Saturday, February 14, 2009
"Better than a Box" Brownies
There is nothing like a good brownie. I grew up with brownies from a box. I loved making them and eating them. At some point, someone, somewhere brought to my attention that most boxed brownies don't even really taste like chocolate. No way. Really? The next time I saw one of these "not really chocolate" chocolate brownies, I tasted it. I used my senses and not my eyes. Hmm, it was good, sweet, and dark but...not really that chocolately.
I then did some research and found the ingredient listing of one of the more popular brands:
Sugar, Enriched Flour Bleached (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid) Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Corn Starch, Salt, Carob Powder, Artificial Flavor, Nonfat Milk. Contains Wheat and Milk.
Not as much chocolate as I would have expected...so, I looked for an easy recipe. I came up with the following, after playing around with a couple of recipes. I've made some adjustments and am happy with the results (as are most friends I serve this to!).
I put this recipe in the category of "healthy" because the ingredients are whole and I've cut the sugar down quite a bit. And healthy is all relative. Although I'd like to make a meal of these, a little square is a nice treat. As long as you don't overdo any treats and you are eating a balanced diet, in my opinion, you deserve a brownie once in a while.
I've included lots of pictures to give you an idea of how to do it. Start it at 5pm, they will be in the oven by 5:30 and out by 6:00. If dinner is done at 6:30, pour a glass of milk and enjoy!
"Better than a Box" Brownies
½ c semi sweet chocolate chips, like Guittard
2 oz bittersweet chocolate
3 Tbl unsalted butter (you can use 6Tbl butter instead of using the oil)
3 Tbl canola or vegetable oil
¾ c white organic sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¾ c unbleached white flour
½ tsp salt
½ c semi sweet chocolate chips
1. In a microwave safe bowl, place chocolate chips, bittersweet chocolate and butter. In 30 second intervals, microwave butter and chocolates, stirring in between until chocolate is melted. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Add oil.
2. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. This temperature helps to cook brownies more evenly. Spray an 8”x8” pan with non-stick spray. You can also line the pan with foil if you want to be able to remove the whole brownie from the pan, and then cut into pieces.
3. In another bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Mix in the chocolate from step 1.
4. Add flour, salt and chocolate chips and mix until blended. Pour into square baking pan and use a spatula to get out every last drop.
5. Bake about 27-31 mins. It’s done when a toothpick inserted in the middle has moist chocolate on it but is neither dry nor very wet.