National Cookie Day is 4 December, which also happens to be an important date in the novel I've been writing since 2006.
If you know me in person, you know that I like vampires: old-school, bloodsucking, remorseless, Dracula, Carmilla, The Vampire Lestat type of vampires. None of this Twilight wishy-washy stuff, a little Charlaine Harris (haven't read much of her work, but from what I hear...). Some Hemlock Grove as well, though that book (and excellent Netflix series) is about werewolves, which are cool, too. Back to the point. We need food for the brain as much as we do food for the body. Creativity for me (writing, beading, recipe R&D) feeds me, too. And I like vampires.
This recipe tangentially relates to my novel, which is a vampire novel. The Great American Vampire Novel, I hope (if Anne Rice didn't already write it!). A few of the characters are German-American vampires from the nineteenth century. One of that bunch subscribes to "Aryan" philosophies...among vampires. I'm not conflating Germans and Nazis! It's just that when you need your villain to have some especially evil qualities, why not call on known villain and associated group of extremists?
Regardless, this character in question would not have made these brownies. She was the daughter of a somewhat-crazy shopkeeper and they never made enough money, as humans, to have afforded these ingredients in 1863 or thereabouts.
No, brownies aren't cookies, but they are handheld treats. Sue me.
Black Forest Brownies
Modified from Veganomicon, 243-4.
1/3 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup cacao nibs (optional, but makes it more chocolate-y)
12 ounces cherry preserves/spreadable fruit
1/4 cup nondairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond)
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup GF oat flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup walnut halves, broken into bits
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9*13-inch glass pan (or dark metal pan if you like realllllllly crispy edges) and set aside.
In a blender or food processor, blitz the coconut butter, cacao nibs, preserves, nondairy milk, coconut sugar, canola oil, and vanilla until uniformly combined. It will look kind of caramel-coloured.
In a large bowl, sift then whisk together the flours, cocoa, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt.
Stir the walnut halves into the dry ingredients (coating them in flour helps keep them from sinking to the bottom of the batter).
Add wet to dry and stir well until combined (watch for dry pockets; a hand mixer with wide beaters would work well here).
Transfer the batter to the pan and tap the sides of the pan to spread it out.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are firm and the center is slightly soft. Let cool in the oven for 30 minutes before removing.
Serve warm with vice cream!
Tangentially related, Blood & Chocolate is a recent werewolf movie I watched on Amazon Prime. Alright plot, nice parkour.