Chocolate and peppermint are a match made in holiday heaven! The addition of instant coffee is optional but highly recommended, as it intensifies the chocolatey flavor. This is a quick and easy, one-bowl recipe that can easily be made gluten-free with the substitution of an all-purpose gf flour blend (I like this one by Bob’s Red Mill). I use half oil and half applesauce to keep these slightly lower in fat, but feel free to use the full amount of oil (or even melted vegan butter) to make them extra gooey, moist and decadent. You can also make classic chocolate brownies by simply omitting the crushed candy canes and peppermint extract.
Peppermint Mocha Brownies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour or sub gluten-free
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee optional
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate chunks
- 1/4 cup crushed candy canes optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13" baking pan. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- Make a well and stir in water, instant coffee, oil, applesauce and extracts. Fold in chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons crushed candy canes.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until edges are visibly cooked and center is set.
- Sprinkle remaining crushed candy cane over brownies while still slightly warm.