Thursday, August 1, 2019

Gluten Free Zucchini Brownies

Gluten free, vegan and downright delicious zucchini brownies with a glossy chocolate glaze. I didn't realize the glaze hadn't set yet so it pulled off a bit, still good!


Ah, zucchini. If ever there was a bigger bane to the existence of summer gardeners, I don't know of it! Luckily, it is also ridiculously versatile, and brownies are simply the next thing to get a hit of this sneak-attack veggie! I was inspired by a local vegan restaurant who carried zucchini brownies topped with a shiny glaze in their dessert cabinets, and since one of my friends is gluten free and happened to love them, I figured I'd see if I could find a way to emulate them that didn't cost $4 for two bites!

The secret to getting these brownies luscious and moist without any of the "gluten free grittiness" lies in my Artisan Gluten-Free Flour Blend, which has the perfect blend of protein and starches for all my desserts. Psyllium and flax eliminate the need for added xanthan or guar gum, while giving each bite just enough of the classic "chew". Letting the batter sit for 10 minutes before baking lets the starches hydrate a bit as well, taking out the last of any grit that may remain. These brownies are also excellent to freeze, and once frozen, you could even slice them in half for an amazingly decadent ice cream sandwich (not that we've ever done that here...). Just make sure that if you are freezing these beauties, you hold off on the glaze until you're planning to serve them.

Speaking of the glaze.... I could go on and on about this delicious and mirror-shiny glaze! While it is certainly not required, I do highly suggest it especially if company is coming over. Just don't tell the kids about the veggies packed inside (and if you're really nervous, ixnay the espresso in favour of water or use decaf).

While these brownies do have the "health halo" with their vegan and gluten free label as well as the vegetation involved, they are most definitely a dessert with their sugar and oil content. As much as I could have made them "better" by using applesauce or something similar, I was going for the decadence of the restaurant treat and I think I got it spot on here. 

Gluten Free Zucchini Brownies
Serves 12
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp brewed espresso
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups shredded zucchini, lightly drained of excess moisture
2 cups Artisan Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 tbsp psyllium husk fibre
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
½ tbsp baking soda
1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9" square pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients in order (except chocolate chips), mixing thoroughly.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and let stand for 10 minutes.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve, freeze or cool completely and glaze.
Icing:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp non-dairy milk
2 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp non-hydrogenated shortening
1 tbsp vegan butter
1 tsp vanilla
  1. Place the sugar, milk, cocoa, and shortening into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture is boiling, continue cooking and stirring for 1 minute.
  2. Remove from heat, and add vegan butter and vanilla.
  3. Beat with a whisk until thick, then immediately pour over the cooled brownies and spread with the back of a spoon until smooth.
  4. Chill before serving.