Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Brownies, Brownies, and Strawberry Brownies!

Sometimes you just want a brownie. For my husband, that sometimes is pretty much always. Brownie sundaes and strawberry shortcake are probably his top two all-time favorite desserts. I decided to combine the two, since our neighbor had just brought us 3 baskets of fresh local strawberries. Think chocolate-covered strawberries, in brownie form. They're even low fat, too- but every bit as satisfying.

And if you're looking for other vegan brownie recipes, read on- I also include some links to a few brownie recipes from around the web. These recipes are easy and can completely be thrown together on a weeknight evening when you're just craving a little dessert...

Chocolate-covered strawberry brownies
  • 1 package Arrowhead Mills brownie mix (or other mix of choice, or make your own, such as here or the base mix here; note you will need to edit below ingredients if following another mix recipe)
  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe's Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt
  • 2 egg replacers (I used Bob's)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup finely chopped strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (extra if the brownie mix you are using or made does not include them)
  1. Combine all ingredients besides the strawberries and additional chocolate chips and mix well.
  2. Spread into a greased 9x12 nonstick pan (the brownies will be a little thin).
  3. Sprinkle the strawberry and extra chocolate chips over the top of the brownies, pressing them into the batter a bit.
  4. Bake for 25-32 minutes at 350, until toothpick comes out clean. 
  5. Allow to cool and then enjoy!
I think I now have a new favorite non-dairy yogurt: T. Joe's Vanilla coconut milk yogurt. The consistency is perfectly smooth and creamy, and the vanilla flavor tastes just like cake batter. Yes, it's sweet- so it may not be a good "breakfast yogurt" - but it definitely makes for a yummy "dessert yogurt," or an oil replacement for baked goods as used here.

Do I smell brownies?

That line is kind of a running joke in our house. Post-college, my husband and I shared an apartment with a good friend. One day my husband (then just-kind-of-boyfriend-type-guy I happened to be living with) came home from work and said, "It smells like brownies." His eyes widened with excitement, like a little kid, and he asked if I was baking some. I glanced at my friend, sitting on the couch, and nodded. "Yeah, I am- go check the oven." He gave me a skeptical look, since I was smirking, but went down the hall to the kitchen anyway. My friend and I were already laughing as we heard the oven door open. Cruel, I know. He's just so easy to trick. To this day he always asks twice and doesn't believe me when I actually am making brownies (since, ok, I might have done the same thing once or twice after that too). I figure he probably deserves a bunch of brownies for all that teasing. But, now, rather than asking me if brownies really are baking, he asks me if I've "done anything weird to them." (There have been black bean brownies, and pumpkin swirl brownies, and banana brownies... my husband is a man of simple tastes, and likes his brownies to be just brownies. If it ain't broke, he says.... I'm a little more adventurous. So I made these half and half.) But guess who went back for seconds of the strawberry brownies? Ok, yeah, it was me. But so did my husband ;-)

This were rich, chocolatey, a little chewy, a little melty, a little fruity, and a lot delicious.

A week or so ago I also made a different version of these, as little brownie bites, adapted from the chocolate part of this recipe. I subbed a tiny bit of banana and used maybe 1 Tbsp of oil, which worked because the strawberries and sauce added more moisture to the mix. Speaking of which, I drizzled the bites with a little bit of Rasberry Chocolate sauce, and yes, they were gooood.

In an effort to be healthy, my husband's office has instituted a "no treats" policy. Since I tend to work from home most of the time, and bike about 40 minutes between the train on days when I do commute, it's rare I bring my coworkers treats. What am I supposed to do with all these tasty leftovers? Sometimes I bake "single serving" dessert recipes, or halve recipes; sometimes I just sneak leftovers in my husband's bag anyway. Policy-smolishy.

...Or, you know, feel free to stop by for treats any time ;-)

PS- these were the pumpkin-swirl brownies I made, recipe adapted from the brownies here and the swirl here. I added persimmons, of course :)

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