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[Halloween Recipe] Bend The Bones And Have A Snack: Vegan HOCUS POCUS Book Brownies

Sisters, All Hallow’s Eve has become a night of frolic, where children wear costumes, run amok and eat Hocus Pocus Vegan Brownies!

It’s been almost 30 years since The Sanderson Sisters wormed their way into our hearts and the cult phenomenon Hocus Pocus (1995) first graced our screens. After three decades the adoration for this hair-raisingly hilarious, and slightly devastating (ILY Thackery Binx!) film has grown exponentially and with the highly anticipated sequel streaming now I thought I’d whip up a fun and easy recipe for you to enjoy upon your first, second and thousandth watch.

These fudgy, dense, and wickedly indulgent brownies are made completely dairy free, I promise you’ll never reach for another brownie recipe after making these. My only gripe is once you’ve made them you’re going to be inundated with requests to make them time and time again. I just wish eating brownies made me as young and beautiful as eating a child’s life force made the Sandersons. Oh well, back to the retinol for me.


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What you’re going to need:

  • Dairy-Free Plain Chocolate: Use a chocolate with a cocoa percentage of between 65 – 75% for the tastiest results. Don’t use milk chocolate as your brownies will be so sweet you’ll wish your mouth was sewn shut like Billy’s.
  • Oat Milk: You can use any dairy-free milk you like, oat is my favourite. Nothing you’ve milked from a rat.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: This is used to create a vegan buttermilk when mixed with the dairy-free milk. You can also use lemon juice or white wine vinegar in place of apple cider.
  • Plain Flour: Also known as All Purpose Flour.
  • Baking Powder: Gives a little rise to the brownies. Magic!
  • Cocoa Powder: Dutch-processed cocoa powder is the best to use for these brownies. Nice and dark, just like my soul.
  • Caster Sugar: Also known as superfine sugar.
  • Vegetable Oil: Any neutral-tasting oil will do in place.
  • Vanilla Extract: Optional but adds a little lift to the overall flavour.
  • Dairy-Free Milk Chocolate: I like to use milk chocolate for the piping as I think it adds a little definition to the finished result but you can use plain or even white chocolate if you prefer.
  • Edible Eyeballs: Small candies which look like little eyes. You can find these online or in specialist cake shops.


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Tips For Making Hocus Pocus Vegan Brownies:

  • Measurements: I cannot recommend using actual scales rather than cups. You’ll get much more consistent results in your baking, you’ll never look back. A set of digital scales are easy to store and relatively cheap, they’re so worth the small investment. I’ll always include cup measurements but be aware they’re not as accurate and results can vary slightly.
  • Milk – You can use any dairy-free milk you prefer, I used oat milk in this recipe as it’s what I had in the fridge.
  • Vegan Buttermilk – Making vegan buttermilk is so simple, you simply add acid to milk. That’s it. I’ve used apple cider vinegar but you can also use white wine vinegar or lemon juice. Just don’t use malt vinegar. For the love of god!
  • Chocolate – Use the best quality chocolate you can afford, you can really taste the difference with a high cocoa percentage. If you don’t want to melt your chocolate over the stove, you can pop it in the microwave and heat in bursts of 20 seconds. Stir between each burst until completely melted.
  • Baking time – Baking time can vary from oven to oven so it’s best to start checking your brownies at the 30-minute mark. The centre should be just set when you remove the pan from the oven. I’d recommend an oven thermometer for best results.
  • Tins – I use an 8×8″ square tin to bake my brownies but if you’d prefer to use a 9×13″ tin, adjust your baking time to 25-30 minutes. Be aware that your brownies will come out thinner.
  • Make them Gluten Free – Just swap the plain flour for a gluten-free blend.
  • Cutting the brownies – We all know cutting brownies can be a pain in the bum. A gooey mess one might say. Here are a few tips for super sharp brownie squares: Make sure the brownies are fully cold before cutting, I like to rest mine in the fridge overnight. Place the brownies on a large chopping board and run a sharp knife under hot water. Repeat this after every slice.
  • Freezing – You can freeze the undecorated brownies for up to 3 months. Allow to come to room temperature before decorating.
  • Piping Chocolate – Once you’ve melted your chocolate you’re going to want to let it set slightly before you start decorating. You want to be able to pipe defined lines so make sure you leave it in the bag for around 10 minutes before you start decorating. If you want to test your chocolate, pipe a small line on a sheet of kitchen paper and see how it goes. If it’s still a little thin, squeeze the chocolate further up the bag and let sit for a few more minutes.
  • Edible Eyeballs – You can pick up edible eyeball sprinkles from most supermarkets or online fairly cheap. If you can’t find any you can use any white circular candy and dab a spot of writing icing in the centre for the pupil.


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Vegan Hocus Pocus Brownies

For the Brownies:

  • 100g(2/3 cup) dairy-free plain chocolate, melted
  • 240ml(1 cup) oat milk
  • 1tbspapple cider vinegar
  • 250g(1 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 1tspbaking powder
  • 80g(1/2 cup +1tbsp) cocoa powder
  • 200g(1 cup) light brown sugar
  • 150g(2/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 240ml(1 cup) vegetable oil
  • 1tspvanilla extract
  • 100g(2/3 cup) dairy-free plain chocolate chips

To Decorate:

  • 50g(1/2 cup) dairy-free milk chocolate, melted
  • edible eyeball sprinkles

Directions :

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C (330°f) and line a 8″x8″ square tin with baking parchment.
  2. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan melt 100g vegan chocolate over a low heat. Set aside.
  3. Pour the oat milk into a jug and stir in the apple cider vinegar, set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer add the flour, baking powder, cocoa and sugars together until combined. With the mixer on low pour the melted chocolate into the dry ingredients followed by the oat milk then the vegetable oil and vanilla extract.  Mix until just combined, the batter will be quite thick.
  5. Stir through the chopped vegan chocolate and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, there should be a slight jiggle to the centre of the brownie when you take it out.
  6. Allow to cool completely in the tin before lifting out and placing on a chopping board. Cut the brownies into 16 squares, wiping the knife between each cut to keep the brownies neat and tidy.

To Decorate:

  1. Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave in bursts of 10 seconds until smooth. Pour the melted chocolate into a disposable piping bag or a ziplock bag and leave for around 10 minutes or until the chocolate has thickened slightly to a pipe-able consistency. You can test this by piping a small line on a sheet of kitchen paper before you start on your brownies.
  2. Snip the corner off the bag and pipe the design on each brownie, starting with a zigzag down one edge, some stitches and then a small circle for the lock. (refer to the images for a guide) Pipe a small dab of writing icing on the underside of an edible eyeball and place it inside the circle.
  3. Enjoy under a full moon, no children were harmed in the making of these brownies.


Boooooooooooooooook. Show us your own Book Brownies creations on social media (if you don’t eat em all before you get a chance to snap a pic). Share your photos with us over on Twitter or in the Nightmare on Film Street Discord! Not a social media fan? Get more horror delivered straight to your inbox by joining the Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter.

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