This past weekend was a good one. Beautiful weather, some potentially very exciting news for Aaron’s design firm (fingers and toes crossed!), and brownies. I clearly have brownies on my mind, seeing as how I’ve made them twice in the last two weeks.
This recipe is an adaptation of my gluten-free pumpkin brownies, using some of the modifications I mentioned in my last post, like applesauce instead of pumpkin and instant coffee powder to enhance the chocolate flavor (thank you, Ina Garten!). I also played around with the ratio of coconut sugar and stevia, which is always a delicate balance, and was successfully able to reduce the sugar. But what really makes these brownies are the goji berries that my very generous friend, Aimee, at Rich Nature sent me. I’ve posted about her products before and I’ll say it again – these are my favorite goji berries. They’re extra big and chewy and even better when combined with chocolate. What isn’t, right?
I also need to give a shout out to Aaron for the photos in this post. Poor guy was saying on Sunday afternoon how he didn’t know what to do with himself because he was all caught up on work, and then I casually mentioned that I’d like to step up my food photography skills and showed him some of my favorite sites. There went his afternoon, explaining lenses and lighting and searching our apartment for new props. I tried to tell him I didn’t mean we needed to step things up right then and there, but he said “how would you react if I told you our neighbor makes the best gluten-free vegan brownies?” Okay, fair point.
I’ll let the photos speak for themselves now.
- ¾ C. Unsweetened Applesauce
- ⅓ C. Coconut Sugar
- ¼ C. Melted Coconut Oil, plus 1 Tsp. for greasing the pan
- 3 Tbs. Stevia Baking Blend (or more Coconut Sugar to Taste)
- ½ C. Raw Cacao powder (or Cocoa Powder)
- ¼ C. Sorghum Flour
- ¼ C. Sweet White Rice Flour
- ¼ C. Arrowroot Starch (Tapioca or Potato Starch will also work)
- 1 Tsp. Instant Coffee Powder (optional, but it enhances the chocolate flavor)
- ¼ Tsp. Fine Sea Salt
- ¼ Tsp. Baking Soda
- ⅓ C. Goji Berries, soaked in water for 5 minutes & drained
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly grease an 8×8 baking pan with 1 Tsp. of coconut oil and set it aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the ¼ C. of melted coconut oil and the goji berries.
- Slowly add the melted coconut oil to the mixture, making sure to mix constantly so that it doesn’t turn solid and form clumps (a stand mixer is helpful for this).
- Fold in the goji berries.
- Transfer the brownie batter to the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer with a spatula.
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes.
- When the brownies are done, the top should feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
- Allow the brownies to cool slightly before cutting.
- To really take things to the next level, top them with vanilla non-dairy ice cream and a sprinkle of goji berries.
P.S. Don’t forget to enter the cooksimple giveaway!