Saturday, September 17, 2011

Vegan Brownies and PB & Banana Vegan Ice Cream

Well, hello there. I didn't expect to see you here. I'm glad you didn't give up on this little space of the blogoverse. Because I sure as hell almost did.

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We had a lot going on over the summer, what with all the bakers markets, special orders, and the whole 'getting married' thing. I barely felt like I had a summer at all. Before I knew it, August 18th had blown in - I suddenly found myself locked in a small classroom with twenty-five tweens for eight hours a day. They weren't excited about the situation. And, to be frank, neither was I. Not only did struggle through the school day, but I found myself lesson planning, developing, and grading for hours every single night. The weekend just meant I could work even more.  No time for myself. No time for baking.

With the new school year crashing into me, I decided that maybe I should give up the blogging way of life. Forget about twitter, flickr, and foodbuzz. Forget about cookies and cupcakes. Then I could concentrate totally and completely on my rowdy little group of Grade 6s. I already give 110% to my teaching profession. Now I could give at least 43% more.
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Little did I know that all work and no play makes me go a little crazy. I really should have seen that one coming. Only a month into the school year and I was already going a little mental. Then, briefly one afternoon, felt the urge to open up my google reader and take a little peek at what was going on in the baking world. What  I  saw got me jonesing for some real sifting and stirring and whisking and measuring. I suppose I could afford to forget about my classroom for an hour or two a week. Right?

For this recipe, I just wanted to get rid of those post-summer blues that seem to be going around lately. The rain has started, the leaves have started to fall, and Starbucks have started to put pumpkin spice into everything. Let's have a little ice cream and brownies and remember those slow summer days. Because I've got to get back to grading math tests pretty soon.

FYI: These are the best brownies, vegan or no, that I have had. Period. End of story. The ice cream is a total winner as well. You haven't lived until you've tasted these. So what are you waiting for?

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The Best Vegan Brownies
2 cups flour
2 cups cane sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy milk (or rice or almond milk, whatever tickles your fancy)
1/4 vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 chopped walnuts

1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13 baking pan. 

2) In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until everything is evenly distributed. Pour in the water, soy milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Mix well with a wooden spoon until everything is combined. 

3) Spread the batter into the pan, making sure its even, and sprinkle with the walnuts. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool, then cut into squares for serving. 

Peanut Butter and Banana Vegan Ice Cream 
3 overly ripe bananas
2 cups soy milk
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder (optional)

1) In a food processor, puree your peeled bananas and soy milk until smooth. Add the cocoa powder if you'd like to use it.

2) Transfer it to a medium-sized saucepan and add the brown sugar and peanut butter. Cook over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. 

3) Leave out until its room temperature, then refrigerate it for an hour. Mix it with your hand mixer, cover with plastic wrap, and put it in the freezer. Take out ever 30 minutes to mix with your mixer (to break up any ice crystals), until the ice cream has just about set (3 hours total). Transfer to tub and leave in freezer until ready to serve. 


Unknown said...

Vegan or otherwise, these brownies look slammin'!!! Yum!

Evan Thomas said...

I'm glad you've found your baking and blogging mojo again. I still haven't been able to bake a thing since the semester begun, but it feels good to be cooking at least.
The ice cream looks terrific!

Julia said...

Can you use an old school ice cream maker for this recipe? With those kind you end up stirring every 3 minutes or so. Would the different times between mixes mess up the recipe do you think?

C&C Cakery said...

Ice cream maker is fine for any of the recipes you find on here - I just don't have one, so I let you know how I do it (by hand :( ). Just follow the directions on your own maker, and it should come out just fine. :)

Gina Stanley said...

Poor thing, you do need a break after that. Congrats on getting married. My husband's b-day is Aug. 18th. If nothing else, blogging is a nice creative outlet, plus you get to look at all the goodies. Glad you are sticking around, hope you have a great weekend.

Monet said...

I'm all about taking breaks...but I'm VERY glad you are back. I'm eating a mushroom omelet as I type...but as it good as it tastes, it pales in comparison to this! Bring on chocolate! Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe. I hope you are having a joyful start to your week!

Amaranth said...

This looks so oh-my-gosh-I-absolutely-need-a-piece-of-this-right-now!!!

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