You know I love chocolate. As sure as the sun is going to rise, I must have chocolate. But with my New Year's resolution to Eat Fat, Lose Fat, I had to give up my precious cocoa bean.
|Me, off chocolate.|
Like Smeagol from "Lord of the Rings", I must have My Precious. Except for the whole nekkid, jumpin' around the swamp and eating raw, wriggling fish, he could be my twin.
See, like Smeagol, I too have a dark side. Especially when it comes to brownies. Of course, I also have a lighter side. You may know that as Blondie's. I'm not even going to tell you about the "nutty" side.
Suffice to say, when I made my decision to commit to an entire month of low carbs, I didn't realize the person I would become. It wasn't pretty. It got so bad that my children started bringing home Reese's and Butterfingers from church, just to keep my eyeballs from poppin' outta my head.
Some would call it taming the beast.
I wouldn't go that far. But some would.
Call it whatever you will, for the month of January, I stuck to my resolution. Mostly. And because of that, I am happy to report that I lost about 5 pounds.
To make up for the ugliness of the chocolate withdrawals, I decided to make my family some dark chocolate brownies.
Some might call that a peace offering.
Because I didn't want to go back to a white sugar, white flour, pasty, yet very delicious dessert, I've come up with a compromise. Not too sweet, with a hint of molasses, these brownies turned out to be better than I imagined. I did compromise with the white flour~my first batch, made with whole wheat, turned out to be a little too fiberous for our tastes. They were chewy in a whole new way.
Sometimes, compromise is good.
Almost Sinless Brownies
2 C. organic, white flour
2 C. sucanat or Rapadura* (can use white sugar, if desired)
1/2 C. unsalted butter
1/2 C. coconut oil
1 C. strong brewed coffee
1/4 C. organic, unsweetened cocoa
1/2 C. buttermilk
2 large, pastured eggs
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
Frosting (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a heavy saucepan, combine butter, coconut oil, coffee and cocoa. Stir and heat to almost boiling. Add sucanat/Rapadura and bring to just boiling; stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
Pour boiling mixture into large mixing bowl. While mixer is running, slowly add the flour, scraping the sides as needed.
In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Slowly add to the mixer while it's running. Continue mixing until the batter is well mixed. Pour into a buttered 17-1/2" by 11" pan.
Bake on center rack for 20 minutes or until brownies test done in the center.
While brownies are baking, prepare the frosting.
1/2 C. unsalted butter
2 Tb. organic, unsweetened cocoa
1/4 C. whole milk
3-1/2 C. sucanat/Rapadura (can use powdered sugar, if desired)
1 t. vanilla
Before starting, measure out 3-1/2 cups of sucanat. Using a blender, blend 1 cup of sucanat at a time, until sucanat is powdery looking. You will need to remeasure the powdered sucanat as you would powdered sugar; it makes slightly more than the original 3-1/2 cups.
|Left~powdered sugar; Bottom~sucanat; Right~sucanat that has been blended into powder|
In a saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring with a wire whisk. Remove from heat. Mix in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until each addition is shiny and smooth. Finish with the last 1/2 cup of powdered sucanat and the vanilla.
When the brownies are done, immediately pour the frosting over the brownies, spreading it out to all of the edges.
Let the brownies cool. Cut into 30 bars.
Consider the beast tamed.