It would seem that a recipe such as this would need no intro. I mean what can I really say about brownies other than the obvious? Delicious, chocolatey, sweet, you know...chocolatey...I think I just said that....yup, it would seem they've all been said before.
If I were to say one thing though, it would be that I am personally guilty of something. Guilty of forgetting how simple things can bring so much joy. Sure, I am talking about brownies, as I don't bake nearly as often as I should and when I do it brings not only joy to me but also to those around me. But I am also talking about other things too.
Last year, I wrote about creating a 'Happy List' - a list of those things we can do (however large or small but mostly very small) to cultivate lasting happiness in our daily lives. If you've yet to consider creating a happy list, I highly suggest it, even just as a fun exercise to do over a hot cup of tea (one of the items on my happy list). When carefully looked at, we can usually find quite easily that there are things we don't do regularly that we ought to, or that in fact, we actually even want to. That's what always gets me. If we want to do do them, and we know they make us feel good, what could possibly be holding us back?
It could be that we tend to think of these things as work, and as a culture could be feeling overworked in our lives in general. To this, I say, out with it! What could be more important work than getting outside for a run or a walk, or turning on the oven and baking brownies? There is no more important work in life than tending to our happiness, so I have added this recipe to my list of regular to do items. Needless to say, they are stellar and bring smiles to everyone who tries them. A little goes a long way, so enjoy them. And then when that is over, enjoy them again, and again.
Dark Chocolate Brownies
1/2 cup coconut butter
3 squares Baker's semi-sweet chocolate (or 3 oz. equivalent)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs (or equivalent vegan egg replacer)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
100g quality dark chocolate, broken into small chunks (I used a Lindt 70% dark bar)
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8-inch square pan with vegetable oil or coconut butter. Put up the chocolate squares and the coconut butter in a double boiler, and melt the two together. Once melted and mixed, remove from the heat and transfer with a spatula to a mixing bowl, being careful to hold the hot bowl with an oven mitt.
Add the sugar and vanilla to the melted mixture and beat well with an electric mixer (or a hand mixer or whisk will do as well). Next, add the eggs and beat for another 30 seconds or so until the mixture is fluffy.
Add the flour and mix until just incorporated. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chunks and stir. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Once out of the oven allow these guys to cool a little before cutting. Of course, the temptation to test them right out of the oven is probably going to win out (and who am I to tell you to stop), but they might fall apart a little if cut too early.
Replacing butter with coconut butter also contributed beautifully to the lighter texture and adds a delicious taste. The addition of the dark chocolate pieces makes these every chocoholics dream, while not being heavy in the slightest. Perfect brownie goodness.
If you like, the variations here would be endless as you could add your favourite nuts or an icing or whatever your heart desires. For the sake of utter simplicity, I opted to add none of those things - I like my brownies simple and straight up. Cut into 1.5 - 2 inch squares and keep in a covered tin or container. You can also freeze these and enjoy them frozen - this is my mom-in-laws trick for always having brownies in the house. My girls are the ones who reap the benefits of that!