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I live and create recipes by 2 rules:

1. Recipes need to be accessible.  I work hard to minimize the unique ingredients I call for so people who don’t have access to co-ops or health food stores and must rely on big box stores like Wal-Mart can still make good vegan food.

2. Eating cruelty-free is a journey, not a destination.  Sometimes, you have to be comfortable with good-enough being okay.  For example, while eating Crisco is not something I recommend, if you need vegan shortening and have no other option and don’t mind using it, knock yourself out because it’s vegan and you can find it everywhere.

Case in point, one of the ingredients that I use in today’s recipe:

Reasons why I like this: It’s Bisquick, which means that it’s everywhere.  If you don’t have access to a plethora of gluten-free flours to make fancy flour blends or if you’re in a pinch, it’s all here, waiting for you.

Reasons I don’t like it: It contains baking powder with aluminum in it, which I understand why they use it (it’s highly reactive, so great for shelf life), but is something that I usually recommend against.

Reasons for getting cited by the vegan police: In my correspondence with General Mills, they can neither confirm nor deny the source of the sugar that is included in the mix.  Hence, making it questionably “vegan” by definition.

Assume what you will, but otherwise the mix is vegan and for sake of my own style of experimentation, I’m going with it.  You can always use another tried-and-true flour blend in this recipe, if you’re gluten-free, or just use all-purpose flour if not.

Okay, technicalities aside, let’s make our Treat of the Week– Rich and Fudgy GF Brownies!

Rich and Fudgy GF Brownies

Nobody would believe me that these brownies were gluten-free and I have to say I was pretty darn pleased. The jam in them adds to the rich and fudgy texture, but is not detectable, so use whatever flavor you’d like (I use blueberry). These brownies are certainly not health food, but are an excellent indulgent treat that will ensure no one feels like they are living “without”.

1/2 cup organic granulated sugar (increase to 2/3 cup if using other flour blend without added sugar)
3/4 cup Bisquick Baking Blend (OR other GF flour blend OR all-purpose flour)
1/3 cup baking cocoa, sifted
1/2 teas. baking soda
1/8 teas. salt
1/3 cup margarine, room temperature
1 6-oz container soy or coconut yogurt
1/4 cup jam of choice
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease or line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour blend, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine, yogurt and jam. Add the flour blend in batches until just mixed, then add the chocolate chips.

Spread into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (there may be some slight crumbs, but there shouldn’t be batter).

Let brownies cool on the rack for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

Yields: 9-12 brownies

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12 Responses to treat of the week- gluten-free brownies!

  1. Clea says:

    Hey Kris,
    Just wondering if you could tell me the difference between using margarine vs. canola oil in baked goods like this. Does one produce a different texture over the other?

    • Kris says:

      Hey Clea-

      Good question. Because oil is unsaturated (liquid at room temp), where as margarine is more saturated (somewhat solid), it makes for more moisture in the baked good, meaning you’d want to use less than it calls for, otherwise it turns into a grease slick. The oil is going to lead to a more cake-like consistency, where as the margarine will be denser and more fudgy.

      In this scenario, I would suggest using only 1/4 cup oil and then be ready to perhaps use a tablespoon or two of a milk of your choice in case you need a little bit more liquid to get the batter to pull together.

  2. Josiane says:

    I haven’t made brownies in forever – really, my last batch goes back to my pre-vegan days. It’s about time I get back to it, and what better way to do it than trying the recipe you’re sharing here? It sounds delicious! :)

  3. My mom uses Bisquick when she makes vegan biscuits for me! I love it, but I can’t bring myself to buy it at home … though I am starting to loosen up about white flour. :-)

  4. Kiersten says:

    I definitely need to try gluten free Bisquick. I can’t afford to buy all of the gluten free flours separately (they’re so expensive around here!). When I get some, I think I’ll try your brownies :)

  5. FoodFeud says:

    I had no idea Bisquick made a gluten-free flour mix! Good for them, I guess. Your brownies look great. I always mean to bake with jam, but haven’t…yet.

  6. Julia says:

    Those look AMAZING and gooey!

    I just started a very amateur vegan blog if anyone is interested in networking-

  7. Jayne says:

    mmm this is good to know!