know it sounds insane to not bake with butter (and I do love my butter) but for the sake of curiosity and experimentation, you can have a fudge-y, dense brownie. Partially inspired by the macaron cookie, you can create a moist, dense cookie without any additional oils or fat. The general recipe is almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, and egg whites. I’ve taken that idea and added the eggs and cocoa powder since we are making a brownie and it binds the batter. The white (shiro) miso and bourbon gives the brownie lots of salinity and umami flavor.

You can have a sinfully delicious, salty and sweet brownie and not feel too bad about it. It’s a simple, dirty one bowl dessert recipe than may treat your Valentine’s Day sweetheart, even if you say you can’t bake.

Here’s the recipe:

Miso bourbon pecan brownies

2 cups (300 g) confectioner’s sugar
2/3 cup (56 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
200 g (about 2 cups) ground almonds (also known as almond meal or almond flour)
1/4 cup white (shiro) miso
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg white
8 tablespoons bourbon (I used Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon)
2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup pecans (for topping)

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper, letting it hang over the edges of pan.

Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a large mixing bowl. Add almond flour and miso and stir to combine. Add whole eggs, egg white, water and 3 tablespoons of bourbon and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. The batter will be very thick and a rubber spatula will not help you.

Scrape batter into your prepared pan, smooth the top and scatter pecans over top. Bake until a shiny crust forms and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist sticky bits, about 25-30 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack and let it cool slightly for 5 minutes. While the brownies are still warm, brush on the remaining bourbon. The brownies cool completely to have clean cuts.


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.