this recipe on Fragrant Vanilla Cake for Vegan Cream Cheese Cherry Swirl Brownies, but poor Snugglebug can't have dried fruit in any form. Something about the way fruit's natural sugars become concentrated when fruit dries confuses her little body and she just can't break it down.
So I used Amy's recipe as a "jumping off" point and ventured to create a similar dessert with the ingredients I had in my pantry.
I used an old vegan brownie recipe I had, and replaced the dried cherries with a raspberry filling made with frozen berries, cane juice crystals, cornstarch and water.
Also, I really detest the hard edges of traditional brownies (they'll never sell me one of those brownie pans!), so I made brownie bites in my mini-cupcake pans.
Here's what I did:
Vegan Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownie Bites
Raspberry Filling Ingredients:
2 c. frozen raspberries
1 c. cane juice crystals or raw sugar
4 T. cornstarch
1/2 c. cold water
Raspberry Filling Directions:
Use the back of a spoon to break up raspberries into small chunks and put them in a medium saucepan.
Put cornstarch in a small bowl and gradually add water, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
Sprinkle cane juice crystals over raspberry chunks and heat over medium heat, stirring until cane juice crystals melt. The berries will begin to juice as the crystals dissolve, creating a berry syrup.
Gently increase heat to high. When syrup begins boiling, slowly pour in cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly. Boil until filling thickens - about one or two minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. (I put mine in the refrigerator.)
2 c. unbleached flour
2 c. cane juice crystals or raw sugar
3/4 c. cocoa powder
1 t. baking powder
1 t. fine sea salt
1 c. water
1 c. canola oil
1 t. vanilla
You will also need about 1 c. vegan cream cheese. I use Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add water and stir, wetting all ingredients. Add oil and vanilla, mixing well.
Place a paper mini-cupcake liner in each cup of your pan. Fill each cup half-full with brownie mix.
Using a small spoon or a pastry bag without a decorator's tip, add a dollop of raspberry filling - about the width of a quarter - to the top of each cup.
Again, using a small spoon or pastry bag - with a tip this time - add a grape-sized dollop of cream cheese. The raspberry filling may sink into the brownie mix a bit as you add the cream cheese. That's fine. In fact, it's perfect!
Bake 16 to 18 minutes.
My only complaint about this recipe is the brownie seems to stick to the paper liners a bit. If anyone has any suggestions on how to curb this effect, I'm all ears!
This recipe made 72 brownie bites for me, and I did have some raspberry filling left over. I think it'll be quite at home on top of some pancakes or waffles, but you can probably get by with three-quarters of a filling recipe, if you'd prefer.
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