Tuesday, February 09, 2010

recipe: healthier vegan brownies

Since I went vegan for the last time, a year and a half ago (!), I have grown to love baking things from scratch. I have mastered cakes, cookies and pies. And yet, when hit with the craving for a brownie, without fail, I reached for a box of Duncan Hines Chewy Brownie mix, replaced the eggs with applesauce, and called it a day.

This method was hit or miss, and my last four or five attempts have been definite misses. I decided to throw down my brownie crutch and begin a quest - the quest for the Perfect Vegan Brownie. I'm so serious about this quest that I'm going to make it a feature on my blog, and post recipes, experiments, failures and (hopefully) successes. Naturally, there are a few ground rules for this quest. The first is that the recipe must exist online. It would be cruel to find the perfect recipe and then not share it with you, loyal Reader. The second is that the ingredients must be relatively easy to find. If I can find them in East Texas, you can find them where ever you are. The third and final rule is that more than one person must taste and rate the brownies. This will usually be Nathan (he is so selfless!) but be prepared, friends - if I bring brownies to your home or party, I expect a full review which I will post here.

Today, I bring you Recipe #1: Scrum-Diddly-Umptious Vegan Brownies.

First, the ingredients. 


 Flour, sugar, walnuts, cocoa powder, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, applesauce, chocolate chips, and walnuts. Nothing too out of the ordinary here, and best of all? I had everything I needed on hand. 

Mixed, poured and ready for the oven. 

The finished product. 


The verdict? 

These brownies were easy to make and, according to the nutritional facts listed with the recipe, are surprisingly healthy (you know, for a brownie). They use no oil at all, which I appreciate. I do not like oily brownies and these brownies did not disappoint in that regard. That said, there is a fine line between "oily" and "fudgey" and these brownies, while firm, fluffy, and chocolaty, were a little on the dry side. Their saving grace came in the addition of chocolate chips, which melted in such a way as to mimic that fudgey consistency in a reasonable fashion. Nathan agreed with me on all accounts, and added that the walnuts gave them a more interesting texture. He also woke up in the middle of the night and ate three more, so I guess that's a thumbs up. 

Overall verdict: On a scale from 1-10, I rate these a 7. The quest continues!