Need a treat for this valentine's day or anyday? Vegan + Gluten-free Valentine's Day Brookies | Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookies are prefect for the job! Chewy like a cookie and chocolaty like a brownie, these delicious morsels are easy to make and fun to share (or not).
Hey Internet, Valentine's Day is almost here so I'm bringing you these Brookies (Brownies + Cookies) shaped like little hearts!
Even if Valentine's Day isn't your jam, these Brookie Bites are soft, chewy, chocolaty, and you can put the batter in any shape pan you like. Did I mention they're gluten-free?
Let's talk a little bit about what you'll need, first.
What Goes in the Brookies?
The usual suspects: flour, baking soda, salt. This recipe calls for gluten-free flour for those of you who eat that way. However, if you are not gluten-free, regular all-purpose flour will work.
Baking soda and salt are also typical baking ingredients. To activate the baking soda to help the brookies rise, we'll use a dash of apple cider vinegar.
Instead of butter or oil-laden plant based butter, I often like to substitute coconut cream. When testing this recipe, I tried a few different amounts of chilled coconut cream.
Coconut cream is coconut milk's thicker cousin. You can usually find it in the Asian section (or sometimes in the cocktail section as it's used in certain drinks!) of your local grocery store! Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, and of course Amazon sell it as well.
You're going to want to chill the can for this recipe. Chilling the coconut cream makes it much more like hard butter (and will soften the same as well).
Half a cup seemed to work well to get the right texture and mouthfeel (a certain level of fat content), and 1 cup was too heavy. However, to get the right texture I had to add something else into the mix.
Enter firm tofu, one of my favorite ingredients to sub for other things. Lower in fat and higher in protein, this healthy brick of awesomeness worked perfectly in combination with my other wet ingredients.
To keep this recipe refined sugar-free, I used maple syrup as the only sweetener. Since this is a liquid, if you are substituting granulated sugar you'll need to play around with the wet-dry ratio. I'd describe the batter as very thick, like cookie dough.
What Binds all this Together?
I experimented with this recipe and made half the batter with flax eggs and half without. It worked both ways, which is why the flax egg is completely optional. If you do use it, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water and let is sit for a few minutes in the refrigerator.
Vanilla extract gives these an extra "cookie" taste, but leave out if you wish. What I wouldn't leave out, though, is the chocolate chips!
There are actually a fair amount of vegan chocolate chips on the market! I like Enjoy Life Dairy Free Chocolate Chips.
Now that we've talked about what you'll need, let's talk about how to bake the Brookie Bites.
How to Make Vegan Brookies
First, mix together your flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add in the coconut cream and mix everything well with a hand mixer. You can do this by hand, too, but it might be easier if you mix everything with your actual hands instead of a spoon.
For your liquid ingredients, you'll blend half a block of firm tofu (about 198 grams) with your maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla (do not blend the coconut cream).
Stir in the liquid ingredients, fold in your chocolate chips, and spoon the mixture into the pan of your choice!
For this recipe I used two Wilton Silicone Mini Heart pans. They have other shapes, too! I prefer whenever possible to use silicone bake ware to remove the need for any oil or mess. You can also simply bake this in a square pan.
For my pan, each bite required about 2 teaspoon of batter. Yours may be different.
You'll bake them for about 20-24 minutes (22 minutes seemed to be the magic number for me!) Use a cake tester (link in other email) or toothpick to make sure the inside is completely cooked, then let them cool for at least 5-10 minutes before simply popping them out of the silicone pan!
Try not to over bake the brookie bites, otherwise they will end up dry and tough. When you test it, test somewhere in the middle of one of the bites, taking care not to puncture a chocolate chip (this won't harm anything, it just won't tell you if the batter is cooked).
For extra decadence, I'd recommend serving these with a bowl of ice cream, or if you'd like to be a little healthier, make banana nice cream instead! If you are preparing these as a valentine's treat, you could make strawberry or raspberry banana nice cream, for a festive color.
As always, I hope you love this recipe!
Let me know in the comments below if you make it, tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!