Vegan Pumpkin Brownies {with Barley Flour and Jaggery}

Exciting news must be shared with friends and families with desserts (I insist)..and to make things better I am sharing brownies – rich, slightly chocolately with a Fall flair. Well, now don’t get too excited there – I am not engaged, moving to New York, or writing a cookbook. Actually, I am going to Nepal (squeeeeeeeel followed by a happy dance)!!!!!

After my rant earlier, I didn’t think I would be doing anything pumpkin-related until late October or so but you guys, mother nature was gracious enough to send some light rain and cool breeze our way – it’s still not your typical Fall weather but anything around 80′s, we call that Fall. Last year, we welcomed Fall with Pumpkin Spiced Donuts (Baked), lets go the pumpkin brownie route this year shall we?

These are a real treat for both vegans or non-vegans; I could see all of you planting your face directly in the pan (and you totally should). I am using two new ingredients (barley flour & jaggery) that I picked up recently from the store out of sheer curiosity and they worked really well in the recipe. See below for substitutions.

Barley flour is a non-wheat flour made by grinding whole barley but it does contain gluten, not a good choice if you prefer gluten-free. It lends a nutty flavor to the baked goods and has more fiber than all-purpose or whole wheat variety. 

jaggery comes in hard lump or block so I grated them into fine pieces

Jaggery, an unrefined sweetener made from sugar cane or date juice are claimed to be superior than white sugar. It is a staple in traditional Indian cooking for making sweets, gravies and regarded very valuable in Ayurvedic medicine. Taste wise, it is a cross between rich brown sugar and molasses, with a buttery, caramel-like aroma. Its flavor is strong, but it is less sweet, spoon for spoon, than refined sugars. However, jaggery contains more vitamins and minerals yet calorie wise they are similar. Read this and this for more detail.

Pumpkin puree keeps the brownie moist and adds a mild flavor to the background. There is an almost caramel like taste from jaggery but not too overwhelming. Barley, as mentioned, gives a slightly nutty texture. Big bowl, strong whisk, and a pretty spatula – we are all set. 

pictures were taken right after they were done and thats why it looks a little gooey but please allow them to cool completely before cutting for a firmer texture. I promise they will firm up and taste even better if refrigerated the next day.

Vegan Pumpkin Brownies (adapted from here)

makes about 12 squares 

Ingredients
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons canola oil (or use vegan butter)
1 cup pumpkin puree (use plain, not pie filling)
1/2 cup jaggery, grated (substitute with brown sugar)
1/2 cup granulated Sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup barley flour (substitute with all purpose flour)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

handful of chopped pecans

Directions
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line an 8 by 8 inch square pan with parchment paper with some paper hanging on both sides to lift the 
brownies easily later. 
- In a small bowl, melt the chocolate and oil in the microwave oven. It took me about 35 secs at 8-10 sec intervals each. But it may vary depending upon your microwave.
- In a large bowl such as a Kitchen Aid, combine pumpkin puree, both sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla whisk it well until its smooth.
- Gently pour the flour over the liquid ingredients directly. Then stir the baking powder, salt and fold in chopped walnuts. Mix them well.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth it out with a spatula and bake it for about 40 minutes.
- Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack then cut them into squares.

In case you are wondering, if I will be posting while I am gone? Yes. I will try my best to continue posting regularly (M, W, F);  expect to see couple posts related to life & food in Kathmandu, Nepal.

What is on your Fall Baking List?

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