Healing Kitchen

The first thing M.J. Harris baked all by herself, at age eight, was a pan of brownies. She doesn't remember any more where the recipe came from (it's handwritten on a tattered index card), but she's been using it ever since. She'd like to keep using it, but was hoping we could take the original recipe and just tweak it a bit. So, here's what we did: First we looked at the amount of fat. Sometimes adding fat to a recipe is a knee jerk reaction--a (false) supposition that the more the fat, the more the flavor. How low could we go without making a flavor sacrifice? Well, we managed to cut the total amount of fat exactly in half. We also changed the fat from butter (we love the rich flavor of butter but not its saturated fat) to mostly olive oil (monounsaturated fat) with just a little butter for flavor. Next came the eggs: The original recipe called for two; we figured we could get away with only one...another fat and cholesterol savings. The rest of the recipe is pretty close to the original with the following tweaks: brown sugar instead of white for a deeper, richer flavor. Fewer walnuts, but chopped more finely to get more mileage out of them. The brownies were chocolatey and rich. We think Ms. Harris will be happy.

Dietary fiber (g)
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     2/3 cup all-purpose flour  1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder  2 tablespoons cornstarch  1 teaspoon baking powder  1/4 teaspoon baking soda  1/4 teaspoon salt  1 cup packed light brown sugar  3 tablespoons extra-light olive oil  1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted  1 large egg  1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 8" square baking pan.

2. In medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3. In large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat brown sugar, oil, butter, egg, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of water until well combined. On low speed, beat in flour mixture just until combined.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out slightly moist and sides of brownie begin to pull away from pan. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 brownies.

Makes 16 brownies

Per brownie: 128 calories, 5.4g total fat, 1.2g saturated fat, 2.6g monounsaturated fat, 1.3g polyunsaturated fat, 0.9g dietary fiber, 2g protein, 19g carbohydrate, 15mg cholesterol, 97mg sodium.

Author: the Healing Kitchen staff
Date Published: 04/03/2000
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