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Continuing in my attempts to both produce delicious baked goods for myself and get rid of miscellaneous baking ingredients before we move, I looked into what kind of baked goods I could make without using butter or flour, since I’m running very low on both, but still have an abundance of white sugar, brown sugar, shortening, eggs, chocolate chips, vanilla, baking soda, and baking powder!   It might have been more worth my while to just buy some butter and flour in order to better use the rest of the stuff… but I’m having more fun with my cooking experiments =)  And I’m too lazy/broke to go shopping.  So!  I did some Googling for gluten-free and dairy-free baked goods.   Unfortunately most of these types of recipes call for a ton of exotic or otherwise uncommon ingredients like gluten-free flour or celtic sea salt, or items I just don’t have here, like applesauce.  I did find one simple-looking one that only called for mostly things I had!  I did have to make some substitutions though.   This one was only a gluten-free recipe, and called for a half a cup of butter, which I replaced with an equal amount of Crisco shortening.  It also called for a fourth a cup of cornstarch, which I don’t have, but I did happen to have enough flour left to use that instead, ironically making these brownies dairy-free but not gluten-free!  And of course, seeing as I have no cocoa powder, Nesquik powder was used instead =)

Anything I’ve made lately using brown sugar has been a total pain since I let my brown sugar get all dry and harden into one big lump.  It was difficult enough just to crumble enough off for the recipe, but then I spent forever trying to get all the little lumps broken up in my mixture.  Luckily it was already in a saucepan and being heated a bit for the shortening anyway, so I added some more heat to help soften it up.  When I tasted the batter, it tasted a little salty which had me worrying I had doubled the salt, but I don’t think I did… it just tastes salty!

Since the oven had behaved and cooked my brownies well last time, I decided to cook these for the full 30 minutes.  Unfortunately, I ended up burning the edges and bottom of them pretty badly =(  While they were still hot and soft, I took a sharp cutting knife and ran it around the edges pretty well to separate the brownie from the pan.   This made it a lot easier to get the brownies out later!  I ended up cutting off all the edges (though I left them out if somebody in the apartment doesn’t mind eating them), and if you take off the burnt bottom too they don’t taste half bad!  They don’t really taste chocolatey to me, and they have a much more dense texture than my other brownies.  They’re kind of chewy and the texture almost  makes it seem like they have extra stuff like nuts and coconut in them… I wonder if that’s just from the gluten-free aspects of the recipe, or my substitutions, or my lumpy brown sugar?  They’re not bad but I’m a little bit disappointed in the fact that I burned them!  Nick said they tasted exactly the same as the Nesquik ones =)  Haha, that blows my mind, but I’m glad he likes them at least!

You can find the original recipe here, and I’m re-posting it below with my substitutions in parentheses:

Gluten-Free (Or Dairy-Free) Kind of Weird Brownies

  • 1/2 cup butter (I used 1/2 cup Crisco shortening)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used 1/4 cup Nesquik powder)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup corn starch (I used 1/4 cup flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or dark chocolate pieces (60-70%)
  • 1/2 cup macademia nuts (optional, I didn’t use them but they sound nice)

Preheat oven to 350 F. and lightly grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.

In saucepan, melt butter and add cocoa powder. Whisk.  Mix in the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla to butter/cocoa mixture.  Add the corn starch and salt and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips or dark chocolate pieces.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Until toothpick comes out clean. Allow brownies ample time to cool and set before serving.

  1. In saucepan, melt butter and add cocoa powder. Whisk.
  2. Step 3

    Mix in the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla to butter/cocoa mixture.

  3. Step 4

    Add the corn starch and salt and mix well.

  4. Step 5

    Stir in chocolate chips or dark chocolate pieces.

  5. Step 6

    Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Until toothpick comes out clean.

  6. Step 7

    Allow brownies ample time to cool and set before serving.

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I woke up this morning with really awful cramps from my period (or as my best friend tells me they call it in Japan, “girl’s day.”  Much cuter!) and didn’t really feel like doing anything at all.  It took me until 1:00 just to go get a shower!  During my wallowing, though, I got a craving for chocolate cookies or something like that.  I started thinking of what we had here at Nick’s place, and I didn’t think we had enough ingredients left to make chocolate chip cookies, but we still had a bunch of random ingredients left that we need to use before we move on Thursday.  We’ll be tight on space, so I don’t think we’ll want to have to pack things like a half a bag of sugar, or a fourth a bag of flour.  Unfortunately, I knew we didn’t have any cocoa powder to make any super chocolatey baked goods.  But after I thought about it for a minute, I realized we had tons of hot cocoa mix and about half a contianer of chocolate Nesquik!  I found a great recipe for Nesquik brownies that was just perfect for the amount of ingredients we had left.  Nick was super helpful and did dishes while I worked on the brownies, and then helped with the brownies too =)

I wasn’t sure how long to cook them since the oven here is pretty unpredictable, but they turned out with a really nice consistancy!  I think if I make them again I’ll add a little bit more chocolate than the recipe calls for.  As they are, it’s a really nice balance of chocolateyness, but I love really strong chocolate stuff so I’d add more =)  The blogger who posted the recipe mentioned a way to melt sugar on top to make a shiny top, but I didn’t bother with that.  Instead, mine had a weird sort of skin on top that deflated after a while, haha, but it was totally fine-tasting =)  These turned out sooo great and they were just what I needed!  I never would have thought Nesquik could make such a good brownie!

They may not look like much, but they're delicious!

They may not look like much, but they're delicious!

You can find the original recipe here, but I’ll re-post it for convenience!

Nesquik Brownies

2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups NESTLÉ NESQUIK Chocolate Flavor Powder
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350° F. and line an 8 inch metal pan with foil; spray foil with cooking spray.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a medium size (3 quart is good) microwave safe mixing bowl, melt butter for 1 minute on high. Quickly stir in sugar and water, then microwave mixture for 30 seconds to help melt sugar. Stir and let stand for about 3-5 minutes. Add vanilla and egg and stir until mixed. Stir in Nesquik, then add flour mixture and stir just until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips. Rap pan on counter to bring air bubbles to top.

Bake for 18 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Chill for an hour or so, then lift from pan and slice into 12 brownies.

Makes 12 brownies