So hey, hi, hello. Yes, I'm still alive, can you believe it! It's kinda surreal that I haven't posted since May, when I was sitting in my little room in 9,000 miles away, bored out of my poor little mind. Since coming home, I've thought so many times, "Do I really want to keep blogging? Maybe I should delete my spot in the blogosphere." I've been so busy all day, every single day, and it's like a constant cycle. Wake up. Do school. Run cross country. Do my respective activity for the night. Come home. Watch TV. Go to bed. Repeat. I was afraid I'd never get around to posting anymore.
But as per usual, my way of relieving stress is baking and with my hectic schedule, I'll be honest. I have no shortage of stress. I'd begun missing messing around in the kitchen with my notepad, pen, and camera close by. So here I am. Back with a vengeance. (I'm looking at you, you sexy peanut butter crunchy brownies, you.) Making time to do what I love. And eating brownies for lunch. Just like the good 'ol days.
Although I've baked a few times, usually on the weekends, it's typically something pretty boring and practical for the weekday mornings like granola or banana bread. But everyone needs brownies in their lives every once in awhile. Vegans included.
I've tried SO many vegan brownie recipes it's absolutely ridiculous and none of them have ever been anything worth going nuts (PUUUUN.) over. They always have some weird substitutions and resultant textures. I don't care what you say, BANANA IS NOT BUTTER.
I am happy to announce, the search is over! I made these brownies, with a couple changes of course, from the ever-talented Minimalist Baker. I followed the recipes somewhat closely and they were a little thin for my liking. Other than that, they were perfectly dense, chewy, and rich. The second I bit into one, I knew they were destined for greatness… i.e. peanut butter and sea salt.
I'll warn you, the brownie batter will look more like cookie dough. But don't worry, guys. It's all g. Swirl in some peanut butter, sprinkle with sea salt, scatter with roasted peanuts and life is great. Don't bake them for too long or they'll end up dry and crumbly- they're vegan remember, so you don't have to worry about leaving the center a little raw! Let them cool completely before cutting or you'll have a mess on your hands. If you're impatient and having a serious chocolate craving, pop them in the freezer. You won't regret it, I promise.
vegan peanut butter crunch brownies
3/4 c. coconut oil, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c. all purpose flour
2/3 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. creamy natural peanut butter, melted
1/4 c. unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line an 8x8 in. pan with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk coconut oil, milk, vanilla, and sugar until smooth.
3. Add flour, salt, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Stir until combined. Press into prepared pan.
4. Spoon peanut butter onto brownies and swirl with a knife. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
5. Bake for 12-16 minutes- brownies should still be a little bit raw in the center. Let cool completely before slicing into squares. (For a speedy cooling process place pan in freezer for 5-10 minutes or until firm.) Recipe yields 9 small brownies or 12 large brownies.