I was talking to Mr. L a couple of weeks ago after I'd sent him to work with some of my homemade banana pudding and I asked him how everyone at the shop enjoyed it. He said they devoured it (which was obvious given the clean bowl he'd brought back to me!), but he felt bad for one of his coworkers who wasn't able to eat any because he is allergic to dairy. Then he proceeded to tell me this same guy was a former student of his at our last duty station, and therefore missed out on all of the desserts I'd bake and send with Mr. L to share.
Let's just say I was pretty mortified! I had no idea that there was someone allergic to dairy back when Mr. L was teaching, and if I'd known, I definitely would've whipped up something special for him on those days. So I set out to rectify my mistake by searching for a dessert I could make just for him!
It was a little harder than I expected at first because it seems like SO MANY recipes have dairy products in them. However, I finally stumbled across a recipe for Double Chocolate Vegan Brownies, courtesy of GoDairyFree.org, and it sounded perfect! You can't go wrong with chocolate, AKA cocoa powder, which some people don't realize is naturally dairy free. So chocolate brownies are exactly what I decided to make!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup vegetable or grapeseed oil (I used vegetable)
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (the original recipe also suggests chocolate coconut milk instead if you want triple the chocolate!)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (make sure the package specifically states dairy-free since most traditional brands like Hershey's add milk to their chocolate chips -- I used the brand Enjoy Life, pictured below)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan. Then combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, making sure to stir well to combine all of the cocoa.
In a mixing bowl, blend together the sugar, oil, maple syrup, coconut milk, and vanilla extract.
Fold in the dry ingredients while being careful not to overmix the batter. It's fine if some lumps remain.
Then throw in the chocolate chips and incorporate them well.
Pour the batter into your greased pan and bake for 35 minutes. Let the brownies cool completely so they're easier to slice into delicious little bites of vegan and dairy-free heaven! :)
Mr. L's coworker loved them and even Mr. L raved about them! That and the fact that I finally got to fix a small slight I had zero intention of making made me very happy. Pro-tip: if your spouse makes something yummy for you to bring to work, let them know about any allergies your coworkers might have! ;)
What are some of your favorite allergy-friendly recipes?