Impress a Professional Cook with Low-Fat Brownies

Tried it?      Yes

Liked it?      Yes

It was non-Orthodox Easter this past weekend, and I felt like baking something for the Sunday shindig at my mom’s house. It couldn’t be from a mix (because my nephew has a crazy peanut allergy) and I didn’t have any butter. So I searched for cocoa and applesauce and found a low-fat brownie recipe on the Hershey’s site (and a frosting recipe—you can’t show up at someone’s house with unfrosted brownies). Again, I had to get all fancy and futz around with the recipe (I didn’t have vanilla, either), so here’s my spin…

Vegan Warning: Eggs. I didn’t have any brown bananas as a substitute and, since it was for company, I didn’t want to risk screwing it up. Also, diabetes. You could use Splenda, but I don’t even want to think about the insane stomach cramps that would be caused by the amount you’d need.

1 cup white or brown sugar (I used a mixture of both—the more brown sugar you use, the denser the brownies will be)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa (plus more for dusting)
1/2 cup applesauce (shake the jar first so it’s not too wet or dry)
1 egg
Cooking spray
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and dust with cocoa powder. Combine sugar, flour and cocoa in big bowl. Mix the applesauce and egg together before adding to dry ingredients; beat until well blended (don’t be discouraged at how dry it looks at first; it’ll come together eventually). Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes or until edges are firm. Flip bottom-side-up onto cutting board; cool completely.

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/3 cup cocoa
1 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 Tbsp. water
Combine everything but the water. Beat until crumbly. Add the water, a bit at a time, and beat until spreading consistency (not quite cake icing consistency, though—it needs to be a wee bit denser). If it’s not enough water, add more—a tiny bit at a time. Frost brownies immediately because the icing sets pretty quickly. Makes 16 brownies.

Each brownie has approximately 4 grams of fat (a regular brownie averages 9). If you don’t frost them, it goes down to 2 grams—but, really… it’s a brownie.

So how did they go over? Well, not only did I have none left over from two batches, but my brother-in-law (who is a professional cook) also asked me for the recipe! Even after I told him they were low in fat!

Yes, I rock.

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