Don't be scared away from the title and the fact that yes these are vegan brownies because if you hadn't read that and just tasted them, you would have no idea. I was just as skeptical when my dad sent me the recipe, but he made these for me while I was home and they tasted pretty good! He added some toffee bits on top for added sweetness and a little crunch, and used regular chocolate chips so I guess these weren't technically vegan but pretty darn close. I was surprised how good they tasted since you use applesauce instead of eggs, vegetable oil in place of butter, and soy milk instead of regular milk. Keep in mind if you aren't vegan and don't want to go buy a bunch of items you could also use regular milk instead of soy if that is what you have but again won't technically be vegan. They have a more cake like quality than gooey fudge brownie but definitely hit the spot after dinner. The recipe even says that these brownies taste best if eaten within a day or two! Well in our household that was definitely not a problem and they are already gone!
Yields: 16 brownies
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more to coat the pan
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup toffee bits (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat an 8x8inch square baking dish with vegetable oil or spray; set aside.
2. Place flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to aerate and combine.
3. Place the applesauce, maple syrup, soy milk, oil and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until just combined (do not overmix). Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts (if using). Scrape the batter into the prepared dish and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the top with toffee bits if using.
4. Bake in the oven about 35 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes before serving to set. If not serving right away, cool completely, cover tightly and store at room temperature.