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Lil’ Peppermint Brownies
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Lil’ Peppermint Brownies

For goodness sake, how did Christmas come to be a mere three weeks away?  I am in a bit of denial about that… but hey, I will use any excuse to do some kitchen experimentation :)   Christmas baking is one of my absolute favorite ways to “deck the halls”!  (well, it’s really the only way I do it anymore… don’t decorate anymore!)

Luckily, I have some delightful new vegan cookbooks to try out, including the oh-so-great Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. (Seriously ya’ll.  This book rocks my socks.  I daresay, more than its predecessor, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.)  It’s got it all – 100 recipes for cookies, brownies, bars (including breakfast bars) and everything else that makes you smile and comes in sweet bite-sized pieces.  Lots of photos and a huge variety of flavors too.  I have made 4 recipes from it already and want to make them all!

Peppermint Brownies

Care for an amazing minty + chocolate brownie?

It’s fudgy and delicious and you would never know it was vegan (of course, I *like* to know that it is vegan!) but you could sneak it in as a slightly healthier surprise on your holiday table or at that office party potluck…

It’s adapted from the Espresso Fudge Brownies (pg. 130):

  • 3 oz semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons nonhydrogenated margarine (I used Earth Balance sticks)
  • 2/3 cup sugar (I used natural cane sugar)
  • 1/3 cup nondairy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt

Line an 8×8″ square metal pan with aluminum foil (enough to turn over the side lips of the pan) Apply a non stick spray or grease with shortening. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the chocolate and margarine in a large glass mixing bowl. Microwave at 50% for 2 minutes until chocolate is soft enough to melt in with the margarine when stirred. Stir until smooth and add sugar and combine.

In a liquid measuring cup, vigorously whisk together the nondairy milk, cornstarch and vanilla and peppermint extracts until foamy. Stir this into chocolate mixture, using a spatula, until combined. Sift in flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt until moistened. A few lumps are okay, so do not overmix. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, getting as much as possible and smooth out evenly to the edges of the pan.  (I added some vegan chocolate chips to the top of mine, they melted into the batter but kept their shape.  Just an added touch for a chocolate-lover like myself!)

Bake for 22 to 24 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted into the center and comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs (no gooey batter!). Place the pan on a wire rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 brownies.

Do you have a holiday baking ritual? I always enjoyed baking and decorating sugar cookies with the little green and red sprinkles and the silver balls, as well as the yummy fancy cookies like “buckeyes” and chocolate covered pretzels and nuts.

I’d love to hear what you have planned for your holiday sweets :)

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14 Responses

  1. Josiane

    Your version of those brownies sounds great, and appropriately festive! That book is on my Christmas list, and I really hope Santa has a copy for me…

    My new, as of last year, holiday baking ritual is to bake my birthday cake (my birthday being on Christmas Eve) so that everyone gets to share and enjoy the same cake. Though I’m the only vegan in my family, it works fabulously well as an inclusive way to celebrate, because one of my nephews is severely allergic to dairy and eggs. It was fabulous to see his eyes light up last year when I confirmed he could eat the same thing we all were eating, instead of being set apart by getting a different piece of cake that was safe for him. This alone makes the task of baking my own birthday cake in the midst of the holiday madness totally worth it! Well, that, and getting to enjoy a delicious vegan cake, too!

  2. Kala

    I love that book! I’ve only made the coconut magic bars so far but there are sooo many things I want to make from it! My holiday baking fave is making gingerbread men with my husband, decorating them with him is so fun, it’s one of my favorite things about the season :)

  3. Bex

    I make bischochitos every year for Christmas. It was the first thing I did after Thanksgiving. They made the house smell so nice. Now I have half the batch in the freezer in case guests come over!

  4. mick

    Yum! These sound delicious.

  5. felinemagnet

    Those peppermint brownies sound awesome! My holiday baking ritual is to make gingerbread cookies. I’ve been doing it almost every year since I was a teenager, and I have a big collection of cookie cutters and molds. It’s a rather labor-intensive recipe, as you have to make the dough ahead and chill it overnight, then do the rolling and cutting, but the results are worth it! I also like to make those peanut butter-chocolate kiss cookies, rolling the dough in red and green sugar to make them more festive. I need to check on my ingredients and get baking!

  6. Kristyn

    I HAVE to make and decorate sugar cookies. I wasn’t going to last year and the hubby pouted. I can’t wait until Clark is older so we can do the baking together.

  7. Kathy

    What fabulous brownies. I can see these being high on my list once I can have flour again. Unfortunately, with a no dairy, no sugar, no flour diet, my sweets choices are pretty slim this year. However, my holiday baking tradition is a cranberry pumpkin bread. I’ll still be making it this year for gifts, as I do each year. I just won’t be able to taste test it like I usually do!

  8. Tally

    Hi Lolly,
    first of all belated but heartly congratulation to your yoga teacher certification.

    My x-mas cookies are neither vergan nor colorful decorated but very very familiy tradition. I wrote down the recipe on my blog or look only at the pictures on my flickr.
    Here in Germany there is not the custom of putting red or green or silver sprinkles of anykind on Christmas cakes or cookies. It’s more about natural decoration, like half a nut, like grinded almonds, …

  9. GeekKnitter

    Every couple of years I get this insane urge to bake cookies. Tons of them. It happened again this year, and I’m working my way through a 10 lb bag of flour. We’re not going to talk about how much sugar I’ve used… there are no calories in holiday baking!

  10. lynnewio

    Fabulous! I’m hoping to get that book for xmas and would have skipped over that recipe because I don’t like coffee-flavored things. I’ll definitely have to try this out.

  11. Wendolene

    Spritz and kolacky are our two favorites!

  12. Emma

    I’ll be baking my grandmother’s shortbread after dinner tonight. It’s probably my favourite Christmas recipe, and I’m looking forward to making a big batch to share

  13. Kristi

    Seriously, if you haven’t made them yet (and can do peanut butter), the peanut butter pillows in that book are to die for. Eat some while they are still warm. MMmmmmm.

  14. Yoga Witch

    Oh my, these look yummy! I’ll have to whip some up this weekend.

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