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Egg-free brownies for Dad’s birthday

Submitted by on Saturday, 10 April 2010 No Comment

I thought this was going to be a stumper that involved a week of failed kitchen experiments: Create an egg-free brownie recipe that tastes good but is stable enough to survive a trip to Afghanistan for Dad’s birthday.

The challenge was two-fold. Certain oils (peanut butter, butter or margarine) tend to go rancid in the heat, though the heat isn’t as extreme in the spring. Certain sweeteners (corn syrup, molasses, brown sugar) tend to mold, and all my usual egg-free brownie recipes use at least one of them.

I lucked out, though, in finding the near-perfect recipe at All Recipes. All I had to do was substitute butter-flavored shortening for butter and leave out the nuts. They also tend to go rancid, but I would have left them out anyway due to allergies. I did add chocolate chips.

While the recipe sounds like a lot of steps, it goes quickly. Ours were in the oven in well under the 20-minute prep time All Recipes says it will take, and that was with Big Guy’s “help”.

And though I was skeptical as we sampled the leftover batter in the bowl, they’re really good. Not quite as good as the recipe I usually use from Rosemarie Emro’s “Bakin’ Without Eggs,” but it uses ingredients that don’t ship well.

To prepare for shipping, I first froze the brownies, then put them in a Seal-A-Meal bag with waxed paper between the layers. I froze them again, taking them out and building a box around them for additional support. I wished I’d saved a shipping box from one of the many books we’ve ordered – it would have been perfect with just a little padding. I added the brownies to the care package just before going to the post office.

Egg-free brownies

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 2 c. white sugar
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×13 pan with baking spray.

Combine the 1/3 cup of flour and water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thick – it takes only a few minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool. I was in a hurry, so I put it in the refrigerator in an eight-cup measuring cup/mixing bowl.

In a small saucepan, melt butter-flavored shortening. When butter has melted, add the cocoa and mix until smooth; set aside to cool. Beat the sugar and vanilla into the cooled flour mixture. Stir in the cocoa mixture until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, stir into the batter until just blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. This will be a bit of a battle as the edges keep trying to hop back up. I think next time I’ll coat the spoon with cooking spray, too. We also added sprinkles to the top of ours, to give them a festive look despite the lack of frosting.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I baked mine for 25 minutes, but I think they next time I bake them to ship I might add a couple of minutes. They were thick and chewy, but a little firmer, dryer texture would help prevent spoiling, particular in the hotter months overseas.

Cool before cutting into bars.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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