Brownies are the chocolate form of Heaven.
Fudgy, dark-chocolatey, the homemade fragrance wafts through the house so that when people walk in the door they start to smile. Think about it. Your family had a rough day at school or work but when they walk in the house the first thing to happen is a feeling of happy anticipation. Make no mistake. These treats are not “good for you”, but they are “better for you”, which is a step in the right direction and a nice way to help taste buds make a conversion to whole grains and natural sweeteners, in this case Sucanat.
Sucanat is raw sugar cane juice, dehydrated into granules. Sucanat has the flavor of a dark brown sugar. The molasses remains in it with all of the vitamins and minerals that are good for your body. Still, it is a form of sugar and so diabetics need to be very careful. It’s important to remember this is a treat, not a daily meal supplement. Another, similar product is called rapadura. It comes in blocks or cones and you can buy it at Latin markets. Just grate it before using it.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease and flour an 8×8 inch square pan. The flour is very important to keep the brownies from sticking.
In a saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter (the real stuff – not plastic fat) and stir in 4 Tbs. of unsweetened cocoa powder. Try not to boil the butter and it helps the end product come out less crumbly. Do your best to stir out the lumps of cocoa powder.
Remove the chocolate mix from the heat, add 1 cup Sucanat or rapadura, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Mix well. Add 2 eggs and mix well again.
Stir in 3/4 cup whole wheat flour and then pour it into your greased pan. Spread it into the corners.
Bake it for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick poked in it will come out clean.
Immediately after removing from the oven, sprinkle 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips on top. I use Tropical Source Fair Trade dark chocolate chips for this*. After the chocolate chips are all shiny and soft, spread them evenly across the top. The nice thing about this, is that when it is cool, the chocolate will re-harden and form a sort of moisture lock on top to keep the brownies delicious.
You can double the recipe and use a 9×13 inch pan. It may need to bake 10 minutes longer. I only make the 8×8 pan for my family these days, because it’s supposed to be a treat, not a meal.
*Note: Tropical Source semi-sweet chocolate chips are now marketed under the DREAM brand and are called Chocolate Dream semi-sweet chocolate chips.