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Deposition of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Posted by Janalyn Katherine Salhaney on

In addition to bringing high-quality icons to your churches and homes, Legacy Icons wants to foster the culture which makes these icons and the saints in them a reality. To do this, our new blog will post articles covering spirituality, the liturgical calendar, art history, patristic wisdom, and other food for thought...or in this case just food. Feasting, fasting, and all the cooking that comes with them are just as integral to Orthodox culture as icons. The Greeks have spanikopita, the Arabs have hummus and mujaddara, the Slavs have a million different ways to cook cabbage—and it's all delicious. In this series called "Katherine's Kitchen," Janalyn "Katherine" Salhaney brings together musings on faith with recipes that are good in any season.

Deposition of the Robe of Virgin Mary

If you're looking for an excuse to bake up a batch of delicious brownies, look no further than the Feast of the Deposition of the Precious Robe of the Theotokos in Blechernae. Although the feast is commemorated July 2 on the new calendar, you have until July 15 on the old calendar!

The story of the deposition of the robe is one of my favorites. Before her dormition, the Theotokos gave one of her robes to each of the two virgins that attended to her. A few centuries later one of these robes was passed on to a relative of one of the attendants, and she kept it in a chest in the little shrine in her home. Two pilgrims to the Holy Land were lodging with her and, noticing all the miracles occurring at the shrine, convinced the old widow to tell them about the robe she had hidden there.

Then, in the middle of the night, they took the robe "by stealth," and brought it to Blechernae where it was eventually enshrined in a temple for all to enjoy.

In case you haven't made the connection between the feast and the brownies, I'll give you a clue: It has to do with being sneaky. You see, these brownies are made without butter or eggs, are perfect for a fasting day, and don't require any specialty ingredients.

The deposition of the robe may not have been a joyful occasion for the poor widow, but I'm sure you'll happily deposit these brownies in your belly.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

3/4 C natural peanut butter
8 squares unsweetened chocolate*
1 1/2 C sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
1 C flour
optional: chopped nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc

In medium saucepan, heat peanut butter on low for approximately 5 minutes. Add chocolate and stir until completely melted. Add sugar and stir to incorporate. Add mashed bananas and vanilla, and stir until incorporated. Add 1 C flour, stir to incorporate. Removed from heat and fold in optional ingredients.

Pour batter into a greased 9×13″ baking dish. Bake at 325 for 25 to 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325.

By the way, these are perfect for a strict fasting day since there’s no added oil!

*1/4 C vegan chocolate chips can be used in place of unsweetened chocolate squares. Since chocolate chips are sweetened, I’d recommend cutting the sugar to 1 1/4 C unless you eat like John Travolta in Michael.

To see the backstory on this recipe click here, and for more of her recipes and posts visit her blog "Orthodox and Vegan."