Snow day Cooking recipe

So we have a snow day here today, although it is only ice and freezing rain which keeps us inside all day and unable to go anywhere. What is one to do with a four year old that doesn’t involve staring at the television? Cleaning? No fun. Organizing? No way. Taxes? Too risky. Playing Polly Pockets for the day? Kill me now.

So we decided on cooking. Which also syncs very nicely with having a pregnant mother. As we were deciding what to make and what ingredients we had, I was having a nice big cup of coffee and biscotti sounded good. Alas, I couldn’t find a recipe for egg-free biscotti that looked promising, so I gave up. If anyone has any ideas, Sugar Mama I am looking at you right now, for how to make a nice biscotti without eggs or dairy, please let me know. I was just not sure of the role of the eggs — leavening, tenderness, or both? And what to replace with — maybe my standard egg replacer for cookies (oil, water, and baking powder) or something else? So we moved on.

And I am glad we did. Because we found an unbelievable recipe from for egg, dairy, and nut-free chocolate brownies that I modified a bit. The end result is a moist, very chewy, and rich brownie that you would never know is not only vegan, but allergy friendly (except for the wheat/gluten people — sorry). Here it is:

Chocolate Chunk Brownies

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup soy or canola-based margarine (With no whey, etc. I use Earth Balance.)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Scharffen Berger)
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chunks (chopped from a 9 oz. Scharffen Berger Semisweet Baking Bar — the only one that is dairy, egg, and nut free and not processed with any of it) — could use other add-ins based on your allergies or likes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan. In a saucepan combine the 1/3 cup of flour and water. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thick. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool.
2. In a small saucepan, melt margarine. When margarine has melted, add the cocoa and mix until smooth; set aside to cool. Beat the sugar and vanilla into the cooled flour mixture. Stir in the cocoa mixture until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, stir into the batter until just blended. Fold in chocolate chunks or other add-ins. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Cool and cut into bars.

I baked for 20 minutes on 350 convection. The result was a really fudgy, dense brownie. Don’t overcook them. These make me want a hot fudge brownie sundae… and it has been a LONG time since I have had one of those. Maybe after our grilled cheese and tomato soup. What the hell else could you eat for lunch on a dark, icy day?

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