Saturday, July 4, 2015

Vegan and Gluten Free Brownie Bites

This Fourth of July I decided to make something sweet to bring to a friend's BBQ.  Now, since my children choose to eat a vegan diet and I rarely make sweets except when they're home, most of what I have on hand are vegan ingredients.  Also, one daughter avoids gluten and she contends that it has greatly contributed to the fact that she no longer needs to medicate for depression.  For that reason, and the fact that I try not to consume much wheat at all as I fight the middle age battle of the bulge, I only keep gluten free flour in my cabinet.  
I've found this one from Costco to be quite good as a one to one substitute in all of my baking recipes.  Now for the recipe, I adapted one from one of my favorite bloggers, Dana is a pro blogger and always has super quick and delicious vegan recipes!  I started with her Simple Vegan Brownie recipe, made it GF and added the frosting to come up with a hit!  After deciding what to make I gathered the ingredients...

With everything mixed, the mini muffin pans filled, and the oven hot, it was time to bake, cool and frost!

I had these plastic star plates from the Dollar Tree that were perfect to take them to the BBQ.  The finishing touches with the patriotic sprinkles were just right. They were a big hit for holiday style and deliciousness!

The Recipe
Vegan and Gluten Free Brownie Bites

Brownie Bites
½ stick Earth Balance Vegan Shortening Stick (¼ cup)
½ stick Earth Balance Vegan Butter (1/4 cup)
¾ cup organic cane sugar
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed prepared with 6 Tbsp. water OR Egg Replacer (2 lg)
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup Dutch* Cocoa powder
¾ cup Gluten Free Flour Blend
½ cup mini dark chocolate chips
(Makes about 48 mini muffin cups)

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray mini muffin pans with non-stick spray or use paper baking cups. Melt the shortening and butter in the microwave in a large bowl.  Using a mixer, slowly blend in sugar, flaxseed “eggs” or egg replacer, baking powder, salt, and cocoa until well blended.  Slowly mix in flour.  Add chocolate chips. Spoon about a teaspoon into each muffin cup.  Bake 18-22 minutes.  Done when brownies begin to pull away from the side of the cups and toothpick comes out clean. Don’t overbake! Cool in pan for 5 minutes then turn out and cool completely to frost.
“Buttercreme” Frosting
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter (1/2 Stick)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups Confectioner’s Sugar
Pinch salt
3 Tbsp. chilled canned coconut cream
Whip coconut cream slightly then add oil and butter to bowl.  Cream together with vanilla.  Add salt and sugar slowly until desired consistency is reached.

*Dutch Cocoa Powder differs from natural cocoa powder.  Both are unsweetened and made when chocolate liquor is pressed to remove ¾ of the cocoa butter from it.  In the Dutch process however, the powder is treated with an alkali to neutralize its acids.  This causes the pH to be neutral and it will not react with baking soda.  Therefore recipes with Dutch cocoa must have acidic ingredients such as Baking Powder in order to perform as desired.  Dutch cocoa has a milder flavor and dissolves easier in liquids.  Natural cocoa and baking soda create more leavening action. In this recipe you will note a dense texture of the brownies produced by the Dutch cocoa and baking powder combination. Because of their differences, substitutions should never be made between natural and Dutch processed cocoa.

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