Thursdays are the best days. Well, this semester, anyway! I don’t have graduate classes or any teaching responsibilities on Thursdays, so I don’t have to leave my house at all until it’s time to depart for my weekly East Coast Swing Dancing meeting 😀 That means I can write my thesis at home, in my pajamas, as comfy as I want to be. It also means that if I feel an irresistible impulse to take a study break and do some cooking, I am completely free to do so 😉 Today was one such day, and because I haven’t had time to do any recipe-testing since Sunday, I figured it was totally okay for me to test two instead of just one. The results were delectable: pretzel bites and double-chocolate sea salt brownies! I’m quite spoiled.
I am a total sucker for soft pretzels…in fact, I would classify it as an addiction 😀 There’s nothing quite like the crispy outside with the soft, doughy inside and any form of topping, whether it be sea salt, garlic, cinnamon, or anything else. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to enjoy any in almost a year because they’re expensive and not quite good for you 😦 Also, since going vegan, I’ve been wary of buying them ready-made, because they’ve usually got butter and other animal products in/on them. But today, when I thought my cravings were going to kill me, I found an easy vegan pretzel bite recipe! It had to be providence.
I haven’t made dough in years, so I enjoyed getting my yeast starter going again, in addition to making the dough by hand. No blender necessary!
I didn’t have any plastic wrap, so I used a Ziploc bag to contain the dough while it rose for an hour 😀
Instead of rolling the dough into ropes and cutting it, as the recipe suggests, I instead pulled off small chunks and formed it into nuggets. Boiling them in the soda-water bath was quite an interesting experience, but it went well!
I brushed the tops with canola oil and sprinkled some sea salt flakes on them, then popped the pan in the oven. While they were baking, I made two separate toppings: garlic butter (made with Earth Balance), and cinnamon with Turbinado sugar. Yum!
The pretzels came out perfectly golden brown! I topped half with the garlic “butter,” and the other half with cinnamon sugar. And they were just as delicious as I had hoped they would be 😀 I put half the dough in the fridge so I can make some more next week!
I’ve also been craving a good brownie…thesis work is very stressful, and girlfriend needs her chocolate! Most of the vegan brownie recipes I’ve come across, though, have been reviewed as crumbly or cake-like, so I’ve left them alone. Fortunately, I found this simple recipe from one of my favorite blogs, The Minimalist Baker 🙂 I had all the ingredients on hand, and so I got to work as soon as the pretzels were out of the oven.
Also, flaxseed egg substitutes are fun! And so very healthy for you.
The mix was much thicker than regular brownie mix, but it tasted amazing! I used Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa since I didn’t have the dutch variety, and I also used Turbinado sugar, which is my new favorite kind of sweetener!
I also added half a cup of vegan dark chocolate chips. Dairy-free chocolate is so much more delicious than the mainstream processed stuff…it tastes more like pure chocolate instead of chocolate-flavored sugar! So much yum.
I put them into a baking tin, and then, because I freaking love the combination of salty and sweet, I sprinkled sea salt flakes over the top of each individual brownie 😀
I only had to bake them for 24 minutes. After cooling for 7 minutes, they slid out of the tins very easily. And oh my sun and stars, they are delicious! The consistency is the same as normal brownies, and they are very indulgent and delicate. The seat salt flakes were the perfect addition, as they prevented the brownies from being too rich to eat 🙂 I think next time I may add a pinch of cayenne and see what the dash of heat does. Chocolate and pepper go perfectly together 😀
Today has been very delicious 😀 I can’t wait to see what happens with my day off next Thursday!