This post will be short and sweet! I recently celebrated my birthday with a dreamy batch of vegan brownies. I received so many birthday presents that I feel incredibly spoiled. To fix that, I would like to give you my lovely readers a little gift...
I call them Eureka Brownies because this recipe renders a deliciously fudgy brownie with a wonderfully crusty top - not a soft cake top. Eureka!
3/4 cup turbinado or white sugar (see notes)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup coconut milk (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup regular cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
1- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray an 8 inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
2- Pulverize the sugar in a blender or food processor. I use the Magic Bullet and it works like a charm. This is the most important step, the sugar should be very fine and flourlike.
3- In a mixing bowl or measuring jar whisk together the oil, milk, and vanilla. Stir in the pulverized sugar and whisk until everything is well combined and smooth.
4- In a medium size mixing bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips to somewhat coat them with the dry ingredients.
5- Pour the mix of sugar and liquids on top of the flour mix and gently stir until just until combined. It's extremely vital that you don't overmix the batter!
6- Spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly. It shouldn't be pourable like cake, it should be pretty thick.
7- Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs attached but not gooey. Check two or three different spots in case you hit a deceiving chocolate chip! Let it cool completely in the pan before cutting them into squares... or if you're like me, dig in while they are still at tongue-melting temperature.
- Really pulverize the life out of the sugar. Let it sit in the blender or food processor for a minute after you pulverize it to avoid a sugar *POOF* in your face when you remove the lid. I use the Magic Bullet with the flat blades. My buddy Becks found a baking tip somewhere on the interwebs that said that melting the sugar and butter together is what gives brownies that perfect top. That is why I grind the sugar and make it as fine as possible, so the big turbinado crystals can easily dissolve in the oil. If you would like to try them with some sort of melted buttery spread instead of oil, go for it! I wanted to make them with oil so my soy-free readers could enjoy these too.
- You can make a smoothie (using a blender) with the sugar, oil, milk and vanilla instead of pulverizing the sugar first. The brownie tops don't get quite as crusty as they do with the pulverized sugar, but if you're having a brownie emergency it will save you a couple of minutes.
- You might want to increase the amount of sugar to 1 full cup instead of 3/4 cup. My taste buds don't like things that are too sweet and I usually reduce the amount of sugar that is called for in most recipes. If you have normal taste buds, then you probably should do one cup of sugar.
- You can use any kind of milk if you don't want to use coconut milk. I like the extra richness that coconut milk gives to baked goods.
- Replace some of the cocoa powder with equal amounts of melted chocolate chips/baking bar for extra fudginess.
- The brownies come out thin like the ones in the picture, double the recipe if you like thicker brownies.
I love these, I have made them so many times in the past few weeks that they are second nature to me now. I hope you enjoy them too!
UPDATE: Sophie made a "Mint Chocolate Chip" version of these brownies. The mint chips make the brownies look so festive and yummy! Check out her recipe!
UPDATE #2: Krys made an "Almond Joy" version for the Worldwide Vegan Bakesale for Haiti and they sound ridiculously delicious. Check out her recipe!
UPDATE #3: DennyBerry (who needs to start a baking blog *hint hint*) tried these with powdered sugar and they weren't as brownie-like. Then I made a batch with powdered sugar to see exactly how they turned out, and they were pretty crumbly and cakey. Pulverized (or very well dissolved) turbinado or white sugar still reign supreme!
Mr. Wing-It and I are back on the road and incredibly busy, but I refuse to neglect this blog again. Next week the E.A.T World series will resume with a virtual trip to France and a recipe for soy-free chocolate mousse. Speaking of France, check out Mandee's amazing E.A.T World: France post! Enjoy Mandee's délicieux Mushroom Bourguignon, Potato Gratin, Bohemienne, Croissants, and Croissant-hungry kittehs. Bon appetit and au revoir!
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