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Vegan Brownies
December 18, 2008

I get a little frustrated by reviews that recommend non-vegan additions to a vegan recipe. I think that there are plenty of great non-vegan brownie recipes to add those comments to. Here are my vegan recommendations: Use raw sugar instead of white sugar. Not only does this ensure that it is vegan, but the raw sugar crystals make a beautiful glimmer on top of the brownies! The first time I made these I used oil. I even cut down the oil, and they were still very oily. The very next batch (made the same day) I used vegetable shortening instead. They were soooo much better. I added a few shots of espresso (from my local cafe) to the batter. You don't taste the espresso itself, but it does wonderful things to the chocolate taste. You could substitute with strong coffee. Here's the key for those who have crumbling brownie issues. Mix the flour and the water first. This allows the gluten to form. It helps to let that sit for a little bit before adding the other ingredients. If you don't do this, then the oil in the recipe will make it impossible for the water and flour to form gluten and make the brownies stick. I have substituted vanilla soy milk for the water in the past, and that worked well too. I have also added nice little extras. Try peppermint extract or cayenne pepper (really...I mean it chocolate and cayenne pepper are sooo good together).

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