Chocolate-studded coconut oil brownies
This post was created in partnership with Califia Farms.
I went through five alarms to get up this morning. FIVE. The first one was set for 4AM because I went to bed last night knowing I still had to write and proofread and format this blog post, and I wound up rolling out of bed a little after 5. I just tried making coffee without a filter (twice). And I almost threw a lit match into the trash. So I think it's safe to say I'd be doing myself (and my neighbors) a favor if I was back in bed and not sitting in front of my laptop. But here I am, at 5:47AM, attempting to fill this space with words because my persuasive husband somehow convinced the woman who swore she'd never start watching Game of Thrones to.. start watching Game of Thrones. We watched two too many episodes last night, which resulted in me having a measly 30 minutes to squeeze in some work before needing to hit the hay. It was basically enough time to write the tags, the meta description, and set a featured image. And order $200-worth of moisturizer and mud soap from Ahava because they're having a huge sale right now and if there's anything I love more than buying in bulk (do we need to talk about how many rolls of toilet paper are in the basement right now?), it's buying in bulk and getting a smokin' deal.*
Anyway, I need to retract that statement I made about air conditioning because right after I admitted that I was being anti-AC this summer, we caved and bought one. Literally the very next day. And you know what? IT IS GLORIOUS. We got a heavy-duty window unit capable of cooling our entire place and, as a result, the 90ºF+ days have been a lot more tolerable because of it. Even better? My clothes no longer stick to me all day. I no longer have to shower before I go to bed. And I actually get to put our new range to good use this summer. Which I totally overlooked when I took the NO AC stance - that if we don't have a proper way to cool our place, we can't turn on the oven. And if I can't turn on the oven.. I think you know where I'm going with this. Thankfully I pulled my head out of my ass stopped dragging my feet on the AC issue, otherwise it would have been pretty boring around these parts. And could you imagine another three straight months of OLC recipes that don't require an oven? Just thinking about it makes me cringe.
So, without further ado, I present to you the first baked blog recipe in the new (but still unfinished) kitchen.** (I really wanted to use excessive exclamation points after that statement but I'm trying to be more like Phyllis.) This recipe has been the most requested of all the coconut oil recipes and I'm sorry it took me so long to get it to you. BUT HERE IT IS! You guys wanted coconut oil brownies aaand you got 'em. The only thing I couldn't deliver on was making these "healthier" because I'm kind of a purist when it comes to baked brownies. You know, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And if you want a healthier brownie recipe, just go the raw route. Because I can promise you that reducing the sugar will result in something more akin to cake (I tried). And don't even get me started on the suggestion to add black beans because, guys, black bean brownies pale in comparison to real deal brownies. That and life's too short to be eating desserts laden with cans of beans.
I SAID IT.
*That episode of House Hunters induced serious rage. I don't know if it was the way he said smokin' deal or that he used the term smokin' deal (excessively).. but, needless to say, we wound up not making it through that episode. And I'm pretty sure it was shortly after that we stopped watching HGTV altogether.
**A lot of you have been asking to see the kitchen but, unfortunately, it's not 100% just yet so I'm not going to be posting about it for another month or two. If you're on Snapchat, I tend to post a lot of unedited kitchen snaps on there. So if it's more of the kitchen you're wanting, look for laaadycakes.
Notes: I've made this recipe with spelt flour but prefer it with white whole wheat. If you want to go the gluten free route, you can use your favorite gluten free flour blend (but make sure you measure by weight as GF flour tends to be on the weighty side). If you don't have potato starch, you can substitute corn starch but I'd steer clear of tapioca (tried it, hated it). I always use 70% dark chocolate (SUP CHOCOLOVE) and have found that it works best, though I'd like to think anything from 65-75% would work for this recipe. I've provided a few variations below, one of which is my favorite - the espresso brownies. Though, if you make them and live with a coffee hater, have fun trying to finish that pan on your own. If using a 9x12" sheet pan (or two 6x9" sheet pans), bake for 20-22 minutes. For a 9x5" pan (what I used for the photos), bake for 34-36 minutes.
This post is sponsored by Califia Farms, maker of my favorite non-GMO + carrageenan-free almondmilk (amongst other delicious beverages). All opinions are my own (and I think Califia rules).
CHOCOLATE-STUDDED COCONUT OIL BROWNIES
1 cup (140g) white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons (20g) potato starch
1/2 cup (40g) cacao powder
1/8 teaspoon (0.5g) baking soda
1 teaspoon (5g) fine sea salt
1/3 cup (70g) refined coconut oil
1 bar (90g) good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 cup (190g) cane sugar
1/2 cup (112g) Califia Farms unsweetened almondmilk
2 teaspoons (8g) pure vanilla extract
YOU'LL ALSO NEED
1/2 bar (45g) good quality dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
Heavy pinch of sea salt flakes
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line an 8-9″ square baking pan (I used a 9x5 pan" in the photos) (see suggested baking times for alternate pans, above) with parchment paper and grease the bottom (not the sides, or the batter will crawl up them); set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, starch, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a double boiler over medium heat, melt the chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the coconut oil and sugar, and cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat and stir in the almondmilk and vanilla extract. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the chocolate mixture; stir with a whisk just until combined then pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and level with the back of a spoon. Top with chopped dark chocolate, cacao nibs, and sea salt flakes then bake at 350˚F for 26-28 minutes. Allow brownies to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Brownies will keep for 4-5 days if stored in an air tight container.
Yield: 8-9 brownies
Fudgy brownies - decrease the flour by 2 tablespoons and bake brownies for 2-3 minutes less than times listed above.
Espresso brownies - increase the baking soda to 1/4 teaspoon (1g), use black & white cold brew in place of the almondmilk, and top with crushed coffee beans.
Mayan brownies - add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne. Coconut brownies - use unrefined coconut oil, toasted coconut almondmilk, and top with coconut flakes.