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Monday, March 31, 2008

I promised you Brownies! And look--two different kinds!

Mmmmmmm, broooooownieeees. Whether you like them cakey or fudgy... fudgey (I've GOT to get a correct spelling on that. Firefox is telling me that those are both wrong, hehe.), everyone loves brownies. I usually go for fudge-like (that works! woo!), but I won't turn a cakey brownie away, either. I'm an equal-opportunity-brownie kind of girl. Give me a brownie and a glass of milk, and I'm happy!

In the last couple of weeks, I've tried two new recipes, and come across so many more I want to try. Who isn't always on the lookout for the perfect brownie recipe, right?

The two that I ended up choosing were not for their sinfully-bad-for-you and chocolate-loaded qualities, but for their "Hey, this looks interesting, let's see what they're like" qualities.

And guess what? They're both fantastic brownie recipes! Both rich and chocolatey, but not so bad for you that you'll feel guilty indulging in one or two.

First up was Whole Wheat Brownies from Made Healthier. We've really been trying to get more whole grains into our diets and into our kids, hehe. They were really good! I'll definitely make them again! They were cakey, moist and very chocolatey. They didn't taste like whole wheat, either, and the kids liked them--that was the most important test!

I knew I wanted to get more chocolate into them, so I melted some chocolate to add to the batter. I also keep some instant coffee on hand just for brownies. Never. For. Drinking. Ever. But add some to brownie batter, and it makes them have a deeper, more intense chocolate flavor. Geez, I'm getting hungry just thinking about them! I also doubled the recipe because we're a big family, and an 8x8 pan will be gone faster than you can look at a brownie and yell "I call that one!" The recipe calls for 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and since I was doubling it, I melted 1/3 cup of butter, along with between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of bittersweet chocolate. You can see the original recipe here. And I'll post it here with my changes:

Whole Wheat Brownies

1 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup butter
scant 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate
2-3 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Melt the butter and the bittersweet chocolate together in the microwave. Start with about one minute, then 15 second increments, stirring after each 15 seconds until the chocolate is melted.
Stir the coffee granules into the butter chocolate mixture.
In another bowl, combine the oil, butter mixture, milk, water, eggs and vanilla.
Add the wet stuff to the dry stuff, stir in the chocolate chips, and combine.
Pour into 2 greased 8 inch square pans.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Cool (if you can wait), and cut into squares. They tasted even better every day, too. Until the end of the third day--then they were all gone. ;)

Being served next: Raw Vegan Brownies

I was so intrigued when I saw this recipe. I read it over at 28 Cooks--another great blog! It has only 5 ingredients, and no baking--hence the name Raw Vegan Brownies. ;)

My husband loves bars and things made with dried fruit, so I knew right away he'd love these. I mentioned the recipe to him and he hounded me until I made them, hehe. They are fabulous! Really. I can't even believe how chocolatey they are. They're like a little miracle brownie! I don't think you could make these without a food processor, though. You've got to process it all together until you have the dried fruit chopped ultra fine and mixed thoroughly with the other ingredients. I should add that I doubled the recipe, planning to make 2 pans, but pressing half the mixture into one 8 inch pan was going to give us really thin brownies, so we put all of it into one square pan and got what you see in the photo.

Raw Vegan Brownies

1/2 c dried pitted dates--not the sugary coated chopped ones--you're using a food processor anyway, get the whole pitted dates
1/2 c dried cherries

1/4 c cocoa powder

1 c walnuts

3 tbsp agave nectar

(you can use carob powder and honey in place of the cocoa and agave, if you prefer)

Add all ingredients to food processor and process until everything is thoroughly combined and chopped. Press into a square pan, and freeze for one hour. (To make it easier to cut them into bars, I lined the pan with plastic wrap and then lifted the whole thing out after freezing. Peel off the plastic and cut into bars.) Remove from freezer, cut into squares, and store in the fridge. Deelicious, and rich, so cut them into small squares.

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Erin said...

Hey Elle,

I have never found a baked goods recipe that used whole wheat flour that I've enjoyed. I'm sure I'm in the minority. Are you postive these didn't taste funky? I hope not because they look amazing! I'll just have to take your word for it :)

RecipeGirl said...

I'm in the *fudgy* camp. I definitely like a rich, heavy, dense brownie over the cakey kind. The cakey kind remind me of boxed mixes. I'm nowhere near Vegan but that other recipe sounds intriguing!

Kevin said...

Both of those brownie recipes look really good!

Elle said...

Erin--they didn't taste funky at all. Remember, I used white whole wheat, so I'm sure that helped mask the wheat taste somewhat. And I'm sure the extra chocolate and coffee helped, too.

Recipegirl--I'd like a fudgy whole wheat one, too, so I'll keep tinkering. But if someone's looking for a cakey one--this is delicious. Oh, totally not vegan here, either, but wow, those are good!

Kevin--thanks! The kids sure don't mind brownie experiments. ;)

farida said...

Elle, both brownies look great. I never have enough brownie recipes,so this adds to the bunch:) Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Great looking brownies! I have to say that i am partial to the more fudgy brownies, but either way works!

April in CT said...

We've been trying to incorporate more whole grains into our diet as well so those first brownies are definitely getting made! I found an excellent whole grain pancake recipe not long ago and they're so delicious I feel guilty eating them. Paired with local maple syrup and it's heaven on a plate! The internet has opened up so many recipe doors and thank you for posting these.

Lori said...

Hi Elle,
I'm glad you liked it! :)

Pixie said...

Your family must be very very happy at this very very moment. Brownie Heaven.

I have seen lori's lovely brownies but have yet to check out the fruity ones. From your description they must have been a great HIT!

giz said...

I never met a brownie I didn't like - they both look tempting.

Lauren said...

If you need any help eating these, you just let me know.

Fiber said...

Glad you loved the raw brownies! I was surprised how much I enjoyed them too the first time I made them.

Elle said...

Farida--thank you!


April--I think you'll really like these!

Lori--how could I not like them? They're delicious!

Pixie--yes! Happy family!

Giz--hehe, true! Almost any brownie is a good brownie.

Lauren--I'll make more!

Fiber--they are amazingly good! So chocolatey!

Anonymous said...

Elle, both looks good! be it cakey or fudgy, i will not reject! *drool* i'm really tempted to make those vegan raw brownies. with lots and lots of nuts and dried fruits. :P Thanks for the recipes!


Elle said...

Amandalwh--neither of them disappoint, that's for sure! Thank you!

canarygirl said...

Ok, I was all in love with you? And now I just think you're evil. I need brownies. And the scale says I can't have any. :P

Elle said...

cg--mwahahaha. These are both sort of GOOD for you!

Karen said...

Elle, This is such a great idea. The raw brownies remind me of a Lara Bar, which I love. Very clever!

Elle said...

Karen--they are SO delicious! Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...


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