Grahamy Mallow Brownies

You don’t need a campfire to enjoy the delicious trio of chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows. While it is less official to make s’more-like treats in your kitchen instead of the wilderness, your happy tummy won’t know the difference. These treats are definitely not the healthiest indulgence, but who cares? Sometimes you need a decadent, sweet, melt-in-your mouth dessert. And besides, these brownies are loaded with whole grains (from whole wheat pastry flour and oat-based graham crackers), hemp seeds (if you use hemp milk), flax seeds, and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate. So there.

Recently, Chicago Soy Dairy sent me two bags of fluffy, puffy Dandies marshmallows as part of a promotional project: folks who received the Dandies agreed to create recipes and post them on their social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, a personal blog, etc). Since I am working on writing a vegan brownie book, I figured I’d use some of the Dandies for a brownie recipe. Yes, I realize that s’mores brownies are not a new idea, but nonetheless, they are yummy and fun to make.

Grahamy Mallow Brownies

For the graham cracker layer:

1 cup vegan graham cracker crumbs (such as these)
3 Tablespoons vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance), melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

For the marshmallow layer:

1 1/2 cups vegan marshmallows (such as Dandies)

For the brownie layer:

2/3 cup chocolate non-dairy milk (I used Tempt hemp milk)
3 Tablespoons finely ground flax seeds (the finer, the better)
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup organic dark chocolate chips
1 cup unrefined sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure chocolate extract (optional)
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Extra graham cracker crumbs for sprinkling on top of finished brownies (about 1-2 Tablespoons)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8″ baking pan with parchment paper (bottom and sides). You could also lightly grease the pan but parchment paper makes removing the brownies from the pan MUCH easier, especially if you want clean slices once they cool.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, first measure of margarine, and cinnamon (if using). Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of your prepared pan and set aside.

3. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the chocolate milk and ground flax seeds. Set aside to thicken.

4. Place second measure of margarine and the chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl. On medium power, cook the mixture until melted, stirring in 30 second intervals.

5. Add flax mixture, sugar, and extract(s) to the chocolate mixture and stir well.

6. Add whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, and salt to the bowl and stir until all ingredients are incorporated. The batter will be very thick.

7. Sprinkle marshmallows over the graham cracker crust. Pour brownie batter on top and gently spread with a spatula to evenly distribute. Don’t worry if some of the marshmallows end up on top of the batter.

8. Place pan in the oven and bake for 28-30 minutes. The marshmallows will puff up to at least three times their size while baking, but once out of the oven they will be a nice, melted gooey layer in the pan. There is no need to test for doneness with a toothpick. The brownies will still be a bit jiggly in the middle, but they will set up properly while cooling. Place pan on a cooling rack.

9. Sprinkle the warm brownies with extra graham cracker crumbs. Once completely cooled, place pan in the freezer for a few hours to finish setting the brownies. Then, carefully lift brownies out of the pan (if you used parchment paper to line the pan), slice into squares, and enjoy! Store brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. They taste delicious right from the freezer – no need to thaw!

Makes 16 small or 9 large brownies.

Many thanks to Chicago Soy Dairy for the Dandies!!