I don’t know how I have survived this long without a great, go-to vegan brownie recipe. It’s really appalling to me now that I think about it, and I wish I had some sort of explanation. I’ve tried a few online recipes that had great reviews, but nothing ever did it for me. I had a fabulous recipe that I loved in my pre-vegan days and I just could not settle for less. It was so good and people asked for them so often that I had the recipe memorized. I tried veganizing them several times, but they never turned out quite right – until tonight.
Enter the flax egg. What is that, you ask? Well, if you take one tablespoon of ground flax seeds (I just use flax meal) and three tablespoons of water, bring it to a boil and then simmer for five minutes or so, until you get a goopy, eggy texture, you’ve got yourself a fabulous egg substitute. One tablespoon flax meal equals one egg, and you can double, triple, quadruple, or whatever you need! This was the first time I had tried the flax trick, which is just as ridiculous as the fact that I’m just now tweaking my old brownie recipe, but it’s the truth. Anyway, I’m so glad I finally gave it a shot, and I’m happy to report that it worked like a charm. So now, I present to you, my super delicious vegan brownie recipe.
The original recipe is one my hero-in-kitchen of a grandmother shared with me years ago (thanks, Grandma!), and I’m not certain where she got it from, but it is a winner. If anyone can tell me who to credit for the inspiration, please speak up! The changes for the vegan version are very minor, so I can’t take a whole lot of credit!
Rich, Chewy, Crunchy, Delicious Vegan Brownies
1/2 c. turbinado sugar (or whatever kind you use)
2 tbsp. Earth Balance, Organic Smart Balance, or other vegan margarine
2 tbsp. water
1 10 or 12 oz. bag vegan chocolate chips
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp. ground flax seeds, or flax meal + 6 tbsp. water)
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. aluminum free baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)
Prepare your flax eggs and set aside. Preheat oven to 325. Place sugar, margarine, and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add half your bag of chocolate chips. Stir to melt. Stir in flax eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the rest of your bag of chocolate chips, and nuts if desired. [Batter will be thick and goopy, maybe even so thick that you think to yourself, “these will never turn out!” Trust the process.] Spread into a greased 8x8x2 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set in the center. Allow to cool before cutting. The only drawback is that they get dry and crunchy after a day or two, so you’ll want to bake them shortly before you plan to eat them, and keep them in an airtight container to prolong their life. I’ll keep tweaking to see if I can find a way to prevent this altogether.
|Super easy – you don’t even need a mixing bowl!|
These come out crunchy on the edges and slightly crusty on top, but soft and chewy in the center, and they’re oh so rich! Certainly not health food, but great for an occasional indulgence. You can mix it up by adding a cup of vegan white chocolate chips or peanut butter chips (if you live in an area where you have access to that sort of thing, feel free to ship some to me!) instead of the half bag of chocolate chips at the end. I used to do this all the time with the pre-vegan version and it was super delish! Also, if you want them to come out looking particularly square and pretty, you can freeze them, then cut with a sharp knife, plate, and allow to return to room temperature.
We made a triple batch of these tonight to share, and Annabelle was a great baking assistant. She loves smelling my ingredients, and really enjoyed the vanilla. She has also learned of the wonders of chocolate (I know, I know!), much to my dismay! Her daddy shared his with her one day and it was all over after that. So, I let her taste the tiniest little bit of our batter.