The Best Vegan Brownies

 When I was young, my favorite part of grocery shopping would be right at the end, when my mom and I would scour the bakery aisle for boxes of brownie mix on sale for 99 cents (!!!!). My mom wasn’t a huge baker, but she knew that my older sister and I loved to make brownies with her.  We’d carefully cradle the small box of brownies in our arms and race home anxious to fill our stomachs with some ooey, gooey brownies fresh out of the oven. Oh man, that initial bite of warm brownie with a cold glass of milk? Probably one of my top ten favorite things to eat for the longest time. 
That was maybe ten, fifteen years ago? And now when I go home the baked goods get a little bit fancier than out of the box (mostly because my lovely mother will fund the ingredients for me to experiment a bit), but when I’m by myself and just have to bake, brownies are still my go to item. Now, I know there’s a lot of debate over what’s better, a cakey brownie or a fudgy brownie but personally, I think I’m a middle of the road not quite cakey, but not ridiculously fudgy with just the right amount of chewiness kind of brownie lover. 


I’ve been getting more and more into vegan baking since that’s what feels best for my stomach (and is also best for the planet! yay!), but never experimented with brownies before. Turns out, vegan brownies are hard to make. No eggs = no emulsifier = a rock hard chocolate flour layer with a giant puddle of oil over it (definitely not yummy). I’m not exactly a huge fan of the different types of vegan emulsifier out there since they all contain a myriad of ingredients that aren’t exactly the best for you.  But on the bajillionth time trying to create a success vegan brownie recipe, I stumbled across something in the back of my cabinet, lonely and forgotten: a can of chickpeas. Out came the chickpeas (later used for some delicious curry), and I decided to experiment with the water which is high in protein and I figured would have similar properties to egg. And it totally worked!!!!

These brownies are rich, a tiny bit cakey, a tiny bit fudgy and pretty much the perfect middle of the road brownie to satisfy both vegans and non-vegans.  I’ve added dark chocolate chips into this batter to keep it vegan, but you are more than welcome to substitute with semi-sweet, milk or even no chocolate. The first bite of it sent me into waves of nostalgia, and also a giant craving for some ice cream to top the brownies with.  They’re ridiculously easy to whip up and even easier to eat. I would recommend not doubling the recipe as the chickpea water generally doesn’t mimic an egg too well if you add in too much.  Seriously though, give them a try! They’re the perfect treat to bring or make if you know your guests have any dietary restrictions. They remind me of my childhood and I hope they also take you back to yours.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil or any neutral tasting oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 6 tbsp chickpea water (save those chickpeas!)
  • 1⁄4 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (vegan)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 (F)
  2. Line an 8×8 brownie pan with parchment paper
  3. In a large bowl combine vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla and chickpea water. Whisk together for 1-2 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine baking powder, cocoa powder, salt, all-purpose flour and chocolate chips. Whisk dry ingredients together.
  5. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into an 8×8 brownie pan
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until middle looks set
  8. Cool before cutting for optimal square pieces
  9. Brownies will keep for up 5 days in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

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