Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gluten-Free Irish Coffee Brownies (Vegan)

I know that healthy eating is my thing. But I'm not even going to try to tell you that these brownies are healthy. Far from it. They're moist and chewy, and every bite is filled to bursting with layers of sweetness. Made with a unique list of ingredients that includes Irish whiskey, coffee, raisins, and cocoa powder, the flavors all blend together in a symphony that just melts in your mouth. I guarantee you will not be able to resist them. 

Did I mention sugar? Oh yes...the magical ingredient. Of course, you can use any granulated sugar you want in these, and I've made them more than once, with both coconut palm sugar and cane sugar. They're delicious either way! And I use a full cup, which for me, is quite a lot in one recipe. But I'm not skimping here. Oh no. It's St. Patrick's Day, and the Irish in me comes out for this holiday. My last name is Higgins, after all!

Care for a shot of Jameson's with your brownie?

Gluten-Free, Vegan Irish Coffee Brownies (Print-Friendly Option)

1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup whiskey
1/4 cup warm or hot coffee
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon whole psyllium husks (not powder)
1 cup sugar (coconut palm or any granulated sugar)
1 cup brown rice flour (130 grams)
1/3 cup cocoa powder (26 grams)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. 
  2. Add the raisins, whiskey, coffee, oil, and psyllium husks to a food processor. Process until the raisins are pureed. 
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, processing completely to ensure the ingredients are all mixed together well. 
  4. Spoon the thick batter into the baking dish and spread evenly. 
  5. Bake for 35 minutes. 
  6. Let cool completely before slicing. 
Makes 16 brownies. 

Okay, now my favorite part! Let's talk substitutions! Below, I'm going to list some ideas for as many of the ingredients as I can. Based on my kitchen intuition, this is what I think would work. But note that these are just guesses designed to help you have as much freedom in the kitchen as possible. I haven't tested every one of these substitutions, so if you try something and don't love the results, please don't come at me with a pitchfork or mean words. I'm just one lone blogger dancing in the kitchen. I can't do it all.

Raisins: You can use any dried fruit with a similar consistency, such as dates, prunes, or apricots.
Whiskey: Try rum, liqueur, milk (dairy or non-dairy) or even water here.
Coffee: You can replace this with milk, but I have noticed that coffee tends to make the brownies somewhat chewier, so the texture (and of course flavor) may be affected.
Grapeseed oil: Use any oil you prefer here. Canola oil, extra light olive oil, or melted coconut oil will all work.
Whole Psyllium Husks: Ground chia seeds work fine here.
Sugar: Coconut palm sugar or any granulated sugar - except for brown sugar - will work well.
Brown Rice Flour: Go ahead and use any of the following flours or a combination: white rice, sorghum, quinoa, garbanzo bean, millet, buckwheat or teff. Keep in mind the flavor and texture will change depending on the flour you use. Do not use almond flour or coconut flour.
Cocoa Powder: You can use carob powder to make carob brownies. Or you can try using a starch (tapioca, potato, arrowroot, or cornstarch) and they'll just be Irish Coffee Blondies. I haven't tried this yet, although I plan to in the future, so you can be safe and wait for me to test it out, or be brave and give it a shot. Coffee blondies sound a little bit strange to me though, so I would probably switch out the coffee for milk if I were doing this. If you sub out the cocoa powder for a starch, you'll want to replace the baking soda with an equal amount of baking powder.

Happy St. Patrick's Day and happy baking! I'll be in California getting ready for my sister's wedding on St. Patrick's day, so I'm sending you the Irish love in advance.


Tasty Eats At Home said...

Ooh - coffee AND whiskey? Awesome. :)

Stephanie said...

Lord have mercy, these look so good!

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

Incredible! Thanks for all the substitution options; love that. May have to make these with either Frangelico or Kahlua.. ;)

Cara said...

loooove the use of raisins! (PS - got the cassava flour today, can't wait to figure out how to use it!)

Lunges and Lunch said...

OH my...This looks amazing.

Lunges and Lunch said...

OH my...this looks amazing

Stephanie said...

Genius! Can't wait to make these!

Ellen (Gluten Free Diva) said...

I love your substitution list. What an incredibly creative and thoughtful way to help your readers. Not to mention these kick*ss brownies. Oh my!!!

Eryn said...

Just left this comment and thought I should leave one here too :)

"I just received my copy in the mail today of yours and Iris's book. I know this sounds strange, but I couldn't put it down (I read it for an hour at my kitchen table when I should have been doing other things:) ! The scientific baker side of me longs for more books like yours out on the market. I often don't make a recipe exactly like it comes- I tinker and substitute to fit my individual needs. The info you give on substitutions for each flour is so valuable for the gluten-free home-baker to know! Thank you both!"

Sarah Cassidy said...

I wasn't able to find whole psyllium husks or chia seeds at the grocery store today. i am wondering why you culdn't use psyllium powder if you're grinding them up anyway. I was thinking of substituting flax seeds, but not sure if that will alter the taste too much. I am going to attempt the recipe without psyllium or chia and hope it still turns out ok!

Linda said...

Iris, those brownies look amazing! I've added coffee to chocolate cake, but not brownies. Do you think this would work without the psyllium husks?

Iris said...

Hi Sarah,

I just got back from vacation so this response is probably too late to help, but the psyllium husks are not ground. Just chia seeds if you're using those. With psyllium powder, you have to use significantly less, and I'm not sure of the correct ratio, although I think it works to use about 1/3 the amount. Ground flax seeds would probably work here, although you might want to use a tiny bit extra. And I'm guessing that if you just left the chia/psyllium out altogether, it would be very fudgy and probably wouldn't cook through enough to be able to cut into slices. But would probably still taste great scooped with a spoon!


Kt said...

I made this recipe and I used ground flax seeds because I couldn't locate the chia seeds I had right then. I think it sort of ruined them because the flavor is on but the texture is way off. Too gritty. Will try again with chia seeds. Thanks!


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