Vegan BROWNIES!

Recently, I have been playing around with Melisser Elliott’s Buccaneer Brownie recipe via Go Max Go Foods. She has been creating dessert recipes to use with their product, via the Go Max Go blog. Now, I have a few of their candy bars stashed away, but I want to eat them by themselves since I don’t get them very often!

Just wanted to pay a visit to my vegan baking blog and let you know about the THE BEST brownie recipe I have ever used. If you don’t have Go Max Go candy bars, you can used chocolate chips or crushed up Newman’s Own sandwich cookies (in mint!). I’ve done both and I’ve been quite pleased with the results.

ImageThis picture does not do my brownies justice! Here’s the thing: I do prefer to under-bake my goodies, as I do not like the toughness of over-baked desserts. And I did over-bake my first batch of these bad boys! I will say that they are quite fudgy, and I think the canned coconut milk I used was too heavy for them. 

I did play with the recipe a little bit. I used the equivalent of one egg using EnerG Egg Replacer instead of flax. I also used unsweetened soy milk instead of water in my first batch, and canned coconut milk in my second batch, pictured above. I loved the ooey-gooeyness of the second batch, but I think the canned coconut milk may have been a little heavy. Next time I’m going to stick with unsweetened soy milk or use coconut yogurt!

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Vegan Zucchini Bread!

It’s fall, which means squash is on everybody’s mind. I’m not a big fan of pumpkin (blasphemous, I know, I know) but I am a huge fan of zucchini! Last night I randomly got the urge to make zucchini bread. It’d been years! I remember it was something my mom would always make, as opposed to pumpkin flavored things. I guess the disdain runs in the family, haha.

Now, I’m sure there is a plethora of vegan recipes out there, but I like to take “regular” recipes and veganize them. Sometimes I find vegan recipes call for a lot of unnecessary and expensive ingredients. So, I took this recipe and made it my own.

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I will apologize now for my photography skills. I am not a photographer. I am a blogger, and a food-maker, but food photography is not my forte. 

I veganized this recipe by using melted coconut oil instead of butter (although vegetable oil would have sufficed as well), flax seed instead of eggs and brown rice syrup instead of sugar. I only used the brown rice syrup because I had a bottle left over from some VegNews recipe-testing I had done that I wanted to use up. White sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar or brown sugar would’ve  been fine as well.

Now, the recipe called for two eggs, which I used flax seed for. I like to use flax seeds as an egg substitute in heartier, bread-like baked goods. I don’t like nuts in my cookies, for instance, but if you do, flax seeds would give them a subtle nutty flavor, as opposed to good ol’ egg replacer.

Flax seed “eggs” or gel:
1 Tablespoon ground flax
3 Tablespoons hot water

Whisk together until a gel forms and let sit for a few minutes. Because the recipe called for two eggs, I doubled that conversion.

The zucchini bread was a huge hit with both my friend Britney and my roommate Dan. Because I bake for a living, and am constantly surrounded by sweets and flour, I don’t really consume them at home. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this bread — it was lightly sweet and very moist, without being too dense. I made the mistake of cutting a piece when it was hot, which made that spot a little gummy, but once it cooled completely, any gumminess went away.

I also made a streusel topping for it, which I made from memory but you can easily find online. I used vegetable shortening, flour, both brown and cane sugar, plus cinnamon. It topped the bread off very nicely!

EDIT: Now that my mom has commented on my blog, I come to find out she does like pumpkin; it’s pumpkin pie she dislikes (in her words — hates). She also reminded me that we put chocolate chips in everything, so of course I was going to put chocolate chips in this bread last night, BUT I FORGOT!