Do you know that saying, the space between the notes are as important as the notes themselves? I kind of feel the same way about these Brownie Magic Bars. I know. I’m getting philosophical today, but if you think of the quiet spot after the first note leading you to the next, you could say the same about a good dessert. It’s the space and time after the first bite that leads you to the second. It’s all as it should be.
I have to confess to having fairly immature taste buds for most of my life. I used to say I wasn’t a picky eater, but when I think about it, I really was. I just wasn’t picky in a good way.
There was a lot of foods I hated and wouldn’t touch – like beets and tomatoes. I wouldn’t even go near a salad that used to have tomatoes on it, I hated them that much. Chickpeas? Blech!
But put a brownie in front of me and I was like a kid at a candy store. See? How immature is that!
So today my taste buds have evolved. A lot! I love things like tomatoes and beets…and chickpeas. I eat salads, and broccoli, and veggie burgers. I love things like guacamole, beans and rice, and steamed green beans.
I’m proud of all that healthiness in my life!
But that doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy those brownies.
What I Love About These Brownie Magic Bars
Look, if I’m going to have a dessert I want it to be more than good. I want it to be ridiculously delicious. I want one bite to lead to the next like smooth jazz.
Wait. Do people actually like jazz?
Let me say that again. I want one bite to lead to the next like Sheryl Crow singing Soak Up the Sun. You know, Sheryl, the first cut of these brownies? It’s always the deepest. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself).
The brownie base is rich and decadent. Then there’s a layer of something divine. Silky. Smooth. Sweet, syrupy condensed almond milk. But that layer just begs for another. And that’s why next you’ll find coconuts. Flaky. Flavorful. You know we can’t end things there. Because to remind us of where we started, we’ll end with a chorus of chocolate. Gooey. Rich. Dark chocolate. And finally. Finally. You arrive at the walnuts. Just a hint in each bite. Crunchy. Nutty. Complete.
There you have it. The reason why the space after one bite, leads to another.
You know what would make me happier than Eddie Van Halen in a guitar shop? If you made these Magic Brownie Bars for yourself and shared a photo with me using #NamelyMarly on Instagram.
- ½ cup vegan butter (Earth Balance works great)
- 1/3 cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds, 1 tbsp corn starch, 3 tbsp water)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ½ cup plant-based milk (soy, almond, etc)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup cocoa
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup almond milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- Heat your oven to 350F and spray the bottom of an 8X8 or 9X9 square baking pan with vegetable cooking spray.
- In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl combine the chocolate chips and margarine. Heat for about 30 seconds until the chocolate begins to melt. Stir and return to the microwave for another 15 seconds. Stir and repeat until the chocolate is melted.
- Add the flax egg, vanilla, plant-based milk, and brown sugar. Stir until well combined.
- In a separate bowl stir together the flour and salt. Pour the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture and stir until just combined. You don't want to overmix this step.
- Spread the brownie layer into your prepared baking pan. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare your Sweetened Almond Condensed Milk by combing the almond milk, corn starch, and sugar in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Stir until there aren't any lumps from the corn starch. Microwave for about a minute and stir. Repeat this until the mixture is nice and thick, usually about 3 minutes. Then add the vanilla and give it one more stir to combine. Set aside until the brownies are ready.
- After 15 minutes of baking, remove the brownies from the oven, top with the Sweetened Almond Condensed Milk, and top that with the coconut, chocolate chips, and chopped walnuts. Return the brownies to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool before serving.
There are so many different yummy magic bar recipes on the interwebs. Here are a few of my faves:
- Brownie Peanut Butter Magic Bars by Crazy For Crust. These are crazy for sure…crazy good!
- Chocolate Magic Brownie Bars by Back for Seconds. Delish!
- Ultimate Magic Cookie Bars by Sally’s Baking Addiction.
- Of course, there’s also these Vegan Mini Magic Bars by your favorite blogger ever. What do you mean who?
Whatever magic bars you’re conjuring, enjoy!