Monday, July 28, 2008

Chocolate Makes Any Crisis Better.

So I HAD to make brownies today. Oooey-gooey with decadent chocolate frosting.
Doesn't chocolate always make ya feel better? (Even if the picture's crappy?)

See, the engine on my very old van finally bit the dust in a horrible, oil-dripping, green-smoke belching death-gasp.

And it's not even remotely worth fixing. And we are not in a position to do the car-free thing. I needed a LOT of chocolate! And a reliable vehicle.

Nothing to do but suck it up, and go car shopping. Which I hate. And cannot afford. Really. Mucho tears and hand wringing.

Somehow, the Higher Powers were smiling on me, because not only did we find truly an unbelieveable deal (with only slightly painful payments) - but it actually fits my long-legged family and our soccer/camping/T-ball/picnic/dog-show/more camping/car-pooling/Costco-shopping/home-improvement/bulky garden project lifestyle.

Behold, our new (OK, used!!) Mitsubishi Outlander Crossover SUV. (Whatever all that means).

Yes, I fantasize about a cute, little hybrid; but size, reality and budget tend to get in the way there... still, someday...
It actually qualifies as a Partial Zero Emissions vehicle (which is a good compromise at this point) and gets respectable mileage (we've gotten 29+ hywy so far) - far better than the guzzler-van. I can't complain a whole lot. I miss my funky "Vegetarian" bumper stickers and crappy DVD player. But this car?van?SUV?thing is sorta growing on me too. And has a mind-boggling stereo. So, there ya go. I'm feeling better, the chocolate's kicked in.

Here's my daughter's top-secret brownie recipe should you be in similar crisis or just need a choco-fix, which is a crisis in itself:

Olivia's Super-Chocolate Brownies
1/2 cup melted coconut oil (you can use canola oil but the texture will be different)
1/4 cup honey (*gasp*) or agave nectar (or, since it's expensive and I'm not crazy for it anyway, we usually use maple syrup)
1/4 cup soymilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup Hershey's Extra Dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup semi/sweet chocolate chips (We use Guittard)

Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly oil an 8 inch square GLASS pan.
Put the oil, maple syrup , soy milk and vanilla in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture with a rubber spatula. Don’t overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Put the batter in the pan and spread it out evenly. Bake for 35 minutes.
Don't overbake. When STILL WARM but not hot, cover with frosting. Cool until frosting sets before cutting.

Frosting: (easier than it sounds)
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons corn starch
4 tablespoons Hershey's Dark cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon REAL vanilla extract (the fake ones just taste bad here)

Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cocoa in a medium sauce pan.
Whisk in the water, this is hard to do unless you sift the cocoa and sugar first. Heat over medium until it gets thick and starts to boil - which does NOT take very long.

Watch it really careful and just boil a minute or less. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut oil, chocolate chips and vanilla. Cool a bit and spread/pour over brownies.


VeggieGirl said...

Those brownies look like the PERFECT way to cope with a crisis, for sure - YUM!! And thank you for providing the recipe :0)

Nice car!!

Vegetation said...

Mmmmmm brownies (and you're right, they can fix almost anything!).

Glad you have a new car (and that the repayments aren't too much of a killer).

Carrie™ said...

The chocolate frosting looks sooooo freaking good! I like your new car. We had a Mitsubishi for a rental one time on vacation and really liked it. I can relate to wanting a cute little hybrid, but that's a no go for us either. I'm hoping in time I'll be tooling around town in one, but for now, I'll have to console myself with something chocolately. A pan of brownies would work. :o)

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Those look great! I've got to make some vegan brownies one day.

Binx said...

congrats on the new car!

chocolate does cure many things...

Susan said...

Great car! And, to let you in on the secret, a crossover is a car-based SUV...or, to put it more plainly, a stylish station wagon. I love me some station wagons, though, so I covet your crossover!

The brownies look great, too. I wouldn't knock the picture--the brownies look ooey and gooey, and they are making me hungry, so it's all good.

Anonymous said...

Chocolate does seem to ease the pain! Your new car is really stylin'!

B36Kitchen said...

nice looking wheels! and even better looking brownies.

aTxVegn said...

Chocolate frosted brownies are my absolute favorite food and yours (Olivia's) look deeeelicious!

The car looks great - have fun!

jelymo said...

sorry to hear about the car woes. i can identify with things of that nature--it seems any time we get ahead, we get thrown a financial curve ball. good thing that brownies exist to soften the blow!

Lori- the Pleasantly Plump Vegan said...

those brownies look good to me.
i hate car issues. they are the worst.

Erin said...

Sorry about your old car, but the new one looks pretty cool! Those brownies are the perfect way to mourn/celebrate.