Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sweet Sunday: Salted Caramel Brownie



I think I have a problem.  Starting a diet makes me crave everything thing that I can’t have.  I mean, my diet started twenty minutes ago, I am craving potato chips.  Seriously it is almost instant.  I can go months without eating potato chips, but the minute I say to myself, “Ok self you are going to eat healthier and exercise and do yourself good”, the cravings start to happen. It isn’t always about salty things either chocolate and peanut butter have a way of derailing my “good for you” thoughts. 


Can I admit something?  I mean, please just keep this between you and me.  I have 46 cookbooks that tell me how to eat healthier.  46 of them.  They have have their own shelf on the book shelf and they stare at me all the time.  Use me, they say.  Open up the books and get your butt in shape, they implore.  One of these days I am actually going to listen to them.  Right now they are currently holding dust jackets and odd and ends and probably dust.  Yes, most definitely dust.


Well today I picked one up.  Cooking Light’s, “The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook, by Janet Helm, RD.  I bought this book because of the concept.  The book is divided into 12 easy to follow steps on how to get healthier.  One concept per month, so you don’t over whelm yourself and lose track of what you are doing.  Craving something sweet and salty, I turned to the back of the book to the chapter “Eating Mindfully”. It caught my eye, because the pictures of dessert in it.  Salted Caramel Brownies to be exact.  Perfect!  Something salty and something sweet and get this, only 180 calories for a decadent brownie!

Ok, lets be realistic here.  It is all about moderation.  The brownies are baked in a 8x8 pan and you have to cut them into 20 servings, leaving you a brownie the size of your thumb nail.  A small brownie after a healthy meal is an indulgence, but what an indulgence it is.  My plan is to package the brownies into individual servings and then put them in freezer, so the pan isn’t staring me in the face.  Just knowing they are in there is a comfort.  Of course I have to dodge the Girl Scout cookies in there too.



Salted Caramel Brownies



3/4 all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cooking Spray.


1.  Preheat the oven to 350.

2.  Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, brown sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl, stirring to combine.


3.  Combine 6 tablespoons butter, eggs and vanilla in a small bowl.


4.  Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine.  The batter is very thick and you will have to press it into the pan. 


5.  Bake for 20-24 minutes or until the a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs, clinging.


6.  Cool in pan.



1/4 cup butter

1/4 packed brown sugar

3 1/2 tablespoons fat-free evaporated milk, divided

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt


To prepare topping:


1. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. 


2.  Add brown sugar and 1.5 tablespoons over milk.  Cook for 2 minutes.


3.  Remove from heat and add powdered sugar and vanilla, stirring with a whisk until smooth.


4.  Spread caramel mixture over cooled brownies and let stand until set, about 20 minutes.


5.  In a small microwaveable container, melt chocolate and the 1.5 tablespoons of remaining evaporated milk.


6.  Stir until smooth and drizzle over brownies.


7.  Sprinkle with sea salt and let stand until set.

8.  Cut into 20 squares.

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