Chewy Cocoa Brownies: {Meatless} Monday Meal

Chewy Cocoa Brownies from teeny tiny foodie

A few months ago I was asked by Diana Rice and the folks at The Monday Campaigns to take part in a really fun cooking challenge. My task, if I chose to accept it, was to create a special recipe for brownies that followed the strict guidelines listed below:

  • 1. Don’t use any artificial sweeteners, only real sugar
  • 2. A fruit purée, without added sugar, could provide additional sweetness
  • 3. Each serving should contain no more than 4 grams, or 1 teaspoon, of sugar
  • 4. Use 100% whole-wheat flour
  • 5. Use traditional, easily accessible ingredients that people can find in any store across the country

 

Well, that should be simple enough, right?

But since I’m me and I really do love a cooking challenge, I happily agreed. I figured I’d learn as I went along and that at the end, I would have a new recipe to show for it. This experience is what led to my recent “sugar {information} binge” and the creation of some new recipes for muffins, smoothies and sweets that are “smart about sugar” by containing no more than 1 teaspoon of sugar per serving.

Why were there so many rules for these brownies, you ask?

This recipe was going to be shared as part of a family activity packet prepared by The Kids Cook Monday that tied in with the release of the movie Fed Up. In case you missed it, Fed Up is a documentary produced by Laurie David and Katie Couric that was in theaters in May and was just released last week on iTunes, Blu-Ray and DVD. Fed Up focuses mainly on the health problems affecting children in our country as a result of sugar. The movie asks us as a country to examine our diets, think about the food we eat and pay attention the amount of sugar we consume.

But back to my brownies…

Figuring out how to sweeten the brownies was a challenge. Typically, brownie recipes contain a lot of sugar to balance out the naturally bitter flavor of unsweetened cocoa powder. Since I had a limit on how much sugar to use, I tested a variety of sugars to determine which one yielded the sweetest result. Now, after no less than eight different recipe trials and revisions, an intense week of brownie baking at all hours of the day and night and brownie consuming by my family, friends, neighbors and anyone else’s taste buds I could get a hold of, I present my recipe for Chewy Cocoa Brownies. You can find a slightly altered version on the resources page for the Fed Up Challenge.

 

  • Chewy Cocoa Brownies
  • Yields 16 servings

 

Ingredients:

  • -1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • -2 large eggs
  • -2 additional large egg yolks
  • -⅓ cup dark brown sugar
  • -1 ounce pure vanilla extract
  • -¼ cup unsweetened, all-natural applesauce (homemade or store-bought without any added sugar)
  • -¼ teaspoon salt
  • -2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • -Just less than ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • -¾ cup whole wheat flour

 

Ingredients for Chewy Cocoa Brownies from teeny tiny foodie

 

Preparation:

Heat your oven to 350° and line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the cooled butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks and then the whole eggs, whisking vigorously after each addition. Continue to whisk for around 30 seconds. Next, add all of the ingredients in order up until the flour and whisk vigorously after each ingredient. Lastly, mix in the flour using a rubber spatula.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread out the mixture into an even layer.

Bake 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove brownies from oven and let sit in the pan for 30 seconds before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow brownies to cool for at least one hour before slicing into small squares.

Chewy Cocoa Brownies from teeny tiny foodie

The irony of this cooking adventure is that I don’t like chocolate and I’m not really familiar with how a brownie “should” taste and what texture it “should” be. Oh, and texture? That was a crazy one because there are apparently three camps of brownie people out there: fudgy, cakey and chewy. Oh boy! I had to add an extra level of “research” and brownie sampling to figure it all out. All in a days work, huh? 😉

Taste testing Chewy Cocoa Brownies from teeny tiny foodie

 

Happy {Smart About Sugar} Cooking!

 

 

Related Posts:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

« Previous Next »

recipes & tips to create a foodie baby & family

↓ More ↓