Yes I know, it’s been forever (I’m sure I’m the only one who’s noticed and that you’re now thinking to yourself “Has it? Hmmm…I suppose now that I think about it, there has been a bit less nonsense than usual in my life”). Basically, I’ve just given up on this once a week thing that I did for almost 5 years. Too much pressure, so now I’m embracing my inner lazy-bones and just posting whenever I feel like it. Upside, it’s always a mystery! (even to me 🙂 )
So every blog worth their salt seems virtually identical this time of year. I mean, I guess they know their audience, but healthy baking? I eschew you and you’re attempts at health!! To counteract all of this “over-healthenating” (it’s a word, look it up…uh…actually…maybe don’t 😉 ), I’ve decided to double dose you instead. Bag of chips? Tray of brownies? Or….stick with me here…dare I say…BOTH???!!! Yes. The time is now.
OK, I’ll pretend to nod to January resolutions by at least making these bite sized (and I swear it’s not just because that’s the only size one can get their chippity scoops in…side note – what’s up with that? Why doesn’t this exist in scoop form?:
Imagine THAT filled with brownie? (I think my heart just had a heart attack in protest).
So anywho, in case the photo above wasn’t obvious, you guessed it, I took some scoop tortilla chips, and instead of filling them with the usual guacamole and/or salsa, I injected them with a healthy dose of brownie batter, baked those puppies up and slathered them with an almond butter caramel sauce (you know, for the protein 😉 ).
Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself “What up withe those Easter coloured m&m’s Amber?” And to you I say, brownies (and just brown food in general), just don’t photograph that well, and no matter how delicious they are, they just look nauseating. So I decided to pep it up a notch and perform some slight of hand hopefully distracting from the appalling brownie imagery. I truly have no idea how we had these in the house though. Possibly they’ve been sitting around since actual Easter? Sooooo…maybe don’t eat the m&m’s? (also, sadly, m&m’s are not vegan, so there’s that. For a brief shining moment I thought that the much more Canadian – and dare I say vastly superior and more delicious – Smarties, were in fact vegan. But then I realized I was being fooled by the really terrible rockets which are called Smarties in the US (so I wasn’t so Smart-ie 😉 ). *Le sigh*
Since I’ve always promised full disclosure here, I will admit that the addition of chips was really not noticeable. I thought it would add an awesome crunch and some extra saltiness, but Kevin and I both agreed it was a bit underwhelming. I actually had way too much batter for the number of tortilla chips I had though, so I just made the rest as regular mini bite-sized brownies. Again, you’re thinking to yourself “Amber???!!! What the hell – if these aren’t awesome-sauce, why are you even sharing?” And I’ll tell you – a) I refuse to bake the same thing a billion times to get it “just right” as many “real” bloggers/bakers do (I also don’t want to be wasteful and throw things out, nor do I want 500 million cookies/brownies/cupcakes etc filling up my house. I guess I could use leftovers as spackle for any holes in the wall? OR, even better, turn my house into the witch’s house from Hansel and Gretel and just snack on the walls whenever I feel like it. Eating five year old cookies is totally fine right? 😉 ). Besides, the brownies themselves were still delicious, and the little chip cups still looked cute in my not-so-humble opinion, so deal with it!
Apparently even this wasn’t really innovative enough for me though, so in true “I just can’t help myself” fashion, the center of these also includes some jam and some salted peanuts for crunch – and then there’s the almond butter caramel sauce *swoon* (seriously, that stuff is delicious/ addictive – add a bit of extra maple syrup and it’s awesome on pancakes and waffles).
Bring these to your next pot luck and you’re sure to earn some brownie points.
Yield: 2-3 dozen bite size brownies
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 egg replacer
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup raspberry jam (or jam of choice)
- 1/4-1/3 cup chopped peanuts
- 24-36 tortilla chip scoops (optional – alternatively, just use cupcake liners)
Almond Butter Orange Caramel:
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1-2 teaspoon orange liqueur (or orange juice, or 1/4 teaspoon orange extract or omit entirely for just almond butter caramel)
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease (or line with cupcake liners) mini muffin tins. If using tortilla chips, place on a silpat lined baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, place vegan butter, coconut oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, egg replacer, vanilla and orange extracts, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder and instant coffee and whisk (or beat) to combine. Stir in the flour until just combined.
- Place about a teaspoon of batter into the bottom of each brownie cup. Top with a 1/4 teaspoon jam and a 1/4 teaspoon chopped peanuts. Cover the filling with more brownie batter (just below the top of the cupcake liner or tortilla chip).
- Bake for 18-22 minutes (when toothpick comes out without any brownie batter on it). Allow to cool completely while preparing the caramel.
- Whisk (or stir) together all the caramel ingredients and spread a thick layer over the top of each fully cooled brownie.