Lower fat Chocolate chocolate Chip Mint Brownies

I love brownies.. They are always so rich, gooey, warm and full of goodness. Like cookies, they can be so versatile. You can add in a whole bunch of mix-ins and make them as rich or as basic as you would like.  They’re always a hit, if they’re baked perfectly. My last brownie recipe was absolutely gooey and oh so rich and had a tonne of calories! But, they were fantastic, maybe a tad too full of chocolate. In my quest to constantly try to find healthier recipes, I came across this recipe, which has a beautiful, rich flavor but has less fat. The butter has been reduced by half and the sugar has also been reduced. I have never experimented with a sugar substitute like Splenda because I don’t believe in adding more chemicals in your body if possible. My mantra is simple, if I’m going to be indulging myself; I want to make sure I’m enjoying a completely ‘bad’ treat. I rather eat my treat once in a month with sugar and all the butter than eat the treat once a week filled with sugar and butter substitutes.

 

I have tried this recipe twice and the first time, I baked them exactly according to the recipe and they turned out beautifully. I made them plain, without any add-ins and I did feel like they were missing a little something. The next time I made them, I didn’t watch the time properly and I over baked them by about 5-7 minutes.  The top in the center was browner than what I would have liked and the brownies had become dry and hard. They were still edible but the texture was just not right. In either case, they flavors came across beautifully and I absolutely will make these again with a close eye on the watch!

 

I added some amazing peppermint extract along with the vanilla extract and oh boy!!! I was in heaven! I also added a good ¾ cups of chocolate chips and the flavors worked beautifully together! I can’t wait to bake it to perfection the next time.

 

 Lower Fat Chocolate Chip Mint Brownies

Adapted from a recipe from the Food Network

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola or other neutral tasting oil
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1 tablespoon cold brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius
  • Line an 8″ x 8″ pan with parchment paper
  • Create a bain-marie and in a heat proof bowl, melt the butter, coarsely chopped chocolate and the oil. Once the chocolate has completely melted, take the bowl off the heat.
  • Stir the brown and white sugars, vanilla, peppermint and salt into the chocolate mixture with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs and coffee and beat vigorously until fully incorporated and the batter is thick and glossy. Add the cocoa,chocolate chips, flour and baking soda and stir just until it disappears.
  • Pour the batter into a pan and bake until the top is crispy and glossy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs, about 30-40 minutes.
  • Cool the brownies in the pan on the counter. Lift brownies out of the pan by the paper, if needed. Peel off the paper and cut into 2-inch squares. Serve. Store extra brownies in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

I served these by sprinkling a little water on them and microwaved them for a few seconds to soften them since I had over baked mine.. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or with a dash of vanilla custard and they’re perfect! We ate some plain with our tea and coffee and they tasted wonderful!

Happy baking!

 

 

The absolute best cupcakes EVER!!!

Aren’t cupcakes the best invention ever? They’re perfect when you want a little something sweet, they’re so cute to look at, you can dress them up in a million ways and best of all, you can order different flavors and don’t have to share. You won’t look like a glutton if you don’t share and if you do share, you will most certainly look like an angel! 😉

Baking cupcakes is so much fun! You can decorate them with all the cute sprinkles, frost them with bright colors and my favorite is that I can use these super cute liners! I made my little brother get me 500 different cupcake liners (all with something pink, obviously!) for me! Now before you go around feeling bad for him, 500 cupcake liners are barely 3 inches tall! Surprising something so cute and awesome can be in such a small package. I guess that proves the saying, ‘Big things come in small packages’ true, or does it? Hhhhmmm……

My boyfriend absolutely loves cupcakes and I always send some when I can for him. After experimenting with a few cupcake recipes, I have settled on this particular one. It is the easiest, the moistest and the most delicious cupcake recipe. My search for the perfect cupcake recipe stops right here. I was a little skeptical because it was a vegan recipe but then I had all the ingredients at home and I did have a half bottle of vinegar which I wanted to finish. Vinegar in a cupcake recipe?? Sounds odd, doesn’t it? But trust me, you wouldn’t even know these have vinegar. It seemed like the perfect reason to try this recipe and I am so glad I did. These are the best cupcakes ever! I don’t think my cupcakes with eggs and milk and butter taste this good! So since they’re healthier, I feel a little better about eating them! 🙂

The Best Cupcake Recipe Ever

Based on a recipe by kmdipaolo

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour (I always  prefer to use whole wheat flour)

1 cup granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup oil

1 cup water (you can add milk, I prefer to use water)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon vinegar

Method:

  • Mix all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl just until moist and well blended. Avoid over mixing
  • Pour the batter into cupcake lines or grease a muffin tray.
  • Bake in a pre heated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes.
  • Once cooled, you can frost it with your favorite frosting. But these, without any frosting, are perfect with coffee or on their own!

Notes:

  • This recipe makes rich dark chocolate cupcakes. If you prefer to make them without chocolate, omit the 1/3 cup of cocoa and replace with 1/3 cup of flour to make a plain vanilla batter.
  • I make tutti fruiti cupcakes by mixing about 1/2 cup of tutti fruiti pieces in the vanilla batter.
  • To make chocolate chocolate chip muffins, add 1/2 cup (or more!) chocolate chips in the chocolate batter.
  • There are endless mix ins you can add! Feel free to experiment and let me know what combinations turned out best for you!
  • The original author of the post suggests that you can make a layer cake by doubling the recipe and putting it in 2 round pans. Increase the baking time to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the centre.
It’s so easy to make these and so quick! Maybe thats what I love the most about this recipe. Put everything in one bowl, mix it a little and in less than half an hour, you have these hot to eat! Wait, isn’t that a bit dangerous though? Something so good, so quick?? I wonder…..

Anyway, I have no doubt that this recipe will be a hit with you. Just remember not to over mix the batter! A big thank you to my friend Amri for sending me these über cute, animal cupcake liners! I have totally fallen in love with them! Look at those super awesome cupcakes! How can you resist them when they look like that?? 🙂

Happy baking everyone!