These are moist, dense, and chewy—just like brownies ought to be—but without the sugar-induced coma of a regular brownie. They are a treat you can feel good about serving often, filled as they are with wholesome dried fruit and omega-3-rich walnuts.
I have the cutest picture of James eating these (without the nuts) in his high chair as a toddler. He is covered with carob all the way up to his ears and is smiling contentedly. Now I feed them to my little two-year-old niece, Summer Irene, who enjoys them as much as her big cousin.
- 1Place the dates and dried plums into a small saucepan and cover with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute, then remove from heat, cover, and let the dried fruit soak while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
- 2Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 × 9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
- 3Sift or whisk together the barley flour, brown rice flour, carob powder, baking powder, and salt.
- 4Place the maple syrup, canola oil, vanilla, and the date, dried plum, and water mixture into a blender. Process until completely smooth. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir together until well combined. Fold in the walnuts, carob chips, and dried cherries.
- 5Spread the mixture out in the baking pan. Smooth the top using a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes, until the surface springs back to the touch.
From the book Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann. Reprinted by arrangement with Da Capo Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2008.
This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.