Jan 8, 2009

The 3-Point Brownie Recipe (5 as a Sundae)

Recently I shared a recipe with a fellow Twitterer when they Tweeted about a brownie crisis of sorts, so I made myself some, even though I haven't technically restarted my program due to issues I need to resolve prior for more success, i.e. when I can focus on the diet specifically. I still cook the foods I discovered I liked when in the Weight Watchers program full force a few years ago, so as I prep to have another full-force go at it again soon, I thought I'd share as I get organized.

The thing is that some stores consider the candied cherries seasonal, so you still might have a chance to get some if that is the case in your area. The expiration date is somewhere around 6 to 8 months on the candied cherries, so buy enough to make your recipe until next fall. You may be able to freeze them as well extending their shelf life. If you can't find any, someone told me they use cherry pie filling. I imagine the pie filling would moisten the brownies a bit, which is very thick as the recipe stands. I haven't tried this yet, so you'll have to judge the cherry pie filling version on your own, as well as determine how it might affect your points.

I also make double and triple batches, cut them, wrap them up individually, store all in a container, and freeze them. You can take out as many as you need for that treat that the whole family will love!

Note: As this brownie recipe stands, it calls for regular butter. You may be able to reduce the points by switching out to a low-fat/lite butter or heart-healthy baking spread. To take this further, as this sundae recipe stands, using a regular brand of fat-free mint ice cream (1/2 cup), you may find that you can decrease the 5 points down to 4 and beyond since Weight Watchers now has their own 2-point-cup serving of mint chocolate chip ice cream available in the freezer section, and I find that 1/4 cup is sufficient for my own taste, half.



3/4 c. all purpose flour
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/3 c. chopped candied cherries
1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbs. confectioners' sugar (I never use this)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray.

2. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Combine the granulated sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract in another bowl. Add the sugar mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Fold in the cherries and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the baking pan. (Will be very thick)

3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean, 28-32 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack 30 minutes. Cut into 16 bars. Remove from the pan and sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar.

PER SERVING (1 Brownie): 141 calories, 5 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 34 mg cholesterol, 86 mg sodium, 25 g total carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 2 g protein, 30 mg calcium.

FOR A SPECIAL SUNDAY STYLE TREAT: Place a brownie in a bowl and top with a 1/2-cup scoop of fat-free mint ice cream, a tablespoon of fat-free whipped topping, and a maraschino cherry (5 points per sundae). (We warm the brownie before adding toppings)

Hope you enjoy!

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