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!
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