Happy Valentines Day

Moist, chewy brownies can be made – and eaten – without throwing one’s healthy diet under an oncoming bus.

I made the recipe two ways – first using dutch processed cocoa, and then with traditional baking cocoa. The traditional cocoa yielded a reddish brownie with a detectable coffee flavor, while the dutch-processed turned out a nearly black brownie with a more complex depth of flavor (the coffee was much harder to taste).

All-in-all, I prefer the version using the dutch-processed cocoa. Not only did it have a richer flavor, but the DP brownie is visually stunning, telegraphing, “I am the chocolate brownie of your dreams.” Unfortunately, the chocolate hit you expect to get with them isn’t there. The flavor simply isn’t as intense as the color of the brownie suggests. I’d like to increase the amount of bittersweet chocolate and fold miniature chocolate chips into the batter in the hopes of kicking up the chocolate decadence quotient.

Bittersweet Brownies
1/4 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon instant espresso granules or 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa or dutch processed cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
2 teaspoons powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, allowing it to overhang on two sides, and spray with cooking spray

Combine 1/4 cup boiling water and espresso in a medium bowl. Add chocolate chips, stirring until chocolate melts; cool slightly. Stir in butter, vanilla, egg, and egg white.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt), stirring with a whisk. Add coffee mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter into baking pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 brownie)

CALORIES 171 (31% from fat); FAT 5.8g (sat 3.4g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 2.5g; CHOLESTEROL 25mg; CALCIUM 26mg; SODIUM 107mg; FIBER 1.2g; IRON 1.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 29.3g

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Categories: Brownies, desserts, Grade Range: A- to A+, Lighter Fare

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