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Jun 17, 2007 02:58 PM

Brownie Muffins!

What a weird recipe (is canned solid pack pumpkin the new yogurt...i.e. nonfat moistener for baked goods?).

Anybody feel like trying the recipe and reporting results? It's waaaay too hot where I am for baking....


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  1. If I hadn't just made Epi's Best Cocoa Brownies last night, I'd be game to try it out. By the way, they were excellent! But you've piqued my interest, to say the least.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Val

      I missed the brownie you have a link handy, I'd like to see!

      1. re: Jim Leff

        Here's the link...I should have known that anything by Alice Medrich would be very fine! I added toasted walnuts...

    2. Actually, it sounds like canned pumpkin is the new applesauce/pureed prunes, both of which have been used for years as nonfat moisteners for baked goods. Google comes up with many brownie recipes with either one (or both) of those ingredients.

      1. I'm not big on using mixes but I have liked this recipe for vegan brownies, though the thickening tofu takes time. I'm willing to make a batch of those brownies and use the pumpkin in place of the thickened tofu mix and oil. Not quite as easy as the mix but they often have dyes and my daughter has allergies.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chowser

          I had a vegan roommate that would make chocolate cake/cupcakes, etc. using basically this recipe (an organic choc. cake mix and a can of pumpkin). They were always delicious.

        2. I've made black bean brownies - puree a can of black beans with their liquid and add to brownie mix with nothing else - bake as directed. They were pretty good and no bean flavor!

          9 Replies
          1. re: geminigirl

            For the same reason that chocolate items have traditionally been a way to mask bad ingredients (i.e. no off flavors can rise above the dark intensity of the chocolate), I guess brownies can be made with just about anything to moisten. Does that make sense?

            1. re: Jim Leff

              Umm, maybe, but I surely wouldn't use any substitute ingredients in the ones I made yesterday, using butter, unsweetened chocolate, eggs, brown sugar, (whole wheat-no one knows-I guess that's my secret substitute for "health" reasons-never mind if I'm contradicting myself) pastry flour, vanilla, chocolate chips and dried cherries. And a dusting of powdered sugar. Why mess with perfection? But it's only for special occasions. And I'd rather have them rarely but great.

              1. re: Babette

                oooo, im totally looking for a good whole wheat flour-brownie recipe! care to share?

                1. re: ben61820

                  I wrote this up the other day for a friend who tried the brownies, loved 'em, & requested the recipe:

                  Babette's Chocolate Chip Brownies with Dried Cherries

                  4 oz good quality unsweetened chocolate like Scharffenberger
                  1 c. good quality unsalted butter like Plugra
                  2 c. organic brown sugar
                  4 large organic eggs from cage free chickens
                  1/2 c. organic whole wheat pastry flour
                  1/2 teaspoon salt
                  1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
                  3/4 c. good quality dried cherries (like Purcell Farms, available online-I chop them a bit to make sure there are no residual pits)
                  1 (6 oz. or a bit more to splurge) pkg. good quality semisweet choc. chips-Whole Paycheck brand works
                  1/4 c. powdered sugar

                  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat & stir in the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour, salt, and vanilla. Add chocolate chips and cherries. Pour into a buttered 9 inch square pan.
                  Bake for 35 minutes. Do not overbake. Brownies should be very moist. Cool in the pan. Dust the cooled brownies with powdered sugar & cut into squares.

                  The organic ingredients & whole wheat are my thing
                  (healthy brownies, ha ha).
                  I actually do bake them longer as I'm using an ancient Chambers stove & judge by eyeballing it--they still turn out very moist.

              2. re: Jim Leff

                Isn't there a chocolate cake recipe using Hellman's mayo?

                1. re: coll

                  I've heard that's a really moist cake. I guess when you come down to it, mayo is just emulsified eggs and oil. Someone brought brownies to a potluck that had been made with a mix and mayonnaise. They were okay.

                  1. re: coll

                    I tried a mayo cake my aunt made last Christmas and it was not very good. Everyone nibbled at it to be polite, but even my aunt admitted to being disapointed. It was moist for sure, but the flavor just was not there.

                    1. re: ArikaDawn

                      I made a fat-free mayo cake last month, and have been prohibited from ever making it again. No kidding.

                      So, of course, I made fat-free mayo cupcakes this month. Same response.

                      The cake was moist, but flavor was totally missing. No depth there, and that's just a shame when it comes to chocolate. Do you think the same will happen with brownies? I'm really trying to use up this jar of fat-free mayo here...

                      1. re: riceflour

                        It seems that anytime you use a mayo recipe it completely mellows out the flavor to the point of making it unidentifiable. If I were you, and still set on making the mayo brownies, I would definitely supplement the brownie recipe with more chocolate flavor. Honestly though, it almost doesn't seem worth the risk of another not so delish dessert.

              3. I just tried this recipe this evening. It was very hard to mix- the recipe is spot on about it being a VERY thick consistency before putting in the oven. Considering there are only 2 ingredients I guess the simplicity makes up for the elbow grease.

                I liked the way they came out. Nice texture- chewy, good mouth feel. The flavors are nice.... chocolatey but in a more subtle way (this is not a decadent brownie). I like them. I will keep them in the fridge overnight and see how the flavor is tomorrow. I'd also consider icing them or garnishing with cool whip.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ChocoHound

                  I was so curious about these so I am soo pleased you tried them!
                  Do you think it would work with other cake mixes? I was thinking perhaps a spice cake mix would be nice...

                  1. re: ArikaDawn

                    I'm not sure. It's certainly worth a try. I bet it will turn out fine consistency wise- but the flavor is where you'll need to do some experimentation. My advice would be to use a cake mix that you know if very flavorful on its own because the flavor will become more subtle (or at least that's the result the chocolate mix produced).

                    My paper liners did not turn pink.

                    Please report back once you try it.

                    1. re: ChocoHound

                      I used a can of pumpkin and baked it up with a boxed spice cake mix last night. Rather than making a cake I made cupcakes and they tirned out like really moist dense muffins. My guy really enjoyed having one for breakfast this morning so it is a method I wil probably employ again because they seem so much more substantial than your typical muffin. I will admit to being a little freaked out when I saw how thick the batter was. I definitely had to fight the urge to add something to thin it out a bit. Also, since the batter is so thick, it doesn't settle like normal batter would, so after putting it in the pan you need to smooth it out otherwise you will get really funky shaped tops like I did.