Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add the applesauce, almond butter, and maple syrup and whisk together until smooth. Add the coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract and mix until just combined. Fold through the chocolate chips.
Transfer the batter into the lined pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out mostly clean.
Remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool completely, before adding the optional frosting.
TO STORE: Brownies can be stored at room temperature, covered, for up to three days. If you'd like them to keep longer, store them in the refrigerator and they'll keep for at least one week. TO FREEZE: Place the leftovers in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to six months.