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Candy Cane Brownies
that time of the year when it’s really easy and tempting to
overindulge, when novelty nogs of various sorts become nearly as common
as water and there’s a cookie exchange or potluck every weekend. These
Candy Cane Brownies were invented as a way to scratch that itch for
sweets without going overboard. Exchanging maple syrup and brown rice
syrup for sugar helps to boost the nutritional profile a bit (or maybe
make it just not quite as indulgent) and switching in sweet potato
puree for oil makes this treat a lot less fattening but full of rich
flavor. These brownies aren’t exactly health food – eat fruit for that
– but they are close enough while still tasting like a treat and with
the peppermint candy canes, perfectly flavored for the season. These
come out rich, dense and minty, perfect for the winter holidays. Enjoy!
Candy Cane Brownies
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
3 tablespoons chickpea aquafaba
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup brown rice syrup
1 ¼ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour blend or regular flour
½ cup Fair Trade cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sweet potato purée
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
½ cup, plus two tablespoons Fair Trade chocolate chips, divided
1 - 2 full size, vegan candy canes (not a mini and not a giant one), crushed*
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 8-X-8 baking pan with parchment paper or lightly grease.
In a cup, mix together the flax and aquafaba with a small whisk or fork. Allow to sit for 15 minutes in the fridge.
In a small saucepan, heat together the maple syrup and brown rice syrup over low heat until integrated and more liquid-y.
In a medium bowl, combine all your dry ingredients – the flour, cocoa
powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, mix together the syrups,
extract, flax mix and sweet potato purée. Pour the wet into the dry
ingredients; fold in ½ cup of the chocolate chips. (If the syrup is
still warm, this will melt the chocolate chips, which is fine.) Mix
together until you have a smooth, thick batter. Spoon into your
prepared pan and top with reserved chocolate chips.
Bake for 20 minutes. Turn 180 degrees and bake for five minutes.
Sprinkle the crushed candy canes and bake 10 more minutes. Allow to
Candy Cane Brownies (with oil)
Keep all the ingredients the same except use ¼ cup
less sweet potato purée and add ¼ cup neutral baking oil. (I used
melted refined coconut oil.)
In baking, use the same temperature and bake for 20 minutes. Turn 180
degrees, then bake another ten minutes. Sprinkle with your crushed
candy canes and bake another five minutes.
* A handy way to crush candy canes is to put them in a plastic bag and roll over them with a rolling pin or hit with a hammer.
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