Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Weird Brownies and a Yogurt Blast From the Past

Yesterday I made two recipes that I'm posting here for posteriority.

The first is based on a recipe for fudgy brownie bars from Women's Running magazine. When I first saw the ingredients list, I thought "EEW!" but I had seen something kind of similar on my cousin's blog awhile back, so I decided to give it a try. (I'd link to the recipe, but I can't find it online)

First time, I made it exactly as directed. It wasn't sweet enough. I also didn't drain the beans well enough.
Second time, I made it with stevia instead of agave. It was the wrong texture-- too dry, and perhaps overcooked as well.
Third time, I changed the sweeteners and added pecans, and it was perfect.
I can't emphasize too much the importance of rinsing the back beans several times. Insufficiently rinsed beans make a chocolatey bean-blob. Eew.

Here's the third version of the recipe, slightly modified from the original, attributable to Women's Running magazine, 2011:
Spray an 8" square pan with nonstick cooking spray, and preheat the oven to 350F

With an immersion blender, puree until smooth:
15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder
3/4 c liquid egg substitute
3 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c agave nectar
3/4 c Splenda granular measure
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

then, fold in 1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts and pour the batter into the baking pan.

Cook at 350 for 20 minutes, turning once half-way through
Reduce temperature to 300 and cook 5 more minutes.

An inserted toothpick should come out slightly batter-coated. If it comes out clean, you've overcooked it.
Let it cool completely. (I like them still slightly warm, but the author likes them better chilled). My kids like them no matter what.

And, if you've never read Women's Running, it's a really nice magazine. I like Runner's World a lot, but their audience are more than half men, so their articles aren't always relevant. Women's Running has articles featuring some great women. I don't get any kickbacks from WR for telling you this. :-)

The 2nd recipe I wanted to write about is a response to something that has haunted me since I was 6 years old. Long, long ago, Dannon used to have a strawberry-walnut (or was it strawberry-pecan) yogurt. The fruit-on-the-bottom kind. It was my hands-down favorite as a kid. I don't know why it was discontinued, but like Brick cheese, I have never forgotten it. Unlike brick cheese, I can't even find it in Wisconsin.

Here is my no-sugar-added variation on the old Dannon favorite, even better than the original.
1 QT fat-free plain Greek Yogurt
3 cups good strawberries (thawed from frozen OK, if they're good frozen berries)
6 Tbsp granular-measure Truvia
1/2 c pecans

Puree everything with an immersion blender. The nuts will pulverize to tiny bits. That's a good thing.
Mmmmmmm now I'm hungry.


PartnerInCrime said...

I did the extremely lazy route for the brownies: a box of low-fat brownie mix combined with a can of (yes, VERY well-rinsed!) black beans in place of the eggs/water/oil. I liked them a lot. LeBon wouldn't touch them, he said they looked disgusting. (He's not exactly an adventurous eater.)

The yogurt sounds... interesting. Not sure what I think about the whole idea of nuts in yogurt. I tend to like nuts on their own, not mixed in with other stuff.

Cat said...

Our husbands are so different-- I'm having to elbow SNG aside to have any left for me or the kids. He's a very adventurous eater, though.

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Cat said...

Ummmmm -- comment spam filter not working today?