pretty sure you didn't expect to see brownies on an earth day post. You may have assumed I would be posting something green, or "eco-friendly". But instead you see something decadent, indulgent and seemingly extravagant. But really you can change any recipe to be more environment friendly by the ingredients you use and the way you make it. However, even if you use better-for-the-earth ingredients for these brownies, you will still need to use electricity; that is unless you only make it to the batter, which would be understandable. I think it's fitting that these brownies are so dense and resemble the dust of the earth. Speaking of, have you seen this yet?
I found this recipe some time ago and wanted to try it sans chocolate chips, and then after stephanie's post over at the zupas blog, I had to pair it with a slightly altered version of her vanilla caramel sauce. Do not make these brownies if you are not a fan of the chocolate, or chocolate induced comas, don't like heavy, moist, fudgy cake-like brownies, or don't have any type of milk in stock, as you will definitely need a glass (or two) nearby.
hope you are doing something today to improve the world; because we can.
These are allegedly "reduced fat" brownies as there is no oil, eggs or butter in them. However the amount of sugar is a contributing factor to its evils, and then there's the added caramel sauce on top. Let's just say these are "just the right amount of fat" brownies. If you feel any bit of guilt read this, then find something to celebrate like earth day!
death by chocolate brownies
adapted from this recipe
10 ounces applesauce
1 banana, mashed
7 ounces cocoa, about 2 cups (I did some regular, some dark)
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup (heaping) wheat germ
6 Tablespoons milk (any kind)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon or more vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
a couple handfuls of walnuts, crushed
mix all ingredients, except for the walnuts, until smooth. Spoon into 9x9 or 9x13 pan, top with walnuts. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes turning the oven off 5 minutes before the end. You will have to bake it a little longer if using the smaller pan.
stephanie's caramel sauce (veganized)
adapted from stephanie brubaker
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons water
1/2 vanilla bean, split in half
1/4 cup almond milk
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoon earth balance
**I copied the instructions from here, making only a few changes.
Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Without stirring (very important!), cook the mixture until dark amber in color, swirling the pan carefully while cooking, about 20 minutes depending on your pan. Make sure you stay close to the stove to avoid burning the mixture.
Reduce the heat to low. Put the vanilla bean into the milk, swirl around a bit to loosen the seeds. Then, very slowly, add the cream/vanilla mixture to the amber sugar/water mixture, stirring carefully with a wooden spoon. Remove the pan from the stove.
Add in butter and pinch of salt. Stir until the butter is fully incorporated.
When brownies come out of the oven, poke holes all over with a toothpick and spoon the caramel sauce on top.
enjoy with a full glass of milk, or some ice cream if you're feeling especially festive.