I know January is all about eating healthier, but we still need a sweet treat once in awhile. I was so excited to get my January issue of Cooking Light, and to see "Best Light Chocolate Recipe Ever" on the cover. They took sixteen of the best chocolate recipes over the past 25 years, and had them compete in a tournament-style bake-off. And the winner...Classic Fudge-Walnut Brownies. Of course, I immediately had to make these and let me tell you, these are a winner! Super fudgey, chocolatey, and decadent! You would never know these are light. I omitted the walnuts (because of my husband's strong aversion to anything nutty in his sweets) but feel free to include them.
Classic (Light) Fudge Brownies
Serving size: 9 x 9 (thick), 9 x 13 (thin)
3.38 oz. all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 - 4 oz. 60% bittersweet cocoa baking bar (such as Ghirardelli), chopped into chunks, divided
1/3 cup milk
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional), divided
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9 x 9 metal baking pan (or 9 x 13 sheet pan for thin brownies) with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. (Leave an overhang of parchment paper so the brownies can be lifted out of the pan.) Lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt together, breaking apart any large clumps. Set aside.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the chocolate chunks and milk together. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds, or until the chocolate has melted. Add the butter, vanilla, and eggs to the melted chocolate mixture; stir to combine.
Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the liquid ingredients into the well. Stir with a spatula until just combined. Do not over mix. Fold in the remaining chocolate chunks and half of the nuts (if using).
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle with remaining nuts (if using). Bake for about 25 minutes for 9 x 9, and 20 minutes for 9 x 13, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging.
Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Once the brownies are completely cool, use the parchment paper to lift the brownies out the pan. Cut into even squares.
Source: slightly adapted from Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2012