I love Saturdays. But really, who doesn’t?
It’s hard not to love them when they start with an extra-long hot yoga practice and end with watching Saturday Night Live while enjoying the beautiful silence of night. And when the middle includes grocery shopping (anyone else enjoy this?), baking, and babysitting, all is right with the world.
Babysitting on Saturday nights has become a relatively new occurrence, but I’m absolutely loving it. The girl I babysit (let’s call her “J”) is so sweet, and we always have lots of fun. Now that I know she loves baking, I can’t help but dream up creative things for us to make. Last week we made s’mores cupcakes filled with mini marshmallows. I covered them in vegan buttercream frosting, sprinkled them with crushed graham crackers, and drizzled them with melted chocolate. Needless to say it was a hit.
I’ve really enjoyed teaching her and her parents about veganism, too. I always make the distinction that veganism is a personal choice but that it’s fun to play with the chemistry of food no matter what your dietary preferences are. I love seeing her sweet smile when she tells her parents with delight, “Look what we made. Can you believe these are vegan!”
Last weekend was especially fun because I also turned J’s favorite dessert, rich, chocolate-y brownies, into a vegan treat. When I brought them over to her house, they were still warm out of the oven. Yumm…
My grandmother said they were fudgey, perfectly sweet, and delicious.
My uncle winked while telling me I could make them for him anytime.
And J… she just said “yum!” and smiled. She then proceeded to ask for another.
Vegan Fudge-y Banana Brownies
- 2-1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- dash cinnamon
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup mashed banana
- 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a 9 x 13″ pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- In another bowl, vigorously mix brown sugar, water, oil, mashed banana, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract with a fork until well-combined.
- Add wet mixture to the dry mixture. Stir until just combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour mixture into baking pan. Spread evenly (it will be thick!).
- Bake until the brownies firm up, or at least 20 minutes. Remove from oven when your desired texture is reached. For fudge-ier brownies, remove closer to 20 minutes; for firmer brownies, wait until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (I baked mine for ~45-50 minutes).