When I first started my 90% vegan lifestyle, I met a woman who had been a vegan for 12 years. I asked her what she did at restaurants that didn’t have any vegan options. “Oh,” she said. “Then I just order a baked potato and enjoy the conversation.”
People, I was aghast. That sounded (and still sounds) horrible to me. I refuse to believe that being vegan means sacrificing satisfying, craveable, restaurant-worthy food. Also, I hate baked potatoes. They’re just so blah and brown and starchy. After I eat one, I always feel like I have a potato brick in my stomach.
But sweet potatoes, now they’re another story altogether. Creamy and sweet and just begging to be paired with fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Or, you know, chocolate. As you are about to see here.
I called these fudge squares instead of brownies because they are incredibly rich, moist, and fudgy. They almost remind me of a flourless chocolate cake.
They are equally delicious cold and straight out of the fridge or heated up in the microwave and topped with a scoop of chocolate sorbet or whipped coconut cream. Feel free to swap chopped pecans for the chocolate chips for a nutty version.
Sweet Potato Fudge Squares
Adapted from The Ultimate Brownie Book
Makes 9 large or 16 small brownies
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 tablespoons vegan shortening, such as Earth Balance, softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato (about 1 medium potato)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil extending it up the sides. Spray the foil with nonstick spray.
In a small bowl, whisk the ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoons of water. Set aside for 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In stand mixer (or a large bowl with an electric mixer) beat the shortening with the brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the mashed sweet potato and the vanilla. Gradually beat in the flour mixture just until combined. Beat (or stir) in the chocolate chips.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it gently to the corners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool the brownies in the pan completely. Using the foil as handles, lift out of the pan and cut into squares. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.