After my success with Skinny Cherry Yogurt Cheesecake, I decided that maybe I should give lighter desserts a try. I was flipping through The Best Light Recipe cookbook by Cook’s Illustrated and saw a recipe for lighter brownies. I’ve never made anything from Cook’s Illustrated that was bad, so I decided this would be a great recipe to follow my skinny cheesecake. They promised full-chocolate flavor with chewy, fudgy texture and they delivered! The only change I made was to use white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose but if you hadn’t told me they were lighter I wouldn’t have known. The only complaint I had was that after I cut an 8×8 pan into 12 squares, each brownie was kind of small. I think 9 brownies would be a more generous and (let’s be honest) realistic serving size for most people. Enjoy!
Lighter Whole Wheat Brownies
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3/8 tsp instant espresso powder
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped fine (do not use chocolate chips)*
1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1/8 tsp table salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil and coat lightly with non-stick spray.
2. Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl; set aside. In a separate bowl, which the cocoa, water, vanilla, and espresso powder until melted, about 1 minute; whisk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the sugar and salt until completely incorporated. Whisk in the cocoa mixture, then whisk in the egg. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated (do not over mix).
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour, life the brownies out of the pan and cut into 12 brownies.
Note: Chocolate chips contain stabilizers and other additives that will make your brownies dry and squatty. Use bar chocolate instead.
*adapted from Cook’s Illustrated’s The Best Light Recipe
Nutritional info (per brownie): 111 calories; 4.7 g fat; 17.1 g carbohydrates; 1.2 g fiber; 1.7 g protein