Daily Archives: October 21, 2011

Nuts About Fudge Brownies and Walnut Statistics

I could not resist baking these fudgy brownies that I found in the September 2011 issue of Cooking Light. Could I change the recipe so it did not have sugar but still had that fudge quality? I was willing to give it a try.

Walnuts, of the tree nut family, are optional in this recipe. According to the George Mateljan Foundation, walnuts are a great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Almost 40% of the world’s walnuts are grown in the U.S., mostly in California. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 485,000 tons of walnuts will be harvested in California in 2011, down 4% from the previous year. The crop is supposed to be of high quality because of the mild temperatures during the growing season. The price per ton of the harvested walnuts is not yet confirmed for 2011 although last year’s price of $2,110 per ton was the second highest price in the past 20 years. During those 20 years, the highest price per ton was $2,290 in 2007, and the lowest price was $886 in 1999.

All of this talk about walnuts is leading me to think about these delicious brownies…and my successful attempt at creating this dessert without refined sugar. Hooray! Enjoy the dessert!

Refined-Sugar Free Walnut Fudge Brownies

Ingredients
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips
1/3 cup fat-free milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, divided

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Combine 1/2 cup chocolate and milk in a small saucepan; melt chips on low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter, vanilla, and eggs. Add milk mixture, 1/4 cup chocolate, and 1/4 cup nuts to flour mixture; stir to combine.
3. Pour the batter into a 9-inch square metal baking pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup nuts. Bake at 350° for 19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in the pan on a rack. Cut into squares.

I am sharing this recipe with Joy of Desserts, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Beauty and Bedlam, Lady Behind the Curtain, This Chick Cooks, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Food Trip Friday, Sweet as Sugar Cookies and Something Swanky.

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