Walnut Fudge Brownies

20180520_030512When a chocolate craving screams out for your attention, nothing is easier or more comforting than a brownie. Even if the craving hits at night, just a quick raid of the pantry will likely provide all the ingredients needed to create the perfect pan. Without a doubt, brownies are my go to sweet when I need a delicious treat but don’t have the energy or time to make something more elaborate.

20180520_110531Whether made as a post-dinner treat or after school snack, brownies are highly customizable to satisfy any and all tastes. They can be void of add-ins to keep them simply fudgy or they can be filled and topped with a multitude of different flavor and texture profiles to suit any occasion or craving. Even though there’s much fun to be had creatively with brownies, I elected to stick to a classic, the fudgy walnut. One, if not THE most popular brownie variation, this recipe takes the intense richness even further with high-quality cocoa, melted chocolate, and chocolate chips.

20180520_030629If you decide to give these fudgy treats studded with crunchy walnuts a try, they will take you about 15 minutes to prep and about 30 minutes in the oven. Once cooked, store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, you have the option of cutting the brownies into a traditional size or into smaller, bite-size portions. A traditional size will yield you approximately 9 large brownies while the bite-size portions will yield approximately 20 servings. The bite-size portions are perfect for those needing to serve a large crowd or those who live a healthy lifestyle and want to indulge without growing a bulge. If you elect to cut the brownies into small portions, each serving will contain approximately 186 calories, 4 g. saturated fat, 4 g. protein, 24 g. carbs, 3 grams fiber, 30 mg cholesterol, 1 mg iron, 74 mg sodium, and 23 mg calcium. I used white whole-wheat flour to make these healthier for my lifestyle, however you can substitute all-purpose flour if you do not mind a change in the above nutrition facts. No matter how, why, or when you choose to enjoy these brownies, I know you will not be disappointed by this revived and healthier take on a classic!

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Walnut Fudge Brownies

 

Ingredients:

  • 3.4 ounces White Whole-Wheat Flour (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ½ cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips; divided
  • 1/3 cup Fat-Free Milk
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; melted
  • 1 tsp. pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs; lightly beaten
  • ½ cup Chopped Walnuts; divided
  • Cooking Spray

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9 inch square metal baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine ½ cup of the chocolate chips and milk. Microwave the mixture on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir in the butter, vanilla, and eggs.
  4. Add the milk mixture, remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips, and ½ cup of walnuts to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of walnuts. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MAUREEN CALLAHAN
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018

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Easy Chocolate Chia Pudding

20180201_145246Cold and flu season is in full force this year and it does not seem to be ending any time soon. Whether you turn on the news, go to social media, run into friends, or get a call from family, the topic of colds, flu, and feeling ill is going to be seen or heard. Luckily, I have yet to get sick this year (knock on wood). It is a great achievement considering I have Crohn’s Disease, which automatically puts me at a disadvantage in the fight against germs due to a weakened immune system. I attribute my ability to avoid illness to my healthy diet and lifestyle. I initially learned about nutrition in culinary school then again when I went back to school for my medical degree. Pair that with many years of research about my disease and I have learned a great deal about nutrition and how to naturally prevent illness and disease.

The first step is to understand the immune system/gut connection. A lot of people are unaware that about 70% of your immune system is in your gut. In your intestines there are hundreds of billions of bacteria living there. Most of the bacteria is good while some of it is bad. Once the bad bacteria begins to outnumber the good bacteria, that is when your immune system gets compromised and you are at more risk to get sick. The good news is you can have a lot of control over the ratio of bacteria by ensuring there is more good bacteria (aka probiotics) than bad bacteria. Now this does not mean I am recommending you run out and buy a probiotic supplement. You have many opportunities throughout the day to feed your gut immune-boosting foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, yogurt, spices, fresh herbs, and this easy and indulgent chocolate chia pudding.

20180201_145134Although a sweet and delicious dessert or snack, this pudding contains a quadruple threat of four specific ingredients (kefir, cinnamon, honey, cocoa) known to either feed the good bacteria or directly increase its quantity. Fermented foods like kefir are naturally rich in probiotics. Cinnamon, honey, and cocoa are all rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. These properties help build up your immunity by lowering the release of arachidonic acid from the membranes that surround the cells. This process also helps lessen inflammation, which is the leading cause of many chronic health problems and diseases. If you want a sweet treat that will also benefit your health, give this easy pudding recipe a try!

Easy Chocolate Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Plain 1% Kefir
  • ¼ cup Chia Seeds
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. Unsweetened Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tbsp. Raw Honey
  • Dark Chocolate Chips; for topping

Formula:

  1. In a medium bowl combine the kefir, chia seeds, vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and honey. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 12 hours).
  2. When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and spoon into small bowls. Top each bowl with a few dark chocolate chips and serve.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: ERIN MACDONALD & TIFFANI BACHUS
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018