Saturday, December 24, 2016

Nut-Free Dark Chocolate Holiday Brownies

Equipment needed:
Stove, Oven, 2 Cookie Sheets, 1 Large Bowl with Lid, 1 Large Sauce Pot, Parchment Paper, 1 Large Stirring Spoon, Two 1 cup Measuring Cups, 1/2 tsp Measuring Spoon, Knife or Pizza Cutter (optional)

Initial prep: This prep is for two recipes - 1 savory and 1 sweet

Put the following into a large bowl (like a 7 cup pyrex):
2 cups raw, shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds
2 cups raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
3 cups water

Cover and place the bowl in the refrigerator. Let sit for 4 hours or so. Hang on to the 1 cup measure as it will come in handy for each of the next 2 parts.

2nd prep: Place the mixture in the Vita-Mix or Food Processor, add 3 cups of water, and blend. This will be thick and may require tamping in the Vita-Mix. I used the liquid container because the dry one we have is too small for this much mixture. Chunky results are preferred.

Half of this is the base "milk" for the sweet recipe.
I used the 1 cup measure from the initial prep to scoop this into the Vita-Mix and add the water.

Turn oven on to 350 degrees to pre-heat.

On the stove, on low heat, in the sauce pot:

4 cups of the above mixture (still the same 1 cup measure)
1 package vegan, gluten-free dark chocolate chips
     (This one is Pascha 100% cacao - another allergy sensitive chocolate brand)
1 cup sugar of your choice (here's where the second 1 cup measure comes into play)
     (I like coconut sugar for it's lower glycemic value, but I haven't checked if that's considered nut free - I have my doubts on that score)

Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally.

Turn off the stovetop. Add to the sauce pot:

1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (A "seasonal" item in our local stores so we bought it online)
1 cup quinoa flour (or other gluten-free, nut-free flour)

Stir until well mixed. The peppermint flavor was light. Waiting to see if it gets stronger in the baking.
[Decided twice the peppermint would be better - so 1 Tbl peppermint extract - Edited to add that others felt the amount of peppermint was just fine as is]

Cut a piece of parchment paper about the size of the cookie sheet. Empty the sauce pot contents onto the middle of the parchment paper on the cookie sheet. Spread to about 1/4 to 1/2" thickness. Score lines about the size you want your brownies to be (optional).

Baking times vary, but here are the basics.
Check the brownies after the first 30 minutes and then every 5-15 minutes depending on how close to done they are. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Take the cookie sheet out of the oven. Place the other cookie sheet on top and flip them together so the brownies are now upside down on the second cookie sheet. Remove the first cookie sheet and the parchment paper. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

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