Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies

I just got home yesterday from a lovely week of camping with the family. It’s really amazing what a road trip, a change of scenery (forest!), and some campfire time can do! Even with the lack of sleep over the past week and a few too many treats, I’ve come back feeling really energized and eager to get some things done I’ve been putting off.

Anyway, all those nights sitting around the campfire watching my family enjoying s’mores (while I happily sipped my tea and munched on Oreos or dark chocolate), reminded me of this recipe for Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies that I made a few months ago. I’ve never really liked marshmallows or s’mores but when I received a bag of Dandies in a package from the Canadian Vegan Food Swap, I was curious to try out some recipes with them, and this is one of the things I came up with.

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With a few tweaks, I used this Dark Chocolate Brownie recipe as the base for my brownies. I knew the addition of chocolate chips, marshmallows, and cookies would mean a lot of sugar, so I wanted to start with a brownie base that was on the healthier side. These ones are quite low in sugar for a brownie, use whole grain flour, and are oil free. Even if you don’t wish to make S’mores Brownies (though really, why wouldn’t you?) I’d still recommend trying this brownie recipe.

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Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies
1 tbsp ground chia seeds (or ground flax)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup Sucanat (or organic brown sugar)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1 cup vegan marshmallows (I used Dandies)
1/2 cup crushed vegan graham crackers or ginger snaps

Preheat your oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9’x13′ pan.
In a small dish combine the ground chia with the warm water and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, applesauce, milk, vanilla, and vinegar.
In a separate bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt.
Whisk the chia mixture into the wet ingredients.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, then stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour about 3/4 of the batter into your prepared pan.
Spread the marshmallows out over the top of the batter, then sprinkle on the crushed cookies.
Drop the remaining batter on top of the cookies and marshmallows, one teaspoon at a time.
Place in oven and bake for 16-20 minutes. Cut the brownies into squares before they are fully cool, otherwise it will be difficult to cut through the marshmallow. I cut mine into 18 pieces.

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These brownies are best enjoyed warm, so that the chocolate chips and the marshmallows are a bit gooey. Enjoy!

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These Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies were a huge hit. The brownies are super chocolatey, dense, and moist, without being too sweet and the toppings sent them over the top. I had a hard time not eating the whole tray in about 2 days, and when I shared with Jem (just so I wouldn’t eat them all) she loved them. Apparently she had “a brownie experience”!

I’ve shared this post with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays (6/11/13).

You May Also Enjoy:
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Frosted Blueberry Cake, Wheat-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding

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Veganomicon’s Wheat-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Jem and I whipped up a batch of these Wheat-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies recently for a last-minute evening treat and they were fantastic! This recipe is another one from Veganomicon that I’ve just tried for the first time. I love Veganomicon, and I love the fact that after almost a year and a half on my shelf, I still keep discovering new things within it’s pages.

As it says in the book, “these cookies couldn’t be any easier to make, unless you had someone else make them for you” (Veganomicon, Moskowitz and Romero, p. 237). Even with the extra step of processing some oats into oat flour, this recipe was very quick and easy to throw together. I will say that, while the tip included in the recipe suggests using a blender or food processor for making oat flour, I wouldn’t attempt it with a blender unless you have a very high-powered one. I used my blender and it was not very successful. I will be using my food processor next time.

The only change that we made to the original recipe was with the sugar. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Since I prefer my chocolate chip cookies not very sweet (I find the chocolate chips provide more than enough sugar) and I only had sucanat on hand, we just used 1/2 cup of sucanat. Personally, I could lower this even more  next time, perhaps to 1/3 cup.

I also wanted to mention that I was surprised that this recipe actually made the exact amount (18) of cookies stated. Maybe I’m just not good at following recipes, but always find that cookie recipes almost always make far less cookies than the states yield suggests.

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Anyway, Jem and I had some of these Wheat-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with our evening tea and they were delicious! The oat flour gave them a really great taste and texture. Also, they are chocolate chip cookies. Hard to go wrong there.

If you are going to make this recipe (and you really should) I wouldn’t suggest doubling it unless you are making them for a crowd. These cookies were still good the next day, but absolutely at their best fresh from the oven! And, they are so easy that you’ll have no problem making them all the time if that’s what you need to do!

Lucky you, in addition to Veganomicon, this recipe can also be found at the Post Punk Kitchen. Happy baking!

You May Also Enjoy:
Lower-Fat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Veganomicon)
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Ginger Chocolate-Chunk Scones (Post Punk Kitchen)
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Almond Joy Cookie Bars
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Veganomicon: Lower-Fat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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You might have read somewhere on here that I really don’t like bananas. This aversion, however, doesn’t hold up against banana bread. As long as there are no chunks of banana, I love it! And of course, it’s especially great when there are chocolate chips involved!

Jem and I recently made the Lower-Fat Banana Bread from Veganomicon for the first time (with the chocolate chip variation). I was looking for a vegan banana bread recipe because we had some bananas needing to be used, and I actually had a difficult time finding one that didn’t have huge amounts of oil and/or sugar. I’m so glad I remembered about this one in Veganomicon!

It came together really easily, smelled fantastic when baking, and tastes awesome! Especially when warm! Everyone in the house (vegan and omnivores alike) loved it so much that I made another one less than a week later!

We did make the following minor substitutions:
– Replaced the applesauce with pumpkin puree, simply because it was what we had. Either way, it’s only a small amount and you won’t be able to taste it.
– Replaced 1 1/2 cups of the flour with spelt flour one time and with whole wheat flour the second time. Both variations worked really well and tasted great.
– We used sucanat for the sugar in the recipe. Probably unnecessary because the recipe already has molasses in it, but I didn’t have any regular sugar on hand.

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To make sure there were no banana chunks in the bread, I pureed the wet ingredients in a blender (rather than just whisking by hand) before adding them to the dry ingredients. Though I’ve read warnings against doing this with bananas, as they tend to get gummy, this didn’t seem to happen.

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If you’re interested in this recipe, here are a few other blogger reviews for your viewing pleasure:
Cupcakes and Quinoa, Vocal Vegan, The Baking Bird, Forkful of Food

I’ve realized that I’ve been making a lot of other people’s recipes (from both blogs and cookbooks) recently. A lot more than I’ve been experimenting with my own recipes. This is mainly because my stove/oven hasn’t been working for the past couple months. Luckily, I do have access to my Mom’s stove/oven upstairs, but my cooking and baking habits have been altered accordingly. Let’s just say that even with simplified recipes and less cooking, I’ve been making a whole lot of trips up and down the stairs with my arms full! Hopefully I should have a new stove/oven later this week.

In the meantime, I’ve realized the need to create a category or page on here to accommodate the growing number of reviews of recipes that aren’t my own. I haven’t quite decided whether this will be in the Recipe page or on it’s own, but it is in the works. I will let you know when I have it up and running!

Questions:
Do you have Veganomicon or any of Isa’s other cookbooks? If so, what is your favourite recipe that you’ve tried? Feel free to link up to a review you’ve done if you have one.

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Suzanne’s Ricemellow Creme Review

One of the item’s I received in the September Vegan Food Swap, was a tub of Suzanne’s Ricemellow Creme. I finally bought some Nature’s Path Crispy Rice Cereal so I could make crispy rice squares. I decided to make add in some crunchy peanut butter and mini chocolate chips to make them a really special treat!

I just warmed 1/3 cup crunchy unsalted natural peanut butter, stirred in 1 cup of the Ricemellow Creme, then stirred in 3 cups Crispy Rice and 1/3 cup Enjoy Life Mini Chips until all of the Crispy Rice was coated. Then I pressed it into a lightly greased pan and let it set.

While these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Crispy Rice Treats tasted really great, they fell apart very easily, and so were quite difficult and messy to eat. They were a little better once I put them in the fridge, but still started falling apart almost as soon as I started eating a piece. I’m guessing this is because the Ricemellow Creme is not a solid to begin with, like marshmallows, so it couldn’t harden up as it cooled, like regular marshmallows would. This stuff made for tasty treats, and I will use the rest of the tub, but I don’t think this is something I would ever purchase again. I’d prefer for my marshmallow treats to not fall apart as I eat them, and not have to be refrigerated.

I also got a package of Dandies Marshmallows from October’s Food Swap and I will let you know how they compare.

Questions:
Have you tried any vegan marshmallow products? What did you think?

Do you have any great recipes, other than crispy rice treats, for using marshmallows or marshmallow creme?