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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thursday Recipe - Healthy Brownies and Toffee

I promised you something decadent and chocolate and wonderful this week. So I'm thinking. Hm. I'm trying to avoid decadent for weight and blood sugar reasons. How about a compromise? A lower fat, lower sugar version of a decadent dessert? Or you could just cut smaller pieces.

How about my healthy brownie recipe and a bonus toffee recipe? So you make toffee, then brownies, then top the brownies with lowfat whipped topping and crumbled toffee. Sounds like a good compromise to me. But then I'm a sucker for toffee.

A bit of family trivia for you: At our house we call the canned whipped topping snort. If you ask for snort, we give you a shot of whipped topping. We call food all sorts of weird names, though. My kids wouldn't touch shrimp. When I found shrimp poppers really cheap at the store, I loaded up. I called them breaded arthropods. They gobbled them up until one day, the breading fell off. My daughter, six at the time, glared at me and said, "These aren't arthropods, these are shrimp!" She wouldn't touch them after that. Technically, shrimp are arthropods, but she didn't want to argue semantics.

Here's the recipes:

Toffee (not recommended for anyone under age 12 to cook, it gets REALLY HOT)

1 T. butter, for greasing pan
1 c. sugar
1 c. butter (use the real stuff)
1/2 c. water
pinch salt
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Butter a baking sheet with a generous amount, about 1 T, set aside. Melt butter. Stir in sugar, water, and salt (use just a tiny pinch - less than 1/8 t.).  Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches hard crack stage. It will turn a darker color. Keep stirring. It's a fine line between crunchy and burnt. When it is a caramel color and a tiny bit dropped into ice water is crunchy, pour it out onto the buttered baking sheet. Careful, it is very hot. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Spread chocolate over the top. Set aside to cool for about 2 hours.


Healthy Brownies

1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 t. vanilla
4 eggs
2/3 c. baking cocoa
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 1/3 c. whole wheat flour

Heat oven to 350°. Mix sugar and butter. Add vanilla, eggs, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Beat by hand until well mixed. Stir in flour. Spread in greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. If you use a mixer, the brownies will be more cake-like. If you stir by hand, they will be fudgier.