Hi! Wing It Vegan is currently on its annual hiatus. It might take me a while to reply to comments, messages, emails, love letters, hate mail, and all that good stuff. I had to turn on that hateful word-verification thingie for comments due to too much spam - it is rather annoying, sorry about that! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Eureka Brownies!

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...

Eureka Brownies!
Eureka Brownies!

I call them Eureka Brownies because this recipe renders a deliciously fudgy brownie with a wonderfully crusty top - not a soft cake top. Eureka!


Eureka Brownies!

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.


Notes:

- 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!

44 comments :

  1. Enjoy your travels, and thanks for posting the recipe. They look incredibly delicious. NOM!

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  2. Holy yum brownies--and what a great tip with the sugar pulverizing!

    Happy belated birthday and safe travels!!

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  3. The brownies look perfect! The last time I tried to pulverize sugar in my food processor the sugar poof started escaping while the top was on and the processor was going. It was just too much and I had to stop. What about powdered sugar?

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  4. Happy belated birthday! I was thinking about you last week as I watched "Lost in Austen" for the first time, loving every single minute of it. I'm inspired to re-read Pride and Prejudice, too!

    Bon voyage and safe travels!

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  5. happybelatedbirthdayface, River! :)

    i hope you and Mr. Kook are having some fun together despite being super busy. your brownies look absolutely AMAZING! fudgy brownies with a crusty top are the kind of brownies i puffy heart the most. thank you, River - i can't wait to make these. yay!

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  6. Eureka indeed! And happy belated birthday! Those brownies look absolutely fabulous. Have a great time on the road.

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  7. Hello River! Happy Birthday!! (a little bit late for that, though). I'm Marion, all over from Greece, remember me? I just want to wish you health and happiness and enjoy every single moment of the rest of your life and your E.A.T World magnificent journey.
    infinite x's and o's

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  8. happy belated birthday, River! Hope it was fantastic! I'm laughing at Vegtogini's comment because I, too, just watched Lost in Austen (a purchase made on your recommendation) and loved it! Thanks! I'm looking forward to seeing some of your amazing photos from your next round of Adventure!

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  9. YUMMM!!! Happy Birthday, it was my mother in law's birthday too :)

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  10. Happy birthday! And those brownies look OMG-mazing!!!! I love both fudgey and cakey brownies, but I've to achieve the proper fudgey brownie without following someone else's recipe. I'll have to try yours!

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  11. Happy B'day again, River! Thank you for sharing the brownie recipe with us, they look so, so good!

    And thank you for mentioning my E.A.T World France post :D I am really looking forward to seeing what you make while in France, especially the soy-free chocolate mousse!!

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  12. Oh, man, River, do those look good! The perfect balance of crusty top, gooey fudgy interior and melty chocolate chips. . . MUST. HAVE. BROWNIE! (sigh, not for a while. . .) But glad your Bday was a good one! :)

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  13. Oh, that flaky top - reminiscent of my beloved Duncan Hines of yesteryear....

    Happy birthday, too!

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  14. Happy birthday! I am so making these brownies. They look delicious!

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  15. Thanks for the recipe! They are great! I haven't had a crispy top brownie in ages!!

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  16. Lisa - Thank you! We are doing the boring part of our travels now, but soon we will get to go to Yellowstone and other cool places. You're welcome, I hope you enjoy them if you make them! :)

    Jes - Thank you! This pulverized sugar thing is interesting, next time we go home for a while I will try to bake some blondies using the same method. And cookies. And cakes! :P

    Andrea - I haven't tried making them with powdered sugar. My food processor does the same thing when I try to grind graham crackers in there. I have to tightly wrap a kitchen towel around the lid to keep it from making a big crumbly mess! :)

    Vegyogini - Thank you! YAY!! Isn't Lost in Austen great? I love it too, that show was such a good idea. I am re-reading Pride and Prejudice too! :)

    Jessy - Happythankyouface! :D
    We still manage to have fun in spite of the hecticness. There is never a shortage of buffoonery!

    Mihl - Thank you! I will be sure to document the great times with plenty of photos, so get ready to be bombarded with those! :D

    Marion - Infinite thank-yous! It's so nice to hear from you again! My E.A.T World travels will soon bring me to Greece. I hope you like Koulourakia cookies! :)

    Aimee - Thank you! YAY! Another Lost in Austen fan! The producers should be paying me per referral! Hee hee! There will be plenty of pictures of our trip. I can't wait to get to the fun places! :)

    Gina - Thank you! And happy belated birthday to your mother in law! Did she celebrate with crusty brownies too? :)

    Bianca - Thank you! I like both types of brownies too. As long as they have chocolate that's all that matters, right? I hope you enjoy them if you try them! :)

    Mandee - Thank you again! My France post won't be nearly as fabulous as yours, but I promise to share the mousse recipe! :)

    Ricki - I wish I could send you some brownies and that you could take a ACD time-out for just a little while! Sometimes I take for granted that I can eat sweet goodies and wheat and all that good stuff. You still manage to eat deliciously even on the ACD and for that you are my hero! :)

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  17. Susan - The top is my favorite part! Doesn't Duncan Hines make a vegan brownie mix? *googles it* It looks like the Duncan Hines California Walnut Brownie Mix is vegan, according to this! :)

    Stacey - Thank you! I hope you love them as much as I do! I have made them so many times in the past few weeks that I am a little brownied out! :D

    Katie - You're welcome! I wish I could email you a couple of crispy top brownies! Is that possible? Gmail needs to work on that! :)

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  18. Happy belated birthday! The brownies look fantastic, and thanks for the recipe. Brownies are always really good - even when they don't turn out perfect - but I love when they're crusty on top like this, and still soft and chewy inside.

    Happy travels, and I can't wait to see your French post! I've been considering a virtual France stop too, and thanks for Mandee's link.

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  19. brownies are my favorite dessert! these look just perfect. Congrats on perfecting the recipe.

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  20. Those look fabulous! Fudgy with a crackly top- just the kind of brownies I like! Those look like the perfect way to celebrate a birthday.

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  21. I'm happy to hear that your E.A.T World journey is going to bring you to my homeland. I love Koulourakia of course, well pretty much everything edible! Anyway, If you'd like I could e-mail you some of my favorite recipes!

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  22. yum they look awesome. the crackly top is something i've never been able to acheive with vegan brownies. i'll have to try your recipe!

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  23. Lisa - Thank you! I would still like to keep working on the recipe to see what kind of tasty variations I can make. Orange zesty brownies? Peanut butter swirl? Pumpkin? So many variations, so little time! :D

    Mike - Thank you! That's what I say, as long as it's chocolate it's good! Even when brownies don't come out as planned, they're still brownies! See you in France (I hear Mandee is bringing croissants!) :)

    Kiersten - Thank you! I don't like to make a big deal of my birthday, but there MUST be something yummy to eat! You just can't beat brownies! :)

    Marion - I only made two dishes for my upcoming Greece post, but I would love to hear what your favorite recipes are! Thank you for offering! There are so many tempting dishes to choose from that I might have to revisit Greece in the future. Again and again and again! :D

    Sal - The crusty top is the best part! I hope you try it and it works out for you too. Pulverize the life out of that sugar! :)

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  24. These brownies look perfect, just like I love them! I think coconut milk is a great addition.

    Happy Birthday!

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  25. Happy to hear that!!!!
    :-))

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  26. Diann - Thank you! Coconut milk can only make things better, can't it? :)

    Marion - YAY! I'm looking forward to checking out your favorite recipes! :)

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  27. Happy (belated) BIRTHDAY!! Those brownies look AMAZING! Coconut milk is a great idea, I will have to try it - thanks for the tip.

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  28. Thank you, Cassie! I hope you love them too! :)

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  29. Thanks so much for this great recipe!
    I blogged them here: http://monpetitchoublog.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/mint-chocolate-chip-brownies/

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  30. Sophie - You are very welcome! And thank you so much for letting me know that you made them! YAY! I'm checking out your post now...

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  31. Again with the coconut milk! I may just have to make these for Easter dessert.
    And happy belated bday!

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  32. Thank you! Yep. This is a wild coconut milk addiction and I don't want to go to rehab. I hope you enjoy them! :)

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  33. Okay, obviously this is like, 7 months late but I just made these brownies and they're delicious! :) Best vegan brownies I've had so far!

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  34. I finally made these last night and they were so yummy! A little too bitter for the husband (though he still devoured his) but I thought the lack of excessive sweetness was nice. They weren't crackly on top but they were also a little underdone. Either way, yum!

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  35. Wow, I made these this past weekend and they were great! The coconut was a nice addition(but apparently only I could taste it :s) The tops was smooth and almost perfectly crackly. :) I'm thinking of using this as part of a speech for my public speaking class. I'm trying to pick a simple how-to recipe that involves vegan baking. Would it be alright if I used this recipe?

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  36. Go for it, Jackie! :)

    Mmmm brownies. I'm so chocolate-deprived! Halp!

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  37. haha think I'm all blogged out in this lifetime.

    I still wished I lived outside your doorstep so that you can feed me left overs.

    I'm not picky. :D

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    1. Sometimes I get blogged out, so I understand - but I still wish you would come back to Blogland!

      I wouldn't feed you leftovers! You would be a special guest! :)

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  38. hugs! and you're mine as well. :D

    I do miss the community but I'm in some kinda food funk. FB's easier, just posting photos!

    Can't wait for your new post but only when you're good and ready. :D

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  39. These are my go to brownies now! I even made a few changes and they still come out amazingly perfect! (unsweetened applesauce in place of oil, coconut sugar in place of regular sugar. Thank you for sharing this recipe :)

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    1. I'm so sorry your comment was stuck in the spam folder for a couple of days! I need to turn off comment moderation even if it means more spammy comments get through, because I keep forgetting to check the spam folder to check if any legit comments got stuck.

      I'm so glad you like these brownies! Coconut sugar is so awesome, isn't it? I haven't made these with applesauce, but now you have made me want to try it. Thanks so much for letting me know you enjoy these! :)

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    2. Yes! I use coconut sugar in place of white sugar in almost everything I bake. Let me know how you like it with the applesauce if you make it that way. :)

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    3. Will do! I will probably make them soon because as soon as we resume our travels I won't be able to bake again for a while. *sadface*

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