As of late, I’ve been more and more interested in simple & healthy recipes. Something I’ve done steadily for the past year is try to phase out refined flours in all that I eat. I switched to eating pretty much only whole-wheat sandwich bread and even whole-wheat bagels and English muffins. No more white rice and I try to stay away from enriched pasta, but sometimes that’s a tough one. Whole wheat pasta is yummy though.
I realized that lately the only times I was eating refined flour was when I either went out to eat or when I was baking a treat. I’ve decided that’s going to change though, I’m on a mission to change my baking to utilize whole-grain flours more often than not. To aid my mission I recently picked up a copy of the wonderful King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking Book. This book is pretty much the bible of whole-grain baking, containing nearly every baked good recipe you can imagine, even one for whole-grain chocolate croissants. And although I’ve spotted quite a bit of butter and sugar, even margarine (gasp!), this is definitely a step in the right direction to more healthy baking. The next time I make these brownies, I’m going to substitute applesauce for butter and see what happens (I’ll let you know!).
Taste: After letting the brownies rest overnight like the recipe recommends I was absolutely pleasantly surprised by how chocolate-y and rich these brownies tasted, I would have never guessed they were whole-grain if I hadn’t have made them.
Texture: Soft, chewy, fudgey, moist. Nothing you’d expect from a whole-grain brownie.
Ease: Straight-forward homemade brownie recipe. The hardest part is waiting overnight to eat them.
Appearance: These brownies are thick and just look gloriously chocolate-y and fudgey
Expense: Inexpensive, especially if you buy your chocolate chips on sale or in bulk.
Pros: These brownies are whole grain! And you can substitute applesauce for the butter which I’m going to try next time then update this. They stay soft for several days, too.
Cons: The only thing I can think of is that you have to wait overnight to eat these brownies.
Would I make this again? I think this will be my go-to brownie recipe. Sorry, Baked Brownie!
Whole Grain Brownies
Yield: 2 dozen
Adapted from King Arthur Whole-Grain Baking
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray and, if desired, line the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil leaving an overhang on opposing sides for easy removal after baking. I like to spray the aluminum foil with cooking spray too just to make sure the brownies release.
Add the butter to a saucepan set over low heat and melt it. Remove the pan from the heat, add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Return the pan to the heat (still on low) until the butter/sugar mixture is hot (about 110 F to 120 F) but not bubbling. If the mixture separates, stir briefly to recombine.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl then add the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition. Finally, add the flour and chocolate chips and mix to combine.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center reveals wet crumbs, but not raw batter, and the edges are set. Move the pan to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Once cool, cover and let sit overnight before cutting. This rest allows the bran to absorb moisture and soften, leading to both better flavor and texture.