Line 8x8 dish with plastic wrap.
If you’re using Deglet dates in place of Medjool dates, soak them in water for 10-15 minutes before using. If Medjool dates, no need to soak.
Add almond butter, packed dates, cacao powder, protein powder, maple syrup, almond meal and 2 tbsp water to bowl of food processor.
Process for 20-30 seconds, then pause to scrape down sides and add additional water if needed. (Medjool dates tend to need less water added while dogleg dates or others need more). You’ll know the “dough” is ready when the mixture pulls away from the bowl sides and can be easily pinched and held together.
Add dough to 8x8 lined pan and press firmly until brownies are evenly spread and well packed. If desired, add chopped chocolate chips to tops of brownies and press firmly.
Refrigerate 20-30 minutes, then using plastic wrap, life the brownies out of the dish and cut into 16 pieces and enjoy!
I like to store mine in the refrigerator then allow to sit out a few minutes before eating. For a softer brownie, can store them at room temperature for up to 3 days.