Another staple in our house throughout my children’s lives has been homemade brownies. We’ve whipped them together so many times that I don’t need to look at a recipe, and a box mix might actually take longer at this point. Recently, I decided to take our tried and true brownies (which are dairy-free) up a notch, turning them into dairy-free caramel chocolate brownies. And wow! They are super yummy and gooey and chocolatey and caramel-y and decadent. 🙂
The basic brownie recipe is adapted from Jane Zukin’s “Best Ever Brownies” in her Dairy-Free Cookbook, a saving grace for me 20 years ago when I first learned I was allergic to cow’s milk. Imagine a time when you couldn’t find any non-dairy milks in a regular grocery store, and you could only find rice milk (in a small carton, warm on a shelf) in health food stores … AND the Internet as we know it didn’t exist yet. On top of that, I could only find one dairy-free cookbook on the shelves of any of the large bookstores (Amazon didn’t exist yet). Things have changed a LOT since then, and Jane was a pioneer. It’s sooo much easier to eat dairy-free now that coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, dairy-free yogurt and other dairy-free options are available at many grocery stores (even my small town Wal-Mart) and restaurants are much more aware of food allergies.
One thing that hasn’t changed: it is really difficult to find a rich, delicious dairy-free dessert at a restaurant. And so, this original brownie recipe has been a sanity and sweet tooth saver for me, and these dairy-free caramel chocolate brownies take that up a notch! And if someone doesn’t have to eat dairy-free? They’ll never know the difference. My kids and their friends inhaled these over the years, and the first time my mother-in-law tasted them, she asked for the recipe. 🙂