Avocado Brownies (Vegan)

I did something I swore I'd never do.  I used an avocado to bake brownies.  I love avocado in pretty much anything, but why hide the flavor and use it as a butter substitute?  It's a great vegan alternative, but since I'm not vegan, and enjoy eating avocado plain way more than eating butter or oil plain, I don't see the point.
But then I cut into an avocado and it was packed with gross brown spots and it was definitely on its way out.  I finally caved, and rather than completely wasting this avocado, I decided mashing up the remaining green parts and baking a batch of brownies would be a better fate than into the garbage (I wish I had composting where I live!).
I carefully used as much of the avocado I could, then mashed it all up and added some pretty typical brownie ingredients.  Turns out the internet was right about this one, avocado is a pretty good sub for the oil or butter in a recipe!
These were kinda squishy, and I think having an entire avocado to actually use would have helped the texture, but the taste was right on.  I brought them into work for opinions, and since the last test recipe had a lot of booze in it, most of the comments I got were disappointment that these weren't alcoholic, haha.  But no complaints about the taste!
Avocado Brownies (from The Simple Lens)
serves 16

1 avocado, pitted and mashed well
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
3/4 cups chocolate chips (vegan if desired, I used discs for more melty chocolate pockets)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 9x9 square pan with foil and spray it with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the avocado with the maple syrup, vanilla extract, and water.  In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and sugar.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the lined square pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  I only had an 8x8 pan, so it took almost an hour for the center of these to set, and they still probably could have used another 5 minutes.  But they were gooey and delicious!

Remove from the oven and let cool at least 30 minutes before serving.  Cut into 16 squares and enjoy!

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