Healthy Brownies

I don’t remember anymore who gave me the recipe but it had been languishing in my “box of recipes that i plan to make”. Finally, finally, i made them… in my little electric oven, too!

1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup cocoa
1/2 cup vanilla sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 egg + 1 egg white
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

The procedure is easy too! Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the yogurt and egss. Mix well. Stir in the chips. Put the batter in a lined 8-inch square pan, then bake in a preheated 350*F oven for 25 minutes or so. Do not over bake.

Done.

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Valentine Brownies!

Truth be told, these brownies were plain old brownies… you could even make the boxed variety… as long as you have a heart-shaped cutter… VOILA!  Heart-shaped Valentine Brownies!

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I did discover that it is easier to cut the brownies without them crumbling if they are well chilled… even a bit frozen even.

These were such a hit with the hubby and the kid!

 

Midnight B

When I meet people I know from my teenage days, they always tell me that they remember my brownies and how good they are.  And I was quite proud of those brownies – I can never forget how I stayed up night after night, making one batch of brownies after another.  My initial goal was a fast and easy recipe without sacrificing taste and quality.  I never did reach that goal because while the recipe was relatively simple, it was not fast… the process was rather delicate and a mis-step meant getting a different texture.

But these days, I have a slightly different goal for my baked goods.  While texture still ranks high up, what has become more important to me is producing a (slightly) healthier version.  Of course I cannot eliminate butter or sugar completely but at least I can try as much as possible to reduce them.

So, while I no longer stay up night after night, I still bake batch after batch (with long pauses in between) to experiment and tweak my brownie recipe to perfection!  Yesterday’s experiment turns out to be the best one so far…

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Unoriginal as I am, I initially named this Black Brownies.  This morning, though, I thought it better to call it Midnight B.

It is essentially the same recipe from 30-odd years ago except that I no longer use granulated (highly processed) sugar, instead I use raw sugar or one that has minimal processing (as best as I could find, that is).  I also substituted part of the chocolate with black cocoa because I wanted a super dark brownie (and got a dark-as-midnight color!)… and (!) I added a secret ingredient (which hubby instantly recognized, but not quite on the mark (?????)

Overall, I just looooooooove these!

As for hubby, this is what he had to say…

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(I still have one final experiment to do… if my theory is correct then I will have the ultimate, as well as perfect, brownies!

 

Ovenette Brownies (!)

Ever since we got the small electric oven, I have been obsessed with finding a brownie recipe that was no fuss, fudgy, and “small” enough to fit into the oven… you see, the largest pan that can fit the oven is about 7 inches deep and 9 inches wide… and that’s cutting it close since there is barely enough space on the side for the air to circulate…

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Most brownie recipe is for an 8-inch square, or an 11×7-inch pan, or the bigger 13×9-inch!  None will fit my tiny oven…  but today I think I may have it!

I have a 6×9-inch pan, which is not standard but I am ecstatic to say fits the oven perfectly!  After a couple of experiments, I may just have the recipe for the pan and oven!

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1/3 cup butter-margarine blend
150 grams 60-70% bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup vanilla sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons Dutch cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt

Melt the butter-margarine blend and chocolate in a double boiler.  Cool slightly.  Meanwhile, sift together flour, cocoa and salt; set aside.  Line a 6×9-inch pan with greaseproof paper and leave an overhand of at least 1 inch all around; set aside.

Add sugar to the chocolate mixture and beat until sugar is incorporated.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.

Stir in the flour-cocoa mixture.  Do not overbeat.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.  Place the pan in the center rack of the preheated oven.  Bake for 10 minutes then rotate the pan.  Bake another 10 to 12 minutes.

(Notes:  There simply is no place to put an oven thermometer so I just rely on the oven setting for cupcakes.  Also, it is important to put the pan in the center rack with only the bottom heating element on; I have discovered that with both top and bottom heating on, the brownies come out weird… and if the pan is placed on the bottom level, the bottom gets dried out FAST.)

Check for doneness with the toothpick test.  Toothpick should come out with a few crumbs sticking to it.  If the toothpick is clean, the brownies are overdone!

Cool completely before cutting.

I got 24 pieces, roughly 1-1/2-inch squares.

 

“The Baked Brownie”

Yes, that is the title of the recipe in Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito’s book “Baked:  New Frontiers in Baking”.  I’d been reading a lot about their brownies and how it is THE brownie even connoisseurs like.

The recipe had been on my list for a while but for some reason or another, it was only today that I finally decided to try it once and for all!

Ok, obviously I did not follow the recipe to the letter, but my deviation is only as to form and not substance.

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I used a silicone “fairy cake” pan (shallow round cavities) to make brownie rounds.

And I added some peanut butter chips to some of the rounds (because I looove peanut butter…)

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I discovered something else, too!  The brownie rounds were absolutely heavenly straight out of the freezer!

How did I find this out?  Well, I tried to get the brownie rounds out of the silicone pan after they cooled.  But it was tough to get out (even if the pan was made of silicone, hence non-stick), and bits of brownie were sticking!  So I thought of freezing the pans a while; after that the brownie rounds popped right out.  And because I couldn’t wait, I ate one.  And realized that the frozen brownies were just fantastic!

(so now they are stored in the freezer.)

The recipe is all over the internet (I have the book, though!) and there’s even a spicy version of it (will try that one next time, because hubby loves spicy foods).