Friday, September 7, 2012

cherry pecan brownies

I've been eyeballing these in the Rodale whole foods cookbook I have checked out of the library for more than a couple of weeks now.  I finally made them this evening making substitutions as needed /desired.  They like to claim the the book that these are made healthier by using flax seed instead of 2 eggs, but they still use 2 more eggs.  The book also used plain old white sugar and brown sugar.  I swapped the plain old white with some healthier alternatives.  I also fiddled with the chocolate - mostly because I didn't have any bittersweet chocolate, but I did have some dark chocolate chips.  The brownies turned out wonderful.  I definitely don't want to change anything and ruin them.  Super moist and chewy but not doughy.  To me the perfect  brownie texture.  Add to that lots of nice crunch from the pecans and chewy bits of cherries.  WOW.  I had to give some to the neighbors to keep myself from eating them for lunch today.  :)  I must get back off sugar.  :)


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 10 oz. dark chocolate chips.  (Mine were a 63% cacao all natural variety)
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons flaxseed (I used light)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar - I used a combination of sucanat (about 2/3 cup) and coconut palm sugar (the remaining 1/3 cup or so.
  • 1 cup brown sugar (I just gave up and used brown sugar for this.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 9 X 13 pan with 2 sheets of foil crisscross.  Oil the foil.
  2. In a small ovenproof bowl (I used a very large mug) combine the butter, oil and chocolate.  Place in the oven while it preheats and let the butter and chocolate melt.  (I loved this idea - no using the microwave, just the oven that is already on anyway.  Takes about 10 minutes.  I took it out and whisked/stirred it to get the last bit of butter to melt.)
  3. Grind the flaxseeds in a coffee grinder (or food processor or blender.  I just prefer the coffee grinder.)  Mix with water and let set. (now would be a good time to chop nuts and cherries -letting the flax gel, and the chocolate melt.)
  4. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugars, vanilla, salt, and flaxseed.   Stir in the chocolate mixture.  Stir in the flour.  Fold in the nuts and cherries.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 45 minutes or until the toothpick poked into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.  (45 minutes was perfect for me.  The toothpick didn't have any crumbs, and the top didn't look super crackly or anything but it didn't look under done.  Top felt done with my finger, and I figured no crumbs was a good sign but worried that they were overdone.  They weren't - they were perfect.)
  6. Cool in pan before cutting into squares. (book says 32.  I made 24 (4 X 6) and they seemed small enough.  Lets just say Mr. 15 year old cut his own on the second half and didn't follow my scoring at the edge and took a brownie twice as big for lunch today.  :)  I'm sure he thinks he took a small piece.  :)

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