For the love of Brownies

As many of you know, I will try almost any diet. Unless it excludes chocolate. I do not believe that good health can be obtained without nature's all-purpose remedy for anything that ails you. So now this whole neo-paleo, grain-free thing along with the diabetic watch your sugars thing and ultimately low carb for weight loss thing has really crimped my Brownie style.

I have made countless efforts at replicating the true Brownie experience. I've used Coconut Flour, Almond Flour, Coconut Oil, Organic Butter, Large Eggs and Brown eggs. A dash of Cream and a dash of Chile powder. You name it I've tried it. Even flourless with Almond Butter. Not good. I've exhausted every corner of Google Earth. No, really, I have.

In the end, the answer was so simple. My new friend Patrick of the annual Termite Inspection ilk had a few words of wisdom. Noticing my preparation in the kitchen for baking... some might call it a disaster area, and being as he had to go through all the cupboards anyway...... the conversation began. Seems he has been gluten-free for many years, and perhaps equally important, he also went to culinary school. Cosmic Karma. And his advice was sage. He sampled yesterday's effort, which though not terrible, was lacking something. I wasn't sure... he said they could be sweeter.. but not bad. I considered it high praise. He gave me some pointers.

So with advice in hand, I turned to my old and dear friend, Baker's. Way back when, my sisters and I were taught old-school. Translation? You kids want brownies? Here... bake them yourselves! Which required a double boiler, literally greasing a pan with butter, using my mother's mixer and making an enormous mess! Today... they have become the infamous Baker's one bowl brownies. No mixer. No Double Boiler. You'll find the recipe on any box of Baker's unsweetened baking chocolate. There's a website too. Keep in mind that it's been updated over the years. You know, back in the stone age we didn't have things like microwaves. And cleaning the pan... well let's just say we all knew how to do a good soak!

Flash forward to the present day. And a whole new way to eat. And PTL folks.. it still includes Brownies.

First, start with the original recipe. It's on the back of the box of Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate (4 oz. size). Gluten and grains an issue? Substitute Almond flour for regular flour. Sugar a problem? I replace 2 cups of sugar with 1 cup of Splenda blended with sugar. That's 1/4 cup of each. So not only did I use half as much sweetener... I used a quarter as much sugar. And finally, add an additional egg. That's it. Your brownies now have 75% less sugar. And they are, as far as I can tell, gluten free, grain free and oh my god to die for chocolatey delicious. If you don't want to use Splenda, try Stevia. If you can have sugar, use your favorite natural sugar instead of cane sugar. One tip on Almond Flour. I sift it into the batter. Just like sifting old school flour... and it really helps the texture. Also, another tip. Wait that's two. Anyway, refrigerating goodies baked with almond flour seems to improve the texture. I think perhaps as they cool down they moisten up a bit. Just my experience with it. I'm a novice at this... so all tips and advice are welcome!

Hubby ate 3. Only because I hid the rest. In his words, they were world class. This is the same guy that spit out last night's attempt. You tell me. Those look like Brownies to you???? 

Yeah. They do. Amazing to think that with all the power of google at hand... it was the original go-to recipe that stood the test of time. I've shared the recipe below. Thank you Baker's. Seriously. Thank you. The idea of living another 50 years sans brownies was just utterly depressing. 

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