Brownie Hunter…

Brownie hunter1


I made brownies last night.  Can you tell?

Brownies

My latest adventure: finding the bestest, most unique, luscious brownie recipes!  Full of rich, melty goodness that I just love, and popping with flavor!  As my baking is veeeeeery low/no fat, it proves to be a tad more of a challenge.  Not to worry, I accept the gauntlet thrown!

It is here that I shall keep track of my cocoa-laden experiments, both the good and the bad.

I’m keeping it simple for now: What’s the best fat substitute in brownies?  Applesauce?  Yogurt?  Pureed fruit?  I used Greek yogurt for this one.

For the base recipe, I used Hershey’s Ultimate Chocolate Brownies recipe.

That’s right, baby, this is alllll from scratch!

I halved the recipe, so here it is, with my modifications.

Ingredients

1/4 C. + 2 Tbs. Unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp. Baking soda

1/2 tsp. Ground cinnamon

1/2 C. Boiling water (I just used the microwave)

1 C. Sugar

1 egg

1/2 C. + 2 Tbs. + 2 tsp All Purpose (AP) Flour (I’m giving exact measurements)

2 tsp. Vanilla extract

1/3 C. Nonfat, plain Greek yogurt (use dry measuring tools)

1/8 tsp. Salt

Nonstick cooking spray

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350; Coat 8″ pan with nonstick spray.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

3.  Add in the boiling water and mix until combined.

4.  Mix in the Greek yogurt until combined, then add in the sugar, eggs and vanilla, mixing thoroughly until smooth.

5.  Add in flour and salt, whisking until combined.  Note: Mine was lumpy, until I gave it a couple good whisks ’round the bowl, then it was lusciously smooth!  While boxed brownie mix is normally lumpy, I didn’t want to take the chance of having any unmixed bits of yogurt – didn’t hurt it!

6.  Pour into pan and bake 40 mins, then cool out of the oven and in the pan for 10 mins.

7.  Grab some milk or ice cream for accompaniment!

Notes:

  • I doubled the vanilla – just cause I like vanilla!  It turned out pretty well, I think.
  • The cinnamon was from my own whimsy as well.  Totally optional
  • I used the 1/2 cup of boiling water that’s used in the original recipe, as opposed to 1/4 cup.  When I tried that, the end result was that of mortar for brick-laying.  It did NOT work.

Conclusions:

  • The cinnamon didn’t work as I wished it would; I was hoping for a brownie that really popped in my mouth, but it didn’t do the trick.  It gave it a little something extra, just not the same something I was seeking.
  • I highly recommend using the entire cup of sugar.  I quite often bake using reduced amounts of sugar, but take my word for it, it does not work here.  I started out using 3/4 of a cup, and the batter was terribly bittersweet.  The one cup worked perfectly.  I enjoy using alternative sweeteners, reducing sugar and the like, but for now I’d rather fiddle with one ingredient (fat) and get it just right before moving on.
  • The Greek yogurt worked very well!  Sometimes brownies can be spongy when using an alternative to fat, but it wasn’t here.  I’m not certain if it was due using a scratch recipe or the yogurt itself, but either way, yum!
  • Results: Slightly fudgy interior and superbly crunchy exterior!!!  Deeeelicious!!  The original recipe calls for 30-35 minutes of baking time, so I started out at 30, and it was far too underdone.  I ended up baking it for 40 and cooling for 10, in the pan.  If you like yours a little less fudgy, add a little more baking time.
  • Leftover brownies are much less crispy.  This supports my belief that they should be eaten the day they’re made!!

So, how do you like your brownies?  Topped with toffee?  Glammed up with ganache?

What’s your favorite twist on a brownie?  Let me know in the comments!

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4 Responses to Brownie Hunter…

  1. roxieandme says:

    So, since this was not the ultimate perfect Brownie you were wanting….did you toss the rest out – or crumble and freeze it for an incredible brownie ice cream cake??? 🙂

  2. Karen C says:

    You can never have enough brownies! Love this recipe!!

    • Thanks! I highly recommend waiting until the pan is cool enough to handle, then just eat them straight out of the pan with a spoon – a little frozen yogurt on top never hurt anyone!
      The cinnamon wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, but if you add about a 1/2 teaspoon of espresso powder, it really makes the chocolate come alive!!
      Hope you enjoy them!

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