For those of you who have never heard of NaNoWriMo, it’s sweeping the nation! November is officially National Novel Writing Month and your goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days, from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30. I’m so pumped because I’ve tried it before and failed, but now I have the extra hours of my commute to get it all done. So far, it’s worked and I’m churning out roughly 2,000 words a day on the train.
NaNoWriMo has become by go-to point of small talk for the month. “Hey Megan, how’s it going?” “GOOD. I’M DOING NANOWRIMO.” Most people are politely interested, and they sometimes ask the dreaded question: “What’s your novel about?” At which point I weirdly gesture with my hands, kind of shrug and then decide that I’m keeping it a secret from the world forever.In short, I’m not going to tell you about it. Maybe 2 weeks from now, I will, but right now (ha, I typed “write now”), it’s my deep dark secret project that only a few people know about because they helped me brainstorm.
So now, instead, I’m going to tell you about these luscious chocolate brownies that will keep you awake all night and help you reach your writing dreams and goals for the month. My coworker friend is allergic to dairy. To the level where she can’t have baked goods that have milk or butter in them. But she loves chocolate. I thought of her as I was making these brownies because I wanted something with extremely dense, dark dark chocolate but with hazelnuts and a sweet layer of caramel on the top. When my friend heard I had made dairy-free caramel, she was so happy. She said she rarely ever gets to eat caramel.
I went about converting these two recipes from some of my favorite bloggers, Michelle & Kristin, into a dairy-free version. I also took this recipe for caramel and adapted it to make it dairy-free. The result: an extremely soft, super dark chocolate brownie with a crunchy, salty sweet layer of hazelnut goodness on the top. So good! I’d even recommend making this in a cast iron skillet and eating it straight from the pan. It’s a similar consistency to the Pizookie at BJ’s restaurants, or a good old deep dish skillet cookie.
Coconut milk & coconut oil were my go-to ingredients for the non-dairy conversion, but I’d be interested to see the effects of almond milk & another type of oil (olive oil?). It’s hard to go wrong with so much gooey chocolate.