Friday, September 25, 2009

{Homemade Brownies with Hidden Veggies}

Homemade Brownies with Hidden Veggies

- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped (or use 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup Purple Puree (See below for Recipe)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Flour Blend (See Below for Recipe)
- 1/4 cup oat bran
- One-half teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Butter or non-stick cooking spray
- Optional extra boost: 1 cup chopped walnuts

> Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

> Butter or spray only the bottom, not the sides, of a 13-by- 9-inch or 9-inch square baking pan.

> Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water (or in a microwave, checking every 15 seconds). Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool a bit. Meanwhile, in another bowl, stir together the eggs, vanilla, sugar, and Purple Puree. Combine this purple egg mixture with the cooled chocolate mixture.

> In a mixing bowl, stir together Flour Blend, oat bran, cinnamon, coffee powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Add this to the chocolate mixture and blend thoroughly. Mix in the chopped walnuts, if using, then pour the entire mixture into the baking pan.

> Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in pan before cutting the brownies and use a plastic or butter knife. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Keeps for a week in the refrigerator, covered tightly.

Purple puree:
Makes about 1 cup of puree
- 3 cups raw baby spinach leaves*
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (no syrup or sugar added)
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons water

*note: I prefer raw baby spinach to frozen spinach for this recipe (more mild flavor); if you must use frozen spinach, only use 1 cup of it.

> Thoroughly wash the spinach, even if the package says “prewashed.” If using frozen blueberries, quickly rinse them under cold water to thaw a little, and then drain.

> Fill the bowl of your food processor with the spinach, blueberries, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of water; puree on high until as smooth as possible. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth-out the puree.

> This recipe makes about 1 cup of puree; double it if you want to store another cup. It will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1⁄4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

Flour Blend:
- 1 cup all-purpose, unbleached white flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup wheat germ, unsweetened

> Combine the flours and wheat germ in a large bowl.

> This blend can be stored in a sealed, labeled plastic bag or container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months

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