Coconut Vegan Brownies – Mixed Review

Sometimes you just want steak.  Most ominvores would say that when confronted with a vegetarian meal.  The corollary for vegetarians presented with vegan brownies would probably be, “sometimes you just want butter and eggs … and milk chocolate.”

I will fully admit the error of my ways.  I was trying to avoid the extra ingredient involved in making vegan brownies that well, didn’t taste just a little funky.  I found a recipe that called for what was sitting in the pantry — cocoa powder, flour, sugar, oil, baking soda, and no need for the soy yogurt, etc. I also found a recipe for “macaroon brownies” — the regular kind, and I thought I could easily combine the two.  Sad.  That was the result.  Sad.

I followed the recipe here:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

And proceed to combine and mix.

And then I departed for the recipe here:

Essentially, I mixed 4 cups of coconut with 1 cup of soy milk and 1TB of vanilla.  I then poured half the brownie batter into the prepared, 9 x 13 pan and then dropped the coconut mixture evenly over the top and then poured the remaining batter over that.

I baked for about 30 or 45 minutes.  Finally, from the oven, they looked intriguing, and I was so excited — a coconut brownie!  YUM!  Well, not so much.  Paul though they were “okay” if a bit “dry” and then there was that odd “taste.”  I’m guessing that was the old vegetable oil I was using…  His recommendation — “these need frosting.  Cream cheese frosting.”

The next day at Fred Meyer I purchased the powdered sugar and the tofutti cream cheese.  I couldn’t remember if cream cheese frosting needed butter too (it does), but I didn’t want to buy it (Clevering penny-pinching strikes again!).  At home, I tried to make the frosting without the butter.  It was too glossy and just didn’t have the right richness.  And tofutti has a bit of a funky taste.  Apparently I have a refined palate these days.  I reserved a little frosting for myself and then proceeded to taint the vegan “cream cheese” frosting with REAL butter.  I topped off the brownies and added some more coconut for a flair. They passed the test and were even shared with work.

My pure vegan brownies were shared with the trash.

Lesson learned.  Perhaps.

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7 thoughts on “Coconut Vegan Brownies – Mixed Review

  1. Good for you! Takes a lot of courage to post about what doesn’t work. We recently tried morphing the oranges and untoasted almonds in a torte recipe into Meyer lemons and toasted almonds. Sound like it should work, right? Disaster, TFD! Inquiring minds need to know. By the way, have you guys changed your design (it takes me awhile to catch up)? It looks good! Ken

    • Sara here–yes we did, and thanks! I downloaded gimp and have the most rudimentary understanding of it and this is the result. We thought the three pots of maple custard would be a good stand-in for the three of us as we haven’t all managed to be in the same place at the same time in a while.

  2. Such a bummer! I have having to throw away food.

    I have had vegan brownies that have involved coconut and chocolate chips and everything was all melty in the best way. Absolutely outstanding. Like, grab as many as you can because everyone else standing in back of you (vegan brownies and the like seem to be served at vegetarian potlucks more often than not) and I’ve always wondered what made them so delicious. In fact, at Smith College’s kosher kitchen, vegan brownies were standard Shabbat evening dessert. This post makes me want to reach out to the “chefs” there and find out just what exactly they put into those astonishingly delicious brownies. If I do get an answer I will report back to you, ASAP.

  3. thank you much for the honesty. I am a personal chef, and therefore must cook what people request (to a degree). there are occasions when people want the vegan version soooo…. bad, but it sometimes taste just AS BAD as their desire for it. I try kindly discouraging these such requests, but most of us need to see it (and pay for it) to believe it…thanks again!

  4. I never purposely do vegan baking. I have a mental block about making a chia seed egg when its so much easier to crack an egg. It helps that I don’t know any vegans.

    • Good question! I’d probably find a better recipe, honestly. I’ve seen plenty that use a soy yogurt as a substitute for the butter/oil. My friend who is gluten-free also uses an almond flour as well. Let us know how it goes!

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