Secret Ingredient Brownies

I think you all are very well aware that I absolutely adore all things butter, sugar and chocolate. You may also have noticed that there aren’t healthy substitutes on this site, such as butter substitutes, using applesauce in place of oil, or Splenda instead of sugar. There is a very good reason for that – I simply don’t believe in it! I believe in the pure enjoyment of delicious desserts made from natural, high-quality ingredients that bring out the best flavors in a dessert. I’ve been asked how it’s possible that I’m not severely overweight since I do so much baking and run this website. Well, another thing I believe in is moderation. It all boils down to this – if you want to eat dessert, I believe you should eat the best dessert you can afford, health-wise. Whether it be a luxurious piece of dark chocolate, a chocolate chip cookie or a piece of cheesecake. If I’m craving chocolate, a fat-free, sugar-free pudding cup probably isn’t going to cut it, but a 1-ounce piece of smooth chocolate very likely will. Where am I going with this? While my philosophy is not to bow to substitutes to make yourself feel better about eating dessert, I don’t necessarily eschew making things that are naturally good for you either.

So, what is the secret ingredient in these brownies? White whole wheat flour.

How am I not a hypocrite? Using white whole wheat flour is an attempt add something to the diet (whole grain) as opposed to taking things away and replacing them with lower-quality ingredients that can compromise the final product.

You may have heard me mention from time to time the various ingredients and equipment that I purchase from King Arthur Flour. I am a big fan of the company and have always had positive experiences with their service and products. As a result, I wanted to share a bit of King Arthur Flour with all of you. I contacted a very nice lady there who was thrilled to share some King Arthur goodies with Brown Eyed Baker readers. She mentioned that the most popular products right now are the white whole wheat flour and their new cookbook, Whole Grain Baking. She offered me an opportunity to try both and to give away one of each to a lucky reader!

Now you know I would never promote a product or even a recipe that I wasn’t fully in love with, so after spending a lot of time reading through the cookbook, I decided to give these brownies a try. Full disclosure here – I was admittedly nervous. I really don’t do wheat anything (big shock, right?). If wheat bread is the only type in the house I might eat a sandwich on it. But it can’t be heavy, it has to be a light bread. And I really won’t like it, I’ll just force it down so I don’t pass out from hunger. Imagine my shock when I took these brownies out of the oven, let them cool for a bit and then tasted them – they were absolutely wonderful! The recipe suggests letting these sit overnight before cutting and eating them, as this gives the bran in the wheat time to relax and “meld” into the other flavors so that it’s not noticeable. Well, no one I know ever makes brownies with the intention of waiting until the next day to eat them. Brownies are usually an “I’m craving it NOW!” type of food and waiting until tomorrow just won’t cut it. So, I took one for the team and ate one as soon as they were cool enough to cut. They have a great texture (think thick and fudgy), a fantastically deep chocolate flavor, and the characteristic shiny crisp top layer. And as a bonus – they didn’t have a hint of wheat flavor.

Now that you have a better-for-you brownie recipe, let’s get on with the giveaway!


One (1) copy of Whole Grain Baking
One (1) 5-lb. bag of King Arthur Flour White Whole Wheat Flour

Entry Requirements

How to Enter
: Leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite brownie. A great homemade recipe, Ghiradelli box mix, the bakery around the corner? No matter where they come from, I just want to hear about brownies! :)

Required: You must include your email address in the comment form. I will need it to contact you should you win.

Deadline: Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 11:59pm EST

Extra Entries

The following five opportunities are completely optional and you will earn one extra entry into the giveaway for each. You must leave separate comments for each one to ensure that they are counted as separate entries.

1. Follow @browneyedbaker on Twitter. Leave a comment here indicating that you are now a follower. {If you are already a follower, just say so!}

2. Tweet about this giveaway. Leave a comment here with a link to your tweet.

3. Become a fan of Brown Eyed Baker on Facebook. Leave a comment here indicating you are now a fan. {If you are already a fan, just say so!}

4. Post about this giveaway on Facebook. Leave a comment here with a link to your update.

5. Subscribe to Brown Eyed Baker updates through an RSS feed or email. Leave a comment saying you are now a subscriber. {If you are already a subscriber, just say so!}

The Fine Print

No purchase necessary to enter. Winner will be selected at random by Brown Eyed Baker using All entries received after the Giveaway closing day and time will not be considered. Entries that do not follow the entry requirements will not be considered. Winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to confirm receipt of the email. If the winner does not reply within 24 hours, another winner will be selected. Giveaway has been sponsored by King Arthur Flour.


One year ago: For the Love of Peanut Butter and Cinnamon
Two years ago: Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake
Three years ago: Homemade Soft Pretzels

Whole Grain Brownies

Yield: 24 brownies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups (15 ounces) light brown sugar, firmly packed
¾ cup (2¼ ounces) Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1½ cups (6¼ ounces) white whole wheat flour
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch pan.

2. In a large bowl combine the melted butter and brown sugar and stir to combine. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and heat to between 110 and 120 degrees F - hot but not bubbling. Remove from the heat.

3. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and vanilla. Add the eggs, stirring after each until smooth. Add the flour and chocolate chips, again stirring until smooth. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

4. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester or sharp knife inserted into the center comes out with wet crumbs, but not raw batter. Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack.

(Adapted from King Arthur Flour)

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615 Responses to “Secret Ingredient Brownies”

Comment Pages 1 2 3 4 13
  1. CaseyW on February 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I guess I should have made this a separate comment! :-)

    I’m a fan on Facebook.

  2. Sarah on February 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    A childhood friend’s mom made these Rocky Road Brownies with nuts, marshmallow and choc melted on top of one of the best brownies you’ll ever eat. I wish I had the base recipe b/c just the brownie part itself was something to write home about.

  3. Molly on February 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm
  4. Alexandra on February 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    My favorite brownie recipe is the one on the back of the King Arthur unbleached white flour bag. They are SOOOO good!!!!

  5. Meghan on February 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Just became a fan on facebook!

  6. Randy Goldberg on February 17, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I have posted a link on my Facebook.

  7. Randy Goldberg on February 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I am now following you on Twitter: @DrGaellon

  8. Suzanne on February 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I love, love, love KAF and my new current obsession is their White Whole Wheat. I use it in everything now. My favorite brownie recipe is one I found in a 1993 Better Homes and Gardens issue. They are so dense, gooey, and fudgy–pure heaven! :)
    (I already follow you on Twitter.)

  9. Molly on February 17, 2010 at 3:18 pm
  10. Randy Goldberg on February 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I have tweeted about your post.

  11. Randy Goldberg on February 17, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I’ve been an RSS subscriber for quite some time now.

  12. Kat on February 17, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    My favorite is from “Just a Matter of Thyme” by Roxie Kelley and Shelley Reeves Smith. Easy, yummy, chocolatey, heaven…

  13. Kat on February 17, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I follow on RSS!

  14. Kat on February 17, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    I follow on Facebook!

  15. Gina F. on February 17, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I love Ina’s Outrageous Brownies.

  16. Erica on February 17, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I really don’t make brownies, but my friend makes them from a box and they are absolutely delicious! I wish I knew what brand she uses.

  17. Erica on February 17, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I am subscribed through Google Reader

  18. Erica on February 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I’m a fan on FB!

  19. Jessie on February 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I love any brownie that has caramel on top! Ghiradelli has a great boxed one.

  20. Jessie on February 17, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I follow you on Twitter.

  21. Jessie on February 17, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I am a subscriber.

  22. carmen on February 17, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    i like martha stewart’s double chocolate brownies!

  23. Kate on February 17, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    After the birth of my first child my parents came to visit. They would wander around town and bring us treats from the local bakeries. The best brownies came from The Bread and Butter Bakery. They called them a Brownie Cobbler; an unbelievably thick, rich brownie with a perfect ratio of nuts that begs to be washed down with a tall glass of cold milk. And oh boy, did they ever hit the spot in the wee hours of the night/morning with a newborn.

  24. Lisa on February 17, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I love a good fudgy brownie.

  25. Danielle on February 17, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Ohh I love brownies. Traditionally I use box mixes, but with this recipe, I may try them from scratch!!

    I love peppermint brownies, just throw in some mint chips into the mix, and bake away. My favorite, now I want brownies.

    Thanks a lot! :)

  26. Tiffany on February 17, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I won’t turn down even a boxed-mix brownies, but my favorite is to go to a potluck and see brownies with nuts on a plate. I never put nuts in brownies at home since hubby would be so disappointed.

  27. Alissa on February 17, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Oh, I don’t have a favorite recipe yet (I still cook from the box for brownies most of the time…. ghiradelli). As long as it is a FUDGY brownie I am a happy girl.

  28. Carrie on February 17, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    my mom has a fabulous recipe for pecan brownie cupcakes. it’s probably my favorite brownie

  29. Danielle on February 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    We are already twitter buddies!!

  30. Carrie on February 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    i follow you on twitter @carrieactually

  31. Danielle on February 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I follow your blog!

  32. Carrie on February 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    i subscribe via rss

  33. Alissa on February 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    …and you now have a new fan on Facebook. =)

  34. Alissa on February 17, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    I subscribe via RSS

  35. Jen B on February 17, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I’ve been making the Martha Stewart brownie recipe for a few years now and have always gotten lots of compliments. It doesn’t cut the best though. I’m actually trying the black bean brownie recipe from Happy Herbivore this weekend!

  36. Janet Hanson on February 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    My favorite brownie’s are zucchini brownies, with frosting! So moist and delicious. Just started making them last summer and they’re the best I’ve ever had! :-) And I can delude myself into thinking that they are remotely healthy, lol.

  37. Jen B on February 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I subscribe via RSS

  38. AprilA on February 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    my Fav Brownies are the ones my gramma use to make and that’s one recipe she has yet to share with me..
    I’m a FB fan and subscriber.. =)

  39. Jeanne on February 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I love King Arthur Flour, especially the white whole wheat flour! I don’t have one specific favorite brownie recipe, but I love fudgy brownies! I always make them from scratch, and next time I’ll have to try using white whole wheat flour.

  40. Beth G on February 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    For the Super Bowl I made a brownie with pecans and caramel and they were totally amazing. I loved them!

  41. Laura on February 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    My favorite brownie recipe is King Arthur Flour’s Fudge Brownies. They are the best!

  42. Beth G on February 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I subscribe through the RSS feed!

  43. Jeanne on February 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I have been subscribed to your RSS feed for a long time now! :)

  44. Erin on February 17, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    What a great philosophy! I’m already a fan of King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, it’s sitting in my pantry right now, and I just used it Monday to bake my FAVORITE Oatmeal Wheat Bread.

    I would LOVE to win that cookbook to further expand my white whole wheat baking!

  45. Shantuck on February 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    We tried your brownie recipe with the chocolate peanut butter rice crispies topping and I think that is the recipe to beat at the moment. Those were amazing enough to get my husband to call me when working late just to make sure I remembered to save him a piece!

  46. Erin on February 17, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I follow you on twitter already!

  47. Nathalie on February 17, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I LOVE any soft chewy brownies with peanut butter!!!!!

  48. Erin on February 17, 2010 at 3:39 pm
  49. Rachel in NC on February 17, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    This is a great giveaway! I keep white whole wheat flour in my pantry all the time, and I just checked this book our from the library!

    My favorite brownies come from the bakery that made my wedding cake, but I made a fantastic batch of Ghiradelli last week.

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