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Brownies

by on August 8, 2012 · 9 comments

I was hesitant to post yet another brownie recipe, but then I tried this one!  Originally from Eating Well Magazine and recommended by Katrina, it has less butter than most brownie recipes, but enough chocolate to keep the brownies satisfying and flavorful. A little bit of corn syrup makes the brownies chewy (I used honey instead), and a topping of toasted nuts keeps the brownies interesting.

Brownies

– Katrina used butter instead of oil for her brownies, and since I followed her recipe I did too. The original recipe did use oil, though, so that’s an option.

– As mentioned, I used honey in place of corn syrup. Having made some really good brownies with honey (Honey Bear Brownies!), I thought the honey would taste good here, too. It was okay, but the flavor got in the way and in hindsight I wish I’d just stuck with the corn syrup.

– And finally, one really nice thing about this recipe is that it calls for 3 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate. This leaves lots of room for experimenting with different brands and flavors of chocolate. For instance, if it only called for unsweetened, you wouldn’t have a lot of choices because most mainstream grocery stores just sell Baker’s and Ghirardelli unsweetened. However, with semisweet and bittersweet you can choose from all kinds of brands. For instance, my regular grocery store several types of bars in the 50 to 72% cacao range, plus they also have some flavored dark chocolates such as Green & Black’s Maya Gold.

It was interesting reading the reviews of this recipe over on Eating Well. Some people absolutely hated these brownies, while others gave them 5 stars. And then there were some reviews where people left terrible comments, but gave the brownies 4 stars. I’m not sure what was up with that, but I did feel sorry for the people whose brownies turned out terrible. My guess is that they didn’t fluff up or weigh their flour. And if they didn’t have (or use) a scale to weigh the flour, it’s possible they might have tried to use 3 volume ounces of chocolate. I really don’t know, but I always wish I could go and see what people were doing differently than the test kitchen to get awful results. Maybe that should be a TV show? Someone finds horrible, horrible reviews from a cooking website, then shows up at the person’s door (not sure how they would find them) and says “Let’s make this item together>”.  I’d watch that.  Maybe nobody else would.

Anyhow, give these a try and measure everything carefully. I think you’ll like the results. They’re not as rich as regular brownies, but I think they are just as satisfying. I may make another batch today…without the honey.

 

Brownies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Reduce fat fudge brownie recipe
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (21 grams) unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate (86 grams), coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons (15 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup blended with 3 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large, cold egg
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) all-purpose flour — fluff it up or sift before measuring
  • 2/3 cup (73 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup extra dark chocolate chips (or use about 2 ounces chopped chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup toasted and chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with nonstick foil or line with regular foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan. Add chocolate to the hot butter and remove from heat. Stir, using residual heat from chocolate, until it is melted and smooth. If the chocolate doesn’t melt completely, return it to a very low heat. When melted, stir in the cocoa powder, then stir in the sugar and the corn syrup/water mixture. Add the vanilla, salt, and egg and beat with a spoon just until mixed.
  3. Combine the flour and powdered sugar and stir into the batter. Make sure the batter is cool, then add the chocolate chips and nuts. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly.
  4. Bake for 22-24 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack for at least 2 hours. Remove the brownies from the pan by lifting the foil, then cut into 16 squares.
Notes
Measure everything carefully and don’t swap out the first 3 ounces of chopped chocolate for chocolate chips. You’ll get better results with good chocolate.

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Published on August 8, 2012

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Cookie Sleuth August 8, 2012 at 12:44 pm

They look and sound good to me! Very interesting on the crazy reviews…

Jennifer August 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I love reading reviews, so I think I’d like that show. I always wonder if it’s actually the recipe or “operator error.”

It drives me crazy when people rate a recipe that they didn’t even try! I’ve read reviews that say things like “Two sticks of butter, that’s crazy. Too fattening!” and then given the recipe zero stars and ones that say “This sounds good!” and rated the recipe 5 stars. I think the only point in reviewing a recipe is giving feedback for future bakers, so the review should contain helpful information. I really love it when people say things like “I cut the sugar back to xxx c. and it still turned out really well” or “You can sub in applesauce for half the oil and the texture is still good.”
Can you tell I’ve thought about this a lot? Maybe that makes me a big weirdo. Oh, and I hate it when people say that a recipe is horrible and then go on and on about the substitutions they made. I only comment on a recipe where I made substitutions if the recipe still turned out, or to let people know, “do not sub x for y” and I would never then rate the recipe (that isn’t really the recipe due to the change) poorly.

Katrina August 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Mmm, they look good. Love the nuts on top! Now I want to make them again.

Chewthefat August 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm

As a literary ‘geek,’ I love reading the reviews as if they were kind of a drama. Seriously, it’s sometimes almost like a debate or a play unfolding. Most of the reviews I read complained that the brownies were too sweet, though, which is pretty common with low-fat baked goods. Maybe they didn’t use as high a cacao range or as dark a chocolate as you and Katrina?

Sue August 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm

You can never post too many brownie recipes!! Like CCC’s there are so many variations on this humble treat.
As to the reviews. Jennifer stated my views perfectly.

Carolyn August 9, 2012 at 9:02 am

I always take reviews with a grain of salt (or sugar), unless are a significant (e.g. >50) reviews to balance out the ones that are way off base. This goes for recipes, hotels, etc.

Manjari Jain August 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Hi! I think this recipe is going to be great and am dying to try it.it not notw looks delicious but also ideal for weight watchers as it contains low fat. However since I’m sure vegetarian i need a substitute for egg. Can anybody suggest a substitute pls?

Also i would like to add that the idea on the tv show is very innovative and wish somebody actually translates into a show! I shall definitely be watching it!

Anna August 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Since this brownie recipe only has one egg, you might be able to use 1 tablespoon of flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water. Alternatively, you might want to take a look at this recipe which is vegan and contains no dairy or eggs.

http://www.cookiemadness.net/2007/05/every-day-vegan-brownies/

And thanks for supporting my TV show idea. LOL!!

Manjari Jain August 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Hi Anna,

Thanks a ton for your prompt response. I think i am going to try both the variations and report back on this page. It will take me some time as I’m tied up with something for time being.

Thanks once again!

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