Brownies are one of those things that I periodically crave from time to time (yes I’m being redundant). Weeks when I’m feeling particularly stressed out, or overwhelmed tend to draw me into the kitchen to make something rich and decadent. It is rare that I make anything with little to no nutritional content, but this week seemed like good reason to make exception. Sometimes you need to eat something so pleasurable, so divine, that the lack of anything good for you is exactly where the good lies. Why was this week so challenging… two words… potty training.
I shouldn’t complain. As potty training goes my little gal was as good as it gets. We haven’t had an accident yet, and it really wasn’t all that big of a deal. She did have an irrational (in her mind very rational) fear of using the potty for the first two days which meant there was a lot of crying and neediness. Now that we finished day four I feel like we are getting somewhere, and spent the day at Disneyland, diaper free to celebrate.
Because I wanted to stick close to home, and let her use the potty as much as possible, neither of us have done anything but hang out in the living room and kitchen. When I asked Coco if she thought brownies were a good idea, she was in complete agreement, and we went to work. This recipe is so simple that the ingredients are key. DO NOT SKIMP.
I found that they needed the full 55 minutes or even more to bake, and they still appeared ‘undone’ in some places’ but I pulled them out of the oven and crossed my fingers and it was absolutely the right decision. I believe the ‘undone’ look is what makes them so fudgy and wonderful. The were uneven on the top, crackled, and sticky to the touch, but they cut fairly easily after refrigeration and tasted unlike any brownie I have ever eaten. It would be unfair to call them ‘Vegan Brownies’ because they are as good if not better than any traditional ones I have eaten. Like I said, they are full of sugar, white flour, rich dark chocolate, and straight up canola oil, and every single thing they lacked in the ‘good for you’ category felt very good to me.
(adapted slightly from Sticky Fingers Bakery)
- 2/3 cup brewed expresso
- 1 tablespoon non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (recommended: Earth Balance)
- 2 ounces (vegan/non dairy) dark chocolate (58% or darker), finely chopped or pistoles
- 2 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Using a double boiler, heat the coffee, margarine, and dark chocolate, stirring, until the chocolate is melted and the ingredients are thoroughly combined. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, cocoa powder and salt and mix together with the paddle attachment. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. Stir in the chocolate chips. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely, then cut into squares.