There’s only so much you can do to make brownies more healthful without robbing them of their essential brownieness. Here are two opposite approaches: One uses cake mix and replaces the fat with alternate ingredients, the other uses all the normal decadent ingredients but sneaks in some whole-wheatiness.
geminigirl has made low-fat brownies by puréeing a can of black beans with their juices and combining them with a boxed brownie mix; she says the brownies come out well, with no bean flavor.
Babette makes her “healthier” chocolate chip–dried cherry brownies from scratch, using the best-quality butter, chocolate, and cherries she can (she prefers Plugrá, Scharffen Berger, and Purcell Mountain Farms, respectively); whole-wheat pastry flour; and opting for organic ingredients.
Here’s her recipe:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cups dried cherries
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour, salt, and vanilla. Add chocolate chips and cherries. Pour into a buttered 9-inch square pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Do not overbake. Brownies should be very moist. Cool in the pan. Dust the cooled brownies with powdered sugar, and cut into squares.
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