Monday, October 12, 2015

Classic Brownies with Maple Coconut Whipped Cream (Dairy-Free)

Classic Brownies with Shiny Crust on Top

The older your kids get the harder they are to impress.  However, when the UPS guy stops at your door and drops a box of Brownie Baking Love complete with the coolest little powdered sugar dusting wand  your coolness factor definitely increases.  Combine the brownie love with OXO's sponsorship of Cookies for Kid's Cancer and the project coolness doubles.

Classic Brownies with Shiny Crust on Top
Loving this OXO pro non-stick pan!!
The words childhood cancer bring fear straight to the heart of every parent, and just sitting here I never feel there's much I can do to help.  Enter OXO and their work with the blogger outreach program to donate $100k to the Cookies for Kid's Cancer campaign and I'm thrilled to do my part - especially when my part includes baking.  In exchange for a $100 donation on our behalf, OXO sent us baking products (pan, spatula and super cool dusting wand) and has asked us to create a brownie recipe for the cause.

As my coolness factor was riding on an unusual high, Liv actually took time away from high school social activities to help me come up with a recipe.  Trying to be healthy, we made a vegan version with black beans.  Good, but not awesome (no, you can't taste the beans!).  Next we tried avocado.  Also good, but her first bite didn't bring that smile of love and I felt my coolness factor slipping.

So I went back to basics and settled on creating a classic brownie with that gorgeous sheen on top.  My first attempt tasted fabulous, but no sheen.  How the heck does one achieve that classic brownie sheen anyway? 

Classic Brownies with Shiny Crust on Top
Powdered sugar dusting
Internet research led me to one of my favorite baking blogs from King Arthur, Flourish, and according to PJ Hamel, the secret to a shiny brownie is in the chocolate.  

A fan of cocoa powder, I've always used cocoa powder for the chocolate in my brownies and sprinkled a few chocolate chips into the batter before baking.  PJ used a similar recipe resulting in the same dull surface.  However her experimentation making brownies using chocolate chips in place of the cocoa hit the jackpot and brought a gorgeous shiny crust to her brownies.

Back in our own kitchen I followed PJ's lead and used chips in my recipe, and eureka!  We too have a beautiful, classic brownie with a gorgeous shiny crust.  While I don't understand the science behind the chips/cocoa query, I'm not questioning it.  I just know these classic brownies are totally awesome, and my coolness factor is creeping back up where I want it to be.  For the moment anyway.

Want to be cool like me?  When shopping for baking goods keep an eye out for the OXO Cookies for Kid's Cancer sticker and grab those products.  OXO is making donations for each product purchased and you too will be doing a part in helping to fund research for cures for these devastating diseases.  (Read about the dedicated OXOnians who started the program here)

For this project OXO sent us one of each of the following for the perfect brownie baking set:
OXO #oxogoodcookies Brownie Baking Kit with dusting wand

I already owned the Pro Non-Stick 9x9 pan (something I reach for often) and I can attest to how easily baked goods release.  Many brownie recipes call for lining a pan with parchment paper, but with these pans the paper step isn't necessary.  The pans cook evenly and help create beautifully baked goods that release from the pan easily with each and every use.

The brownie spatula is something I've seen, but never picked up.  After using this one though, I'll never be without one again!  Perfectly angled to pick up the brownies without bending them, I served nicely cut brownies with ease.

And lastly the dusting wand.  Can I gush a little here??  This wand immediately became our new favorite kitchen gadget and I'm seriously considering buying a case of them to give as Christmas Gifts.  Absolutely an item no kitchen should be without, the wand is extraordinarily useful, but even more than that it's fun.

Classic Brownies with Shiny Crust on Top

Super cute all on it's own, the wand scoops up powdered sugar and drops a perfect dusting onto anything.  What would you use it for??  How about crepes?  Waffles?  Brownies?  Or most fun of all... dusting cocoa onto cappuccino!

Liv is somewhat addicted to the adorable gadget, and she'll  be mortified if she finds out I'm sharing that she simply scooped a tablespoon or so of powdered sugar and dusted it into a bowl just for the fun of it.  (Note... the higher you are from the item you are dusting the less precise it may be.  Just saying - if you are a foot or more over a small bowl you may not make it in... :)

Thank you OXO for donating $100 to the Cookies for Kids Cancer campaign on our behalf, we're honored and humbled to be part of this wonderful program.  And on a side note?  Thanks for making me look good.

Classic Brownies with Maple Coconut Whipped Cream (dairy-free)

Classic Brownies with Maple Coconut Whipped Cream (Dairy-Free)
Rich and chocolaty, these classic brownies bring oohs and ahhs from all who taste them.  Perfect for picnics, classroom parties, holiday gatherings or simply along side a cup of coffee after the kids have headed to school.  Fudgy in the middle and with that classic shiny crust, you'll soon be the coolest baker in the room.
Printer Friendly Recipe

8 Tbs butter (we use Earth Balance Butter Alternative)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 -1 tsp espresso powder (optional - I use Medaglia 'Oro brand)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (we made our own!)
1/8 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Maple Coconut Whipped Cream
See my notes for our original Coconut Whipped Cream Recipe here 

1 can prechilled organic coconut milk (not coconut cream - and not light.  Can should be place in the fridge overnight before using.  I like the Whole Foods 365 brand)
2 1/2 Tbs pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325ºF.  Spray the bottom of your OXO or other baking pan with cooking spray - I love coconut cooking spray with chocolate.  (For this recipe we used OXO's Pro Non-Stick 9x9 pan.)  Set aside.

Classic Brownies with Maple Coconut Whipped Cream (dairy-free)
Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat.  When melted, remove from burner and add the chocolate chips.  Allow to sit for a minute or two, then stir - the chips should have melted.

Add 2 Tbs of cocoa powder and espresso powder if using, and stir again to combine.  Add the granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and salt, stirring again.

Add the eggs and stir (or whisk).

Add the flour and stir just until combined - you stir the mini chips into the batter here, or add the chips as described in the next paragraph (sprinkled on top).   

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and then drop the pan lightly on the counter to "settle" the chips into the batter.

Place brownies into the oven and bake for 25 minutes.  Check for doneness with a toothpick.  Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean.  Our brownies are done at about 30 minutes, but I start checking at about the 25 min mark.

Remove from oven and place pan on a cooling rack.  Brownies will firm a bit as they cool, and my advice is to wait 30 minutes before attempting to cut them.  We may not have waited quite that long the first time we made them (ok - we made it about 5 minutes...) and I can assure you the brownies will crumble.  They will taste fabulous and fudgy (warm and melty!), but they will crumble!  Allowing 30 minutes to cool will bring nice, clean cuts.

As brownies are cooling, make the Coconut Whipped Cream.

Vegan Maple Coconut Whipped Cream
Can should have been placed in refrigerator over night to allow the cream to separate from the water.

Open can and remove the solids - the cream - into a chilled bowl.  Reserve the water for another use (fabulous in a smoothie!).

Whip for about 3 minutes, until the cream begins to become light and fluffy.  Add your sweetener and vanilla.  Continue to whip until airy and the consistency you desire.

When brownies are cooled, cut into squares and serve with a dollop of  coconut whipped cream and a dusting of powdered sugar.  Enjoy!!

Liv Life Note:  Remaining coconut cream may be stored in the fridge.  It will solidify when chilled.  Simply re-whip and you are good to go!   

Liv Life Note 2:  To get clean cuts for the brownies heat your knife under running water.  Dry the knife and make a cut.  Wipe after each cut then cut again.

Classic Brownies with Maple Coconut Whipped Cream (dairy-free)
  Cookies for Kids' Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids' Cancer fund pediatric cancer research.

- OXO will be donating $100 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for each blog post dedicated to this campaign in October (up to our $100,000 commitment*.)

- *In 2015, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer through product proceeds, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts


  1. Yummy! They look so moist! And whipped cream makes them even better :)

    1. Thanks Medeja! That coconut cream is to die for... combined with the rich chocolate flavors?? Perfection!

  2. That coconut whip cream looks mighty tempting!! LOVE THIS! And I love the maple too :)

  3. This cream sounds amazing! Great alternative to ice cream for these delicious brownies :D

  4. Those brownies look terrific, thanks for sharing!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  5. These look wonderful, so happy you solved the "shiny" mystery! It bugs me when I can't figure stuff like that out :)

  6. This recipe would be devoured in a hurry at our house! My husband and kids are brownie fiends!

  7. Brownies with coconut whipped cream is a wonderful treat, can't wait to try!


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