Midnight Brownies


The name for these brownies is based on the fact that I first tried to make a different brownie recipe late at night, only to discover that I was out of several ingredients (including all-purpose flour and granulated sugar), but that it was too late to go to the store.  The name also works on the level that the brownies end up a delightfully dark color, due my apprehensive substitutions of Dutch-processed cocoa and brown sugar.  The recipe I was originally attempting to prepare was the “Chocolate Brownies” in The Joy or Vegan Baking, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (in which she says that her recipe is based on the brownies from Sinfully Vegan).  I ended up trying the original recipe when I finally had all of the required ingredients, but I was surprised to discover that I preferred my unintended variation.
I’ve mentioned before that I like cake-y brownies, and I had read online that the “Chocolate Brownies” fell into this category, but I increased the baking time and upped the amount of flour (I had actually mis-read the recipe during my first baking attempt — being half-asleep is no deterrent when I have a sudden craving for brownies!) to make them even less fudge-y.  I also decreased the amount of vanilla extract (it’s so expensive that 2 teaspoons seemed excessive) and left out the nuts and chocolate chips because I like my brownies to be nice and simple (you can always add some in at the end if that’s your cup of tea).  I’m also pretty sure that my ground flaxseed meal is not fine enough to really work properly as an egg replacer, but I always add it anyways since I figure that it can’t hurt anything, and since flax is so good for you.  This recipe ends up making more batter than I had originally expected, so if you want your brownies to be more petite, then you could try making 2/3 of the recipe and decreasing the time in the oven.  Finally, if you’ve never done it before, I strongly recommend that you try freezing a few of the finished brownies to enjoy as a deliciously decadent treat!

Midnight Brownies
Yield: 9 large brownies

1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed meal
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup whole white wheat flour
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, applesauce, flaxseed meal, water, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl (I use my 8×8-inch baking pan to avoid extra dishes), whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and stir to combine.

Pour batter into 8×8-inch baking pan and smooth to distribute evenly.

Bake for about 50 minutes and allow the brownies to cool substantially before cutting.


February 15, 2009. Brownies.


  1. Vegetation replied:

    Mmmmm brownies. They look SO good!

  2. Fat Fudge replied:

    I use that recipe all the time and replace the sugar with Xylitol add some freeze dried coffee and cinnamon then bake them in a mini-muffin pan (portion control!) and take them out before they’re thoroughly cooked through because I like fudgy brownies.

    Concerning vanilla: use imitation. Cook’s Illustrated magazine (check the March/April 2009 issue) discovered that when used in baking, people preferred the imitation over the real stuff. So I spent a whole dollar for a bottle of it at my local grocery store and use it with a free hand!

  3. Nora replied:

    Is it gross that the name reminds me of “night soil” which is a term for human excrement used as fertilizer? lol! that aside, the brownies look awesome! i just found your blog on ppk and will add it to my blogroll! 🙂

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