Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dairy-Free Brownies

We're experimenting with removing dairy from my diet to see if that helps Pumpkin sleep. She had some trouble (i.e., gas) when I ate dairy during her earlier months. I'd been adding dairy back in, but we think the gas returned, particularly at night, and was disrupting her sleep. So I reluctantly cut cheese and milk back out of my diet... I'm not super strict, but I am always on the lookout for good dairy-free things to make me feel less sorry for myself.

I found this recipe in an old Betty Crocker cookie cookbook, and it is surprisingly good. I think I might add more applesauce next time, though, to make the brownies more moist.

Chocolate-Applesauce Bars

1/2 cup shortening
2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat shortening and chocolate over low heat until melted; remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients (I did this all in a large saucepan- bonus! easy clean up). Spread in greased and floured baking pan, 9x9x2 inches. Bake until top springs back when touched, 35 to 40 minutes (I found it took closer to 35 minutes). Cut into bars while warm.


(Oh, Pumpkin is sleeping better, so the dairy stays out of my diet for awhile longer. I haven't figured out what to do about Christmas Dinner yet. Do I make the scalloped potatoes everyone else loves and that I won't get to eat? Or can I get away with substituting mashed potatoes made with broth? How selfish do I feel?)


  1. Those sound delicious! I have been trialing the vegan diet lately and am having trouble cutting the eggs from my favorite brownie recipe - http://www.godairyfree.org/Recipes/Dairy-Free-Desserts/Coconut-Brownies-Gluten-Free.html. This one is easily dairy-free, I have been making it for many years with many smiles in return!

    Good luck, I hope the diet helps your little one!

  2. Alisa, your brownies look yummy. I may have to try those next. I have no advice for removing eggs... luckily, Pumpkin doesn't seem to have a problem when I eat eggs.

  3. Um, if you're cooking, I'm pretty sure you can do whatever you please and everyone else can suck it up. ;)

  4. Anonymous7:26 PM

    They sound delicious! Unfortunately, cocoa powder contains milk products (residual cocoa butter, etc), so your recipe isn't really "dairy-free" so long as cocoa powder is involved. My sister is allergic to all dairy products, and became sick after eating several "dairy-free" recipes that included cocoa powder. If anyone knows of any cocoa powder that has zero dairy products whatsoever, please let me know. Her allergist insists, however, that no such products exist.

    Anyway, bottom line, these brownies sound delicious and should sit well with vegans and dairy-loving carnivores like me. I would not recommend them to those with allergies, however.

  5. Anonymous5:24 PM

    just so you know cocoa butter is not a milk product.
    Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is the pale-yellow, pure edible vegetable fat of the cacao bean. It is the substance used to make solid chocolate bars. It is mixed with varying amounts of cocoa powder to produce solid pieces of chocolate. Cocoa butter is extracted from the cacao beans and can be used to make chocolate, pharmaceuticals, ointments, and toiletries.[1] Cocoa butter has a mild chocolate flavor and aroma.

  6. Anonymous12:28 AM

    The trade aid cocoa is completely dairy free. We use it with our friend's boy and he is severly allergic to dairy.

    The prob with a lot of cocoa is that it's also processed on equipment which was used to process dairy - which is how it gets the milk traces.

  7. Coming back way later to add my thoughts on whether these are truly dairy free. Most chocolate you can buy in US stores has at least trace amounts of dairy- so, as one of the commenters said, if I were making a treat for someone who was allergic to dairy, I probably wouldn't make these. But when a nursing mom has to go dairy free because her baby has issues with dairy in her diet, it isn't an allergy- it is a sensitivity. In that case, I doubt the trace amounts of dairy in these brownies would matter.

    Of course, some babies react poorly to chocolate in their mother's diet- I am very thankful that this wasn't a problem for us!


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