Chocolate is the only defense against 33 degrees F and steady rain. It’s seriously the most disgusting weather ever. And to hear my mother talk about how it’s a steamy 75 degrees in Mobile? Well…instead of flying down there to murder her, I decided to temper my feelings of ill will by baking up a comforting, cakey batch of cranberry pecan brownies. While you can bake them in a 8×8 pan, the cast iron skillet really helps the brownies bake evenly and helps produce the cakey quality of the batch. Am I still cold, yes. But am I a bit more comforted? Of course!  And now I’m off to put on another layer of socks.  (shiver)

Cranberry Pecan Skillet Brownies

adapted from Martha Stewart

1 c sugar
3/4 c vegan yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) vegan margarine
1/4 c nondairy milk (I used soy)
8 oz semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 c pecans, chopped
1/2 c dried cranberries, soaked in hot water, then drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, soy yogurt, and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.

In an 8 or 9 inch cast iron skillet, bring margarine and nondairy milk to a simmer over medium heat. Add chocolate; reduce to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate has melted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and let cool 5 minutes.

Add chocolate mixture to sugar mixture, whisking until blended (reserve skillet). Fold in flour mixture. Mix in pecans and cranberries. Pour batter into skillet.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Serve from skillet, warm or at room temperature.