Cheer Up Brownies

Ugh. This morning I woke up and saw this out my window...

I am not impressed. While it isn't uncommon for us to get snow in April, I was really hoping that we were done with Winter. This snow isn't even that much and is melting as we speak, and yet it did nothing for my mood this morning. This Winter has been exceptionally horrible, and I have no more patience for crappy, dreary, miserable weather. 

Somehow, I resisted the urge to run into my bedroom, pack all my shoes, and run to the airport for the first flight out of here. I'm craving Spring. I'm craving happiness. So, I did run into my bedroom, but instead of packing, I let my beautiful orchid flowers remind me of Spring.

Being in my kitchen usually makes me happy, so I grabbed my favorite baking cookbook to search for some inspiration.

Babycakes cookbook is written by the owners/bakers of Babycakes Bakery in NYC.  It is all vegan recipes, which I like because then I can eat as much batter as I want and not have to worry about semolina! :) 

I decided to go with the brownies because chocolate always makes me feel happy. :) The brownie recipe I used from the cookbook also happens to be gluten-free. When I first started making recipes from this book, I was totally intimidated. I didn't know what most of the ingredients were on the list! Now, I feel much more confident working with these ingredients, and slowly I'm adjusting other recipes to include these healthier ingredients.

Gluten makes things stick together. So, if you are going to cook with gluten-free flour, you need to add something else to make it stick together! Xanthan Gum is a gluten-free powdery substance that makes things stick together. (In the picture above, it is in the glass jar to the left of the cocoa.) You don't need much, which is good because when you buy the expensive stuff, it will last a long time!

I made a total mess of my brownie batter. It was wonder - fun!  The recipe asked for 3 mini-muffin pans in which to bake the brownies. I have one mini-muffin pan. So, I put the extra batter in a couple 2-inch tart pans and a mini-loaf pan. They turned out great in all my pans - just be careful not to overcook the brownies. 

Finally. Happiness arrived! These brownies are gooey happiness in chocolate form. Milk (either dairy or non-dairy) is a must. 

Seriously. Are you drooling yet??

You too, can have happiness in chocolate form on this dreary, miserable day. I refuse to let Minnesota's crappy weather ruin my day. Now, if you excuse me, I must go finish off the pan of brownies before they go bad.... :) 

Cheer Up Brownies
36 mini-muffin sized brownies, 45 minutes

1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 tablespoons arrowroot
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup coffee (or hot water)
1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease mini-muffin pans. 
  2. In a medium bowl, add the dry ingredients: flour, potato starch, arrowroot, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt. Stir well to combine.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients: coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla, and hot coffee. Stir until the batter is smooth.
  4. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop the batter into your prepared pans. Bake for about 10 minutes (if using mini-muffin pans), rotating the pan after about 5 minutes. The brownies are done with the edges are firm and the middle is soft, but not wet. A toothpick will come out clean. 
  6. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Store at room temperature (if you have any left!).
From Babycakes by Erin McKenna
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