Pumpkin Brownies (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Pumpkin Brownies (Gluten Free, Vegan)

It’s fall and that means pumpkin is finding it’s way into everything, including these dairy free, grain free, vegan pumpkin brownies. Your taste buds will thank you for being so damn festive. 

Pumpkin Brownies | gluten free, dairy free, nightshade free, egg free, vegan

love brownies.

As in LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. brownies.

They are perhaps one of the greatest food inventions ever. The gooey chocolately awesomeness just cannot be replicated. Chocolate cake is great, but it’s NOT brownies. Chocolate mousse? Also great. Also not brownies. Chocolate cookies? Yeah. SO not brownies.

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Dairy Free Pretzel Brownies

Dairy Free Pretzel Brownies

Monday was a great day. It was my birthday. I made brownies. And we had our first #virtualbookclub chat.

Really, what better way to celebrate your birthday (and book club night) than with a big old pan of brownies?! The only problem was deciding what brownies to make.

Enter in the go-to blog for over-the-top epic sweets, and you have some amazing possibilities. Including this pant-splitting nom-worthy recipe for peanut butter fudge pretzel brownies (aka HEAVEN ON EARTH).

I left off the peanut butter for The Hubster (sadly, it isn’t his thing). The good news…it didn’t detract from the heavenly qualities of this treat.

We may or may not have licked our plates clean to get every single last pretzelly-brownie morsel into our mouths. And I may or may not be doing it again tonight.


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Pretzel Brownies (Dairy Free)

Dairy-Free Pretzel Brownies inspired by the glorious Jessica at How Sweet It Is.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12
Author Emily Levenson | emilylevenson.com

Ingredients

Pretzel Crust

  • 2 1/3 cups pretzels crumbled
  • 4 tbs 1/2 stick Earth Balance or vegan margarine, melted
  • 5 tbs granulated sugar
  • handful of dairy-free chocolate chips

Brownies

  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 stick Earth Balance melted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Melt Earth Balance.
  3. Put pretzels into Ziploc bag (or large bowl) and smash to bits. Can be as large or small as you like.
  4. Add pretzels and sugar to melted Earth Balance and stir until combined.
  5. Press into bottom of 9x9 or 9x13 glass baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle on optional chocolate chips.
  7. Bake in oven for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  8. Reduce oven temp to 350°F.
  9. While pretzel crust is baking, move on to the brownies.
  10. Melt Earth Balance and pour into a large mixing bowl.
  11. Add sugar and stir together with a wooden spoon.
  12. Add eggs, vanilla, and water. Mix again.
  13. Stir in cocoa powder and flour. Stir until just combined. You don't want to over mix it.
  14. Spoon brownie mixture on top of the chocolate chips and crust. Spread (pat and push, really) evenly with a spatula.
  15. Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until brownies are set and a knife comes out clean.
  16. Let them cool completely before cutting and serving.
  17. Share with as many people as possible, otherwise pants will begin to feel tight and become difficult to button.

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, corn free, and soy free.

Blissful Brownie Cupcakes

Blissful Brownie Cupcakes

I think it’s fair to say that I have a bit of a brownie obsession. I like them from a box. I like them with sweet potatoes mixed in. I even like them when they are covering a cookie. So it was only natural that they take on cupcake form.

The idea for these amazing delights came from one of my favorite Pittsburgh foodies: Jessica from How Sweet It Is. If she could do it, so could I.

Good thing we were having a dinner party. We just had to make a dessert. The only question was: chocolate or peanut butter frosting to go on top.

We decided to do half the batch in chocolate, and half in peanut butter.

Team Peanut Butter won out at the dinner party, but Team Chocolate was pretty darn good too. So good, in fact, that I had chills with each bite. And that, dear friends, has only happened one time before. Over chocolate peanut butter pie.

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Blissful Brownie Cupcakes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tbs almond {or rice} milk

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbs almond milk

Instructions

To make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and place rack in center of oven.
  2. Line 12 muffin tins with paper or foil baking cups.
  3. Melt the chocolate and Earth Balance in a double boiler {or microwave on 15 second intervals}. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  4. Stir in the sugar.
  5. Add the vanilla extract
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  7. Mix in the flour and salt until well blended.
  8. Evenly divide the batter between the muffin cups.
  9. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake has moist crumbs.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  11. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing of your choice.

Peanut Butter Frosting:

  1. Use hand mixer and blend together all ingredients until smooth and creamy, adding more or less almond milk to achieve the desired consistency.

Chocolate Frosting:

  1. Melt the chocolate and Earth Balance in a double boiler (or glass bowl in microwave at 15 second intervals).
  2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy; about 2 minutes.
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  5. Add the almond milk and beat until frosting is smooth and desired consistency.

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, corn free, and soy free.

Sweet Potato Brownies

Sweet Potato Brownies

Apparently the brownie sampling I did a few weeks back has wet my whistle for all things brownie. And when I came across a healthy brownie recipe, I knew it had to be attempted.

A couple points:

  • We used carob powder instead of cocoa powder. Not sure if that affected the outcome.
  • I didn’t have any instant coffee in the house. Omitting it probably altered the taste…a lot.
  • The Hubster hated them. Though, to be fair, he hates chocolate.
  • They took a lot longer to cook than expected.
  • I would boil the sweet potato next time instead of baking. Took a loooong time in the oven. And I think I ended up caramelized it. Giving it a much stronger flavor.

All in all, they were good. It would definitely take some tweaking to make them delicious. Though, I’d be willing to put in the effort.

For those that have never tried sweet potato brownies before, they do take a little getting used to. But, they have a nice moist-gooey texture. So, bonus points for that.

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Sweet Potato Brownies

A healthy twist on a classic favorite, with the addition of the sweet potato.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 4 tbs 1/2 stick Earth Balance or 3 tbs oil
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup sweet-potato puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease an 8-inch square pan; set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Remove pan from heat, and stir in cocoa. Let cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Stir in sugar and sweet-potato puree, then egg.
  6. Add in vanilla extract.
  7. Add flour mixture to cocoa mixture and stir until no traces of flour remain.
  8. Spoon into prepared pan; smooth the top.
  9. Bake until surface of brownies looks barely dry and an inserted knife comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 20 minutes.
  10. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, soy free, and egg free.