Happy Friday! I was thinking we should celebrate the end of another week with brownies, but not just any brownies - these are whole grain brownies! The folks at King Arthur Flour piqued my interest in this recipe when they tweeted about it many months ago but I only recently got around to giving it a shot. I'm not above trying to make my baked goods just a tad bit healthier (see exhibit 1) and I was hopeful that these brownies might satisfy my chocolate craving and also make me feel good about incorporating more whole grains into my diet, even if they were part of the dessert course.
In the world of brownies there are those on the fudgy side and those on the cakey side. My personal preference, and I think I may be in the minority on this one, is for cakey brownies, and not the gooey fudgy ones. So, I was excited when I tried my first bite and discovered that these brownies were definitely more on the cakey side. They're very good - lots of rich chocolate flavor and a texture that didn't immediately scream "there are whole grains hiding in here" to me. Generally, I've found that I can use white whole wheat flour in my baking with good results and these brownies were no exception. I sent these to Margot of Effort to Deliciousness as part of her Secret Baker package and she let me know that she enjoyed them too! I'll definitely make these again - maybe next time with mint chips instead of chocolate chips - yum!
I've shared the recipe below but King Arthur Flour also has a blog post about these brownies which can be found here.
Whole Grain Brownies
from King Arthur Flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray and, if desired, line the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil leaving an overhang on opposing sides for easy removal after baking. I like to spray the aluminum foil with cooking spray too just to make sure the brownies release.
Add the butter to a saucepan set over low heat and melt it. Remove the pan from the heat, add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Return the pan to the heat (still on low) until the butter/sugar mixture is hot (about 110 F to 120 F) but not bubbling. If the mixture separates, stir briefly to recombine.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl then add the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition. Finally, add the flour and chocolate chips and mix to combine.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center reveals wet crumbs, but not raw batter, and the edges are set. Move the pan to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Once cool, cover and let sit overnight before cutting. This rest allows the bran to absorb moisture and soften, leading to both better flavor and texture.