Double Fudge Brownies - grain-free + sugar-free!
IT'S FINALLY HERE! Well, TWO things are finally here! First, I leave for my bachelorette weekend in Palm Springs tomorrow with 14 of my closest friends to spend the weekend poolside - and I'm SO excited! We'll be doing yoga, tie-dyeing, taking selfies on pool floaties, and just generally chilllllling before I have to get back to the stress of wedding planning on Monday. I can't wait! But before I go, I also teased you guys last week on instagram with this recipe, and figured it was only right to share it with you babes before I left on this long weekend adventure. It's a recipe I'm super proud of and super into because it's totally free of ANY sugar (you'll see how!) and all grains, making this the perfect batch of brownies to make for someone with food allergies or who is just crazy strict watching their diet, like I am in prepping for this wedding. (I wanna look badass and feel my best!)
I based the recipe off of the Double Fudge Mint Brownies recipe in my cookbook, Homestyle Vegan, but the original version is full of flour and sugar and all things generally off limits for people with food allergies. Of course, if you need to tweak it to suit your particular preferences please do so, but let us know what changes you make in the comments! It can be helpful for other readers to see what substitutions worked...and which didn't. These are the ultimate fudgy brownies, soft and dense with a chewy outer crust. You can pull them from the oven a few minutes early if you like 'em even fudgier, but either way I think they're best served warm with a glass of almond milk on the side. Anyway, I've got bathing suits and sunscreen to pack, but trust me - you're going to love every second of eating these - and you're going to love how healthy they are even more!
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup monk fruit sweetener (we use Lakanto Classic)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup monk fruit syrup (we use Lakanto Maple Syrup to keep it sugar-free) OR maple syrup OR agave nectar
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips or chunks
Preheat oven to 350º. Grease or line an 8x8 in baking dish.
In a large whisking bowl whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, monk fruit sweetener, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, monk fruit syrup, unsweetened almond milk and vanilla extract. Pour these wet ingredients into the dry ingredient mixture and use a wooden spoon to combing the mixture completely. The batter may be stiff, so feel free to get in there and use your hands if you like. Once the batter is uniform, pour in the chocolate chips or chunks and stir to evenly distribute them throughout the batter.
Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish, using the back of the wooden spoon to press the mixture down evenly into the dish. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out almost completely clean. If you bake them too long, they will become dryer and much more cake-like than fudge-like in texture. Remove the dish from the oven and place it on a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing. For the ULTIMATE fudge brownies, see the tip below. Once cooled, slice and enjoy!
Make these brownies EXTRA FUDGY by refrigerating them after cooling for at least 1-2 hours before slicing. The fridge helps cool the core before it has set completely, resulting in some of the best damn brownies ever!
Leftovers can be left on the counter or in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days. After that they'll start drying out.
It's officially feels like summer here in So Cal with temps in the low 90s this week. Ugh. On the plus side, it's been warm enough that we've started planning our first camping trips of the season. And I can't wait! Sometimes dragging all the ingredients for s'mores - the vegan chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers, and of course a good stick! - can be a pain in the butt. And often, I end up forgetting at least one of the necessary ingredients! These days, I save myself time and space in the cooler by just pre-making a tray of these fudge, ooey-gooey S'mores Brownies instead. They whip up quickly, taste BETTER (yup, I said it) than the traditional version, and make late-night campfire munching a breeze! Instead of graham crackers, the marshmallows and chocolate chunks are nestled into rich, chocolatey brownie batter - no stick needed. I like to put them in the fridge for a bit before cutting into them for even fudgier brownies. And they couldn't be easier to travel with: they last sealed in a ziplock bag in the car or on the counter up to 3 full days. Pack up the tent and preheat the oven - we've got some s'mores to eat!
1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons warm water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chunks
1/2 cup vegan marshmallows (we used Dandies!)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease or line an 8x8 inch baking dish.
In a small bowl which together the ground flax and warm water. Set it aside to gelatinize.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, unsweetened almond milk, vegetable oil and vanilla. Add in the flax mixture and stir well to combine.
In a separate large mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredient mixture. Whisk together until a smooth batter forms. Fold in the chocolate chunks and marshmallows and pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!
Makes 12 brownies.
For even fudgier brownies, fridge the cooled brownies at least 2 hours before cutting into them.
Maple Pecan Blondies
This recipe has been a long time in the making. Four tries, at least, until I was happy enough to share. The other couple tries ended in me smuggling ziploc bags of crumbly blondie squares down to the cabin before anyone could see how much I'd messed them up. I'd wait till 11 pm rolled around and I'd munch away the evidence.
I'm happy that this version worked so nicely: I can't afford to keep hoarding baked goods and waking up in a pile of crumbs.
Even if the crumbs do taste buttery, rich, and oh-so nutty...
Maple and pecan go together so well. I had originally envisioned these to have macadamia nuts mixed in, but I like my recipes to be accessible (not everyone can find macadamia nuts in their local market- or afford them!) and simple. The pecans accent the buttery, decadent maple flavor beautifully. I made these little beauties using fresh, homemade pure maple syrup from the Maple trees tapped on my family's property. It is so, so good.
Being that I am from Maine and have access to a substantial amount of maple-y things, I also topped my blondies with a little pure maple sugar. It adds just a little texture and sweetness to the top, but is certainly not necessary.
If you are interested though, you can get some here.
I've been experimenting a lot with gluten-free flours and making my own gluten-free flour mixture. There have been a lot of mistakes and missteps, but I'm starting to get better at making gluten-free baked goods that don't suck. And when I perfect my homemade gluten-free flour mix, I'll let you know. In the meantime, Bob's Red Mill works fantastically. Or, if you have a favorite all purpose gluten-free baking mix of your own, use it and let me know how it turns out!
You could also probably sub out the gluten-free flour mix and xantham gum for regular ol’ whole wheat and get the same results, only more glutinous. I haven’t tried it, but usually whole wheat will bind anything.
1 cup vegan butter or shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
3/4 pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
2 flax eggs (2 T. ground flax+ 1/3 cup warm water)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (see note above)
1/4 tsp. + a pinch of xantham gum
1 cup chopped pecans
pure maple sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare flax eggs in a small dish and set aside to gelatinize, about 5 minutes.
In a mixer, combine butter, vanilla, sugar, maple syrup, and extract if you’re using it. (I’ve made it both with and without and think its maple-y enough without it but if you LOVE maple, add it.)
Add flax eggs and continue to mix on medium speed until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda & powder, and xantham gum. Add dry ingredients to wet slowly with mixer on low.
Mix until uniform in consistency, then remove the mixer bowl from the stand, throw in the pecans and give it a good stir. Pour batter into a greased or floured 9x13 in. baking dish. If you have it, lightly sprinkle pure maple sugar over the top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges of the blondies start pulling away from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely before cutting.
Makes 12-16 squares, depending on how big you cut ‘em.
Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
Fall is here! If you couldn't tell by the pop-up Costume Stores and the crazy amounts of fake fall leaves in store windows, I'm sure you could tell as soon as you logged on. Because today, we're talking about fall heaven. We're talking about the reason I pull myself out of the warm layers of comforter to make the chilly late night walk to the fridge: we're talking about fudgy, triple chocolate, pumpkin swirl brownies.
They make me think of words like rich, ooey-gooey, and decadent.
And those are words I love.
I also love chocolate, which is why we used bars of dark chocolate, cacao chunks, and rich cacao butter to make these brownies a trifecta of chocolatey heaven.
You're gonna love 'em.
The pumpkin was a brilliant addition. I mean it!
It adds a soft, gooey pumpkin layer to an already sweet, fudgy bottom layer.
The combination creates an almost cheesecake-like brownie that will make an appearance at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and daylight savings day too.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup cacao nibs*
1/3 cup dark chocolate bar, broken into small pieces*
1/3 cup cacao butter*
6 tablespoons vegan butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flax, 6 tablespoons water)**
pumpkin swirl topping ingredients:
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree***
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
*As you may have noticed, three 1/3 cup measurements makes for 1 cup of chocolate in this recipe. If you don't have cacao nibs or butter and want to use only dark chocolate, please do. If you want to sub it all out for cacao nibs, you may also do that. I just loved the three chocolatey flavors all together, and highly recommend it!
**To make a flax 'egg', mix 2 tablespoons ground flax with 6 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until the mixture turns slightly gelatinous. This recipe calls for two flax eggs, so simply double the original mixture.
***Just make sure you're buying 100% pumpkin puree. Pumpkin pie mix is a very different product and while it would probably be delicious, we won't be using it here.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9x7 inch pan.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, and salt.
Set it aside.
Using the double boiler method, melt cacao nibs, cacao butter, dark chocolate, butter, and vanilla until they become the consistency of warm chocolate fudge sauce, sort of like chocolate gravy...yum!
Once the chocolate mixture is melted and well combined, add it to the dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Add flax eggs and stir again. Pour the resulting brownie batter into the 9x7 inch pan.
In a bowl, whisk together the can of pumpkin, unsweetened applesauce, and pumpkin pie spice. Pour it evenly over the brownie batter, using a butter knife or toothpick to gently swirl some of the pumpkin topping into the chocolate batter.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the pumpkin is slightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
Let brownies cool for 20-30 minutes before enjoying them so the chocolate and pumpkin layers can set.
When they are cool, try them with a giant scoop of coconut ice cream...or with two forks on the couch while you watch parks and recreation.