Did Someone Say Brownies?

YES PLEASE!....GASP!...Yes, I like brownies, I'm not ashamed to admit it. There is not often a brownie I meet that I am able to say "no thank you" to, it feels rude and disrespectful. Mostly I just try to avoid having them near me BUT I do believe we must allow room for fun in our healthy eating lifestyles so I do partake from time to time.

This time I would like to share with you my take on Dark Fudgy Brownies.

I have made this recipe once before and a friend asked me about it a month or so ago and instead of just sending the recipe I thought why not make them again?! So here they are in all their glory. **I will share the original recipe with you with my modifications in ().** Original recipe from The Simple Art of Eating Well Cookbook.

Makes: 20 Brownies

Active Time: 30 minutes - Total: 3 hours 20 minutes (including cooling time)

Storage: Store in an airtight container up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 weeks

We like to use chocolate with 60-72% cacao content in these rich, fudgelike brownies, as it imparts a deeper, fuller flavor than less-chocolatey choices. These brownies are small, but they're incredibly intense and fudgy, so you should be able to satisfy a chocolate craving with just one.

Ingredients

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup confectioners' sugar (powdered coconut sugar)

3 T unsweetened cacao powder (special dark)

3 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, plus 2 1/2 oz chopped into mini chip-size pieces, divided

1 1/2 T canola oil (mashed avocado)

1/4 c granulated sugar (beets)

1 1/2 T light corn syrup blended w/3 T lukewarm water

2 t vanilla extract (pure vanilla extract)

1/8 t salt

1 large egg

1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts *optional (opt YES)

This may come as no surprise to those who know me but when I am knee deep in following a recipe from a book I gather all of my required materials, read the recipe over and over and prep my space so there is some sort of "flow". It's what works for me. (However, I inevitably miss something somewhere...also no surprise.) 🙂 Today I didn't though!

Instructions

  1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350. Line an 8" baking pan with foil, letting it over hang on two opposing sides. Coat with cooking spray. (I always wait to do that part until the moment before the batter is poured and it goes straight into the oven.)

I haven't used this cookbook in a while, my dad got it for me, I do rather enjoy it, perhaps I need to see what other yumminess can be found inside. Set up ready...it's a pretty intense recipe to follow but I do love spending time in my kitchen, honestly, if you've ever spent time at my house you know that's where I stand about 90% of the time. Well, stand and have dance parties with my babies. 🙂

I made my own powdered sugar out of coconut sugar, I prefer it to granulated sugar, it's not near as sweet. Just put 2/3 cup into my coffee grinder and viola! Coconut powdered sugar! I wish I had known about this little hack way sooner. I'm oddly proud of my "homemade" powdered sugar.

2. Sift flour, confectioners' (coconut) sugar and cocoa together into a small bowl. Combine 3 oz coarsely chopped chocolate and oil (mashed avocado) in a heavy medium saucepan; place over the lowest heat, stirring, until just melted and smooth, being very careful the chocolate does not overheat. Remove from the heat and stir in granulated sugar (beets), corn syrup mixture, vanilla and salt until smoothly incorporated. Gently stir in the dry ingredients. Fold in the walnuts (if using) and the remaining 2 1/2 oz of chopped chocolate just until well blended. Transfer the batter to the pan, spreading evenly.

Mash up the avocado until its smooth before adding to sauce pan with the chocolate. Don't cook with a high setting, as stated, so the temperature of the chocolate doesn't get away from you. The beets give it a nice rosey glow (last time I made these they came out much more "beet" colored but I also did things a little differently last time too.) By the time every thing is added it looks like all the other brownie batters I've seen. Except it's better! 😉

I went with the Intense Dark Ghirardelli dark chocolate, well, because I'm a dark chocolate kind of girl. I cut a beet up into chunks (Sidenote: Beets bleed a nice red/hot pink kind of color, be oh so careful you don't stain everything in your kitchen.) and put those into a food processor to process down. I could have steamed them and then processed them nice and smooth but let's be real, this recipe already takes a bit of time and that seemed a bit over the top, even for me. Of course my man, my little sugar-holic, was down for a lick of the batter.

3. Bake the brownies until almost firm in the center and a toothpick inserted comes out with some moist batter clinging to it, 20-24 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 1/2 hours...umm, who waits 2 1/2 HOURS for brownies? Who?! Seriously, I want to know.

I waited about as long as I let my french press set once I poured it. Good enough!

4. Using the overhanging foil as handles, carefully lift the brownie slab from the pan. Peel the foil from the bottom; set the slab right side up on the cutting board. Using a large, sharp knife, trim off any dry edges. Mark and then cut the slab crosswise into fifths and lengthwise into fourths. Wipe the blade with a damp cloth between cuts.

Ok, this step is a bit unnecessary but I wanted to give you the whole thing. I left those babies right there on the foil (and wire rack for that matter) when I cut them and I only cut them into 16 brownies (GASP!). No "marking" of any kind was done to cut them and there was also no damp cloth so a little sticky batter got on the knife. No. Big. Deal. Oh, and tell me I'm not the only one that kind of likes those dry edges of the brownie?? (This didn't have any by the way, I cooked mine for 20 minutes and it was done.)

Nutritional facts per brownie **original recipe only**: 102 calories; 4 g fat (2g sat, 2 g mono); 11 mg cholesterol; 17g carbohydrates, 11g added sugars; 1 g protein; 1g fiber; 20mg sodium; 38mg potassium. Again that's for the original recipe, not my modified version.

If you look closely you can kind of see some of the red from the beets. But mostly it just looks like an amazing DARK FUDGY BROWNIE! 🙂 After making these I sat down with my brownie, a cup of hot hazelnut (decaf, it was late) coffee and watched the second half of the Michigan/Michigan State football game. It was glorious.

Unrelated fact: I called a Michigan win in the final seconds and I feel as if the pass wasn't dropped on that last drive it would have happened. Just sayin'.

What I will say about these brownies is this, I think they are a decadent treat. They are not sweet, well barely anyway, they are rich and bold and full of intense dark chocolate flavor. If that's not your thing you may not want to modify in every way I did. Last time I used regular confectioner sugar, definitely ups the "sweet" game, regular cocao powder and likely a less "dark" chocolate. I may share some of  them because I am not sure I can eat them all in two weeks, that's the only unfortunate part of all this. 😉 I hope you enjoy and I would love to know what route you take, original, slightly modified, fully modified?

What is your favorite dessert? I would love some ideas of more recipes to tweak as I create my FITT life! 🙂