Friday, January 6, 2012

Healthy Brownies

 Do you ever get those days, or weeks :), where all you can do is think about a certain food?

I'm a pretty good multi-tasker, but it gets like I just can't do anything but think about how I'm going to solve my craving.  It happens to me every once in a while, and no matter what I eat, unless it's exactly what my mouth wants, I just can't shake the craving.  It got so bad the other night, that I made up the excuse we needed milk just so I could run to the grocery store.  I know the hubby is reading this and I am so caught, but it's just too funny to not share. 

While I'm driving to the store, I'm thinking I'll just grab one of those big, thick, nasty brownies from the bakery, this craving will go away, and I'll be me again.  You know those brownies I'm talking about.  The big, fat fudgy ones with the 1/2 inch layer of ganache on top.  I knew the craving was for a brownie, and I was feeling way too lazy to make them myself.  Plus, I didn't have a recipe I knew would be healthy and solve this craving at the same time, so bad-for-me brownies were just going to have to be the solution.  Then, my brain started going.  I guess I should insert some sort of warning here like BEWARE:  You are now entering Danielle's brain.  She thinks a lot, sometimes too much.  Her thoughts may sound a bit crazy at times too, so read with caution. :)

So, I'm thinking to myself  "I know that I am going to take one bite of that brownie, the sugar is going to coat my teeth, my teeth are going to start hurting and all I will taste is nasty, pesticide, gross, sweet mess.  It won't even be good."  Fortunately, or maybe sometimes unfortunately, my brain knows better than my mouth.  I've gotten so used to eating whole sugars and in smaller amounts that when I eat white sugar, it really doesn't taste good at all, and it makes my teeth hurt.  On top of that, the what I like to call "fake" ingredients don't even taste good anymore.  The more whole and organic you eat, the less you want of the processed stuff.  I know that sounds crazy, but if you happen to jump on my bandwagon, you will be singing the same song real soon too.

But, in spite of what my brain was telling me, I was still going to buy that brownie...this craving had a death grip and was not letting go.  Then, it happened again, "What if someone SEES me buying this brownie??  I will look like such a hypocrite!!", my brain said.   My solution...I'm such a dope sometimes....I was going to get my milk first, scope out the store, grab the brownie and check out as fast as I possibly could.  The thought had even crossed my mind to bag my own stuff just to make sure the brownie was out of sight ASAP.  Did I mention I think too much?  Or, maybe the craving had just gotten a hold of me so tight, it was cutting off the circulation to my brain!!

Turns out, ironically there were no brownies to be found in the bakery, and I could have used all that brain power for something a little less ridiculous.  My problem now, the craving was still eating me alive.  So laziness aside, off to the kitchen I went to make me some healthy brownies.

I had a recipe that I'd been wanting to tweak a bit and try out.  May I say...these are delicious!!  Keep this in mind though...I call this a healthy brownie, but that's not the green light to go hog wild and eat the whole pan (like I almost did).



1/2 c Butter (Organic if you have it)
1/4 c. Cacao Powder (sub with dark cocoa powder if you can't find cacao powder)
1 c. Sucanat (use any form of less processed sugar if you can't find sucanat)
10 oz Organic Dark Chocolate Chips divided (I used 65% Cacao)
2 Eggs beaten (Organic if you have them)
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
3/4 c Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

Preheat Oven to 325

Melt the butter, cacao powder, sucanat and 5 oz of the chocolate chips over a double boiler.  It takes a while to get the sucanat to melt, so be patient.  Stirring helps with the melting. Once it's melted (about 10 minutes), let the mixture cool.

Add the beaten eggs and vanilla.  Combine well.  Add salt and flour.  Mix until flour is just barely absorbed (over mixing will cause tough brownies).  Fold in the remaining 5 oz of chocolate chips.

Pour into greased 8 x 8 pan.  Bake for 20-30 minutes.  You want the center to still be a little soft when you pull them from the oven.  If you over bake them, they will be dry.  
Happy Baking!


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