A brookie is probably one of the best “collaborations” in all of baking. And I think it’s really telling as I love an assortment of goodies!
If you don’t know, a brookie is a combination of brownies and cookies. Once Upon A Chef explains it perfectly: the outer layer is fudgy like a brownie and cakey on the inside like a cookie. They’re super yum and have a little extra kick to your usual brownie batter or cookie dough. Add coffee with chocolate and salt, and you have yourself the proper combination for any snack.
I first came up with this recipe for Combii Cafe where I wanted to bring a new product into the local vegan market. And as a lover of all things coffee and chocolate, it made sense to experiment with these brookies!
How the brookies are vegan
First off, it’s important to mention that just because a dessert or pastry is vegan, does not always correlate that it’s incredibly healthy. Although there are less fat or calories in some recipes, veganism is a lifestyle choice. I’m always surprised when friends say I’m being overly healthy (read: cautious) about food when, in reality, given the right ingredients and mixes, a lot of vegan options are practically the same with their beef-y alternatives. Of course, minus the meat 😉
So I think it’s only appropriate I share that my salted chocolate espresso brookies can also be fattening in some respect. I use coconut oil here and admittedly, it has shown to have higher fat content than regular oil. Making vegan Nutella, for example, has also been said to equal the same amount of calories and fat as the regular one.
Nonetheless, this isn’t to say I don’t enjoy my vegan sweets! I just wanted to put it out here for anyone who wants to give veganism a try, thinking that it’s reserved for incredibly health-conscious people.
Second, I used flax seeds to make the egg. The general idea is that you need something which will bind all the ingredients together – I found that flax egg or honey (1 tbsp) is a good non-dairy alternative. I also think it’s important to note the differences between using coconut and olive oil. This will generally depend on your baking time and the logistics of it all. Generally, you need to underbake the cookies a little bit if you’re using coconut oil and then leave them on the pan for a few minutes to cool. Olive oil doesn’t require this. Both options are vegan-friendly and go well with the brookies’ flavours.
How to make the salted chocolate espresso brookies
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp grounded espresso (I use the beans from Batangas, Philippines which are a mix of robusta & liberica and can be quite bitter if you’re not used to it)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
¼ cup refined coconut oil (olive oil is good for this as well)
¼ cup white sugar
2 tbsp coconut sugar (brown sugar is another good alternative)
1 flax egg (1 tbsp of flax seeds mixed with 3 tbsp of water, leave on for 10 minutes)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 | Preheat oven to 180C and place parchment paper on top of a baking pan
2 | Mix together your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, and baking powder) in a small bowl. Set aside.
3 | Use the double broiler method for your chocolate chips, espresso, and coconut oil. Pour water into a pot, heat it on the stove, and then once it’s boiling, place your heat-proof bowl of chocolate chips mixed with espresso and oil on top. Stir all the ingredients until it’s melted and smooth.
Note: I also tried the microwave method which is placing the chocolate chips in a bowl with the oil and putting it in a microwave between 30 second intervals. Once the chocolate has melted a bit, add the espresso and mix them together. Change it to 15 second intervals when you want to make the chocolate a little thicker.
4 | Pour the chocolate mix into a large bowl and then add your flax egg, sugar, vanilla (wet ingredients). Whisk them together.
5 | Slowly add the dry ingredients into the batter until it’s smooth and thick.
6 | Use an ice cream scooper to form the dough into balls (around 1 tbsp) and drop them on the parchment paper. No need to add any oil as the coconut oil will seep through while it’s baking. Make sure each brookie has enough space in between as it will spread.
7 | Bake brookies for around 8 minutes and then immediately remove them from the oven once the timer goes off. This is important as we don’t want to overcook them. If you’re using coconut oil, leave the brookies on the pan for 10 minutes to slightly cool down before moving them to a cooling rack (this is an optional step if you’re using olive oil).
8 | Enjoy!