I have recently had the good fortune of befriending the talented, ethical vegan baker behind the genius of Gone Pie. Along with her innate talent for carefully sourcing superb ingredients with which to create her goodies, I can attest that she is also incredibly generous: having gifted me a number of her treats to sample in a most humble and thoroughly thoughtful gesture. I admit that while I have been eyeing Gone Pie offerings for some time now, besides my traditional brownie sundaes from Lula's, I had yet to experience any of the other goodies first hand- in a manner condusive to focusing on the baked good (as opposed to enjoying it as part of the monster sundae assembled atop). It seems, however, that the NYC population is way ahead of me in their appreciation of the goods; establishments carrying Gone Pie do not stay stocked for long!
Needless to say, I anxiously dug in to the booty with my carefully selected panel of esteemed tasters. Including myself: 1 vegan, 1 vegetarian, and 1 dreaded omni.
The scent tantallizing and the untouched pan a sight to behold, the coconut brownie beckoned to us all. As for the taste, in short: RIDICULOUS. Neither the chocolate or the coconut competes for attention; they simply coexist in a magnificent way. As you enjoy every aspect of the brownie's center, edges, and topping, you are struck by the overall quality, which is impeccable and unmistakable. I am the farthest thing from a foodie or a food snob, but one bite told me that this brownie was not your typical cocoa and extract concoction- far from it. Containing two kinds of chocolate and a combination of coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut milk and toasted coconut shavings (among other things, of course), the result is astounding. As a lover of sweets I've never understood how some indulgences are described as being sufficiently satisfying with only a finite portion; now I do.
The vegetarian's response to the brownie tasting opportunity as a whole can only be described as gleeful. As soon as she took her first bite she reiterated her typical Lula's comment, "I love these brownies" repeatedly. The omni, well, he pretty much just scarfed it down.
As if the brownies themselves weren't enough, brownies from Gone Pie come equipped with a bonus: "rich, dark frosting". To be honest, I'm finding it hard to fully articulate my reaction to the "frosting". For starters, surely there is a more appropriate word in the english language to describe it's decadence. I do not like frosting; it's stiff, unnatural, and sometimes even grainy. I do not like chocolate syrup; more often than not it tastes like a chemical contrivance. As for sauce, it can taste burnt and/or fake. But this, this "rich, dark frosting" Gone Pie concoction is some kind of inimitable, decadent chocolate delight! I tasted it and fell into a sort of trance from it's pure rich, chocolateyness. When I emerged from the fog of deliciousness, I looked up at the vegetarian in inquiry. My incredulous gaze was met with an immediate nod and a barely audible, "I know"; no further conversation was required. This suited the omni just fine, as he wordlessly smeared his brownie with more delight.
Obviously, the Gone Pie coconut brownies were a smashing success amongst the entire panel. It's hard to decide what was the favorite: the coconut brownie, the coconut brownie enhanced with chocolate delight, or the chocolate delight on it's own. Yes, you read right; I ate it "plain" because it's that good. I dare you to resist! Ultimately I would have to recommend the coconut brownie with the chocolate delight on the side so that you could alternate "with" and "without" bites. Yes, that should definitely be your game plan.
Oh, and did I mention that the brownies were gluten-free? Yep, yep they were. Gone Pie offers "regular" and gluten-free brownies, along with many other gluten-free options. I am not gluten intolerant myself, so I had no idea these folks had it so good!
If you haven't done so already, click over and order yourself some brownie goodness from Gone Pie. While I unequivocally recommend the coconut, they come in other flavors as well: traditional, pumpkin (!) and walnut. Additionally, they are happy to work with you on special orders/requests. Whatever your preference, you won't be dissappointed. And, if you truly can't contain yourself, indulge in a brownie sundae if you must.
Stay tuned for more from Gone Pie on A Soy Bean.
5/30/10 note: At the time of the original post, two small squares of brownie were frozen