Friday, December 7, 2012

Pecan Brownie-Oatmeal Cookie Squares

I've always wanted to make brownies with a crust.  They just look so darn pretty and let's face it, crusts are delicious!  This is pretty much a hybrid pecan bar/brownie/oatmeal cookie. Triple threat!  The recipe is based on Taste of Home's Triple Layer Brownies, which was pretty straightforward to veganize.  As you can see, I left out the third layer, which is chocolate frosting.  That would've sent me into a sugar coma.  Check out the original recipe and try out all three layers if you want total decadence.  Either way, you'll end up with a wonderful crowd pleaser...or you can just keep them all for yourself too.  :)
 
Makes 16 squares 
 
Crust:
1 cup quick-cooking oats 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, melted 
 
Brownie Layer:
3/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, melted 
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted 
1 egg replacement (I used 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2/3 cup all-purpose flour 
1/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt; stir in the 1/2 cup melted Earth Balance. 
  3. Pat this mixture into a greased 11 x 7-inch baking pan and bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes. 
  4. In one bowl, mix the sugar, 1/4 cup melted Earth Balance, and melted chocolate. Add in the egg replacement and vanilla extract. 
  5. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, alternating with the almond milk. Mix well after each addition. 
  7. Stir in the pecans.
  8. Spread the batter over the oatmeal crust and bake for 25 minutes. 
  9. Let cool and then cut into 16 squares (or more, depending on how small you cut them).
I don't have an 11 x 7 inch baking pan, so I used my 13 x 9 inch pan.  That's why these ended up so thin.  The results were still awesome!  I brought some to work and people loved them (or so they said).  But based on my own discerning palate, they were delish.  Just fantastic. The oatmeal crust was totally worth the extra effort.  I may frost the next batch that I make, but these were pretty decadent sans frosting.  I may even go crazy and use walnuts or almonds instead of pecans.  Ooooh, watch out world!  :)

Enjoy!