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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 24, 2010

No-chocolate brownie a favorite

 •  A slice of competition

By Elaine Magee

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Better Blonde Brownies can be served with light vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Elaine Magee

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Q. Do you have a favorite brownie recipe that you could share with us? My family has loved your light and whole-wheat cookie recipes but wondered if you had done the same thing with brownies.

A. You bet I have a favorite brownie recipe to share. Here's the big surprise it's a brownie recipe without chocolate. I developed this chocolate-free blonde brownie when I wrote a book for people with acid reflux (chocolate can be a heartburn trigger for some).

It uses 1/3 cup of margarine with 8 grams of fat per tablespoon (preferably trans-free and low saturated fat) and mostly whole wheat flour. You can pump these brownies with your nut of choice (pecans, walnuts or macadamia nuts all work super well), adding smart fats, fiber and phytochemicals.

You can make these with 100 percent whole-wheat flour and cut the sugar down to 1/2 cup if you want to take the changes one step further. If you do, reduce the cooking time to about 16 minutes.

(Editor's note: This is a lighter version of the recipe called in Hawai'i "Haole Brownies.")

Original recipe contains 193 calories, 11 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol and 1 gram fiber per serving.

Better Blonde Brownies have 25 percent fewer calories, 40 percent less fat and cholesterol, and 80 percent less saturated fat.


• 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

• 3/4 cup unbleached white flour

• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/3 cup no-trans-fat margarine with 8 grams of fat per tablespoon

• 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

• 1 large egg, high-omega-3 if available

• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

• 1/2 cup pecan or walnut halves or pieces (macadamia nuts can also be used)

• 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips (white chocolate chips can be substituted), optional

• Optional garnish: Serve each brownie with a cookie dough-size scoop of light vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch nonstick round or square cake pan with canola cooking spray.

Add whole-wheat flour, unbleached white flour, baking powder and baking soda to a 2- or 4-cup measure, and whisk together well; set aside.

Melt the margarine in a small, nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and continue to cook for exactly one minute. Remove from heat, pour into a large mixing bowl and let cool for a few minutes.

Add the egg and vanilla into mixing bowl with brown sugar mixture and beat on medium-low speed until well blended. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, just until blended. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips if desired and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 20 minutes or until brownies are done to your liking (don't overbake if you like them on the chewy side). Let cool about 10 minutes then cut into 16 squares.

Makes 16 servings

Per serving: 144 calories, 2 g protein, 20 g carbohydrate, 6.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 2.5 g monounsaturated fat, 3 g polyunsaturated fat, 14 mg cholesterol, 1.5 g fiber, 62 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 40 percent. Omega-3 fatty acids = .2 gram, Omega-6 fatty acids = 2.5 grams. Weight Watchers points = 3