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)


615 Responses to “Secret Ingredient Brownies”

Comment Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 13
  1. Margaret on February 17, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Cream cheese brownies are to die for!

  2. Gwyn on February 17, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    I’m a facebook fan… :-)

  3. Margaret on February 17, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    I subscribe through RSS feed. :)

  4. Gwyn on February 17, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    i posted on facebook about the giveaway – once again – here it goes (not sure if you can see it if you aren’t my “friend” though…)

  5. Angela on February 17, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    My current favorite brownie is a Hershey’s recipe I found somewhere. This looks amazing, though!

  6. Jayne on February 17, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Marble brownies with a cream cheese swirl are pretty yummy. I love your Better-than-Brownies Chocolate Cookies though. I make them when ever I need to be cheered up. Thanks for the offer.

  7. Gwyn on February 17, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I follow you on google reader! (i’m addicted my google reader!)

  8. Angela on February 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I follow you on Twitter!

  9. Jayne on February 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I subscribe to the RSS Feed.

  10. Angela on February 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    And I subscribe to your RSS. Another Google Reader addict!

  11. Jayne on February 17, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    And I am a firend on facebook. Thanks again!

  12. Lori on February 17, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    My absolute favorite brownies are Ina’s Outrageous Brownies! I think about them all the time!

  13. Emily on February 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    My favorite brownie is a double white chocolate brownie that I came up with one day. It was kind of made on accident because I went to make brownies and had no regular chocolate in the house! So I used white chocolate and alot of brown sugar and they came out AMAZINGLY! They are everyones favorites now!

  14. Cathy on February 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    My favorite is my mother-in-law’s from-scratch recipe. So good!

  15. Emily on February 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I already am subscribed to you through email :]

  16. Emily on February 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    I became a fan on facebook!

  17. Tiffany on February 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    These look so yummy! My favorite brownie recipe is from Cook’s magazine. I would love to win the contest, but have to say that I love love love King Arthur Flour already. I’ve had great experiences with both the product and customer service. Excellent!

  18. Beth on February 17, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I love all brownies, but my favorite is this brownie that my neighbor brought to my house when I was growing up. She brought it for a BBQ he had. I swear, it was the best thing ever. It was so fudgy, it was almost like cake, yet chewy like a brownie. To this day I don’t know if it was homemade or from a box. But that is my perfect brownie: fudgy yet chewy. And with killer frosting on top.

  19. Cassandra on February 17, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I’m so excited about the idea of using white whole wheat flour—it’s my favorite flour to make bread with! My favorite brownies would be my mom’s cheesecake swirled brownies.

  20. Emily on February 17, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I made a facebook comment about the giveaway 😀
    Hope I win!!

  21. Emily on February 17, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    My favorite brownies are always cheesecake swirl brownies. Or just any old fudgy brownie (but I actually like them cakey, rather than gooey) with cream cheese slathered on top.

    Pick me!

  22. Jo on February 17, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Ghiradelli triple chocolate chunk brownie mix is the best!!

  23. Karen on February 17, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Ghiradelli is hard to beat especially when the brownie munchies strike late at night!

  24. jessica on February 17, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    sadly my go to is the Ghiradelli box mix. easy and yummy!

  25. Kaitlin on February 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    We have a family recipe that I must say is my fav!
    And i’m a follower through google reader!!

  26. jessica on February 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    just became a fan on facebook!

  27. Rene Rodgers on February 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    My favorite brownies are from Joy the Baker’s website. Aptly named “Old School Brownies” they taste JUST like the fudgy brownie mix my sisters grew up on.

  28. AmyRuth on February 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I have just discovered a really fudgy brownie recipe in Dorie Greenspans BFMHTY – Rick Katz’s for Julia brownies are super duper ooey gooey and they are my new fav. hehe I follow on twitter will retweet for you. Teen &college kids say Mom is too uncool for FB so I tweet instead. hehe There you have it.

  29. Rebecca on February 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Ghiardelli box…I admit it. Perhaps because I haven’t really branched out…those are just so darn easy!

  30. Stephanie _Oh on February 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I just made a lg batch of brownies for Valentine Day. I used Cooks Illustrate brownie recipe that was in the newest CI mag. Loved the recipe! They were the best brownies I’ve ever made. They were soft, chocolatey,moist with that thin crunchy layer on the top. Yum! Would love to be in the drawing for the ckbk, www flour. BTW, I use the WWW flour to make my sourdough breads and in muffins all the time. I love the results.

  31. Taryn on February 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    My FAVORITE brownie of all time ever is this supernatural brownie recipe: Seriously the best brownie I’ve ever eaten. And I just converted myself to King Arthur thanks to the Bread Baker’s Apprentice and I love their products. Love!

    I follow you on Twitter too!

  32. Rene Rodgers on February 17, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I thought I already followed you on twitter! I was mistaken :(. But now I do! I’m epickbaker :).

  33. Rene Rodgers on February 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    I also follow you on google reader :).

  34. melissa on February 17, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I love 17 and Baking’s recipe for “cold war brownies” they’ve got cream cheese swirl and chili powder and delicious chocolatey richness! However, when I’m in an “omg-get-me-a-brownie-or-lose-your-head” mood I’ll go for Dunkin Hines…They are chocolate, fudgy and quite simply good.

  35. gingela5 on February 17, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    My favorite brownie would have to be a triple-chocolate brownie that one of my friends made.
    That’s the recipe…with three sticks of butter how could it NOT be good?! :)

  36. Cindy on February 17, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    My favorite brownie is from a store in Los Angeles called Diddy Riese, but I prefer blondies more.

    I follow your blog through Google reader, which is kinda like an RSS, isn’t it? I’m also a fan on facebook!

  37. Logan on February 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    I have to admit that my favorite brownies come from a box! Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate brownies… So far, no other brownie I have had has topped them!!!

  38. Susan Smith on February 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Brownies are definitely a favorite dessert of mine. When I was in high school, I really enjoyed a store-bought kind (Betty Crocker, maybe???) that had Reese’s pieces in the mix. I’ve attempted homemade brownies once, and it was a disaster. I’m looking forward to trying these in the future.

  39. Amy (Sing For Your Supper) on February 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Eeeeek! I *love* KAF!!! In fact, my favorite brownie recipe is theirs – the Guaranteed Brownies. They’re perfect.
    I already follow you on Facebook and RSS :-)

  40. jan Sanderson on February 17, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Years ago my best friend gave me the best recipe… it has chocolate chips in it so it is extra chocolately! YUM!

  41. jan Sanderson on February 17, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I’m a fan!

  42. Nicole on February 17, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I love brownies with cream cheese swirl – from a box (Pillsbury) or homemade.

  43. SarahR on February 17, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    My favorite recipe is the Fudge Brownie recipe from King Arthur. Actually gives the boxed mix a run for their money!

  44. SarahR on February 17, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    I also subscribe through RSS

  45. Andrea on February 17, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    The last brownies I made were David Lebovitz’s dulce de leche brownies and they were AMAZING!

  46. Andrea on February 17, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    I follow you on twitter

  47. Carly on February 17, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    My favorite brownies are Outrageous Brownies from Ina Garten!!!

  48. katie on February 17, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    oooh I’ve borrowed that book from the library and it’s a good one! My favorite brownie is a cherry cheesecake brownie YUMMERS! Also love these grerat gluten free brownies from a bakery in my neighborhood!!

  49. katie on February 17, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I’m a facebook fan too! :)

  50. Sara on February 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    My favorite brownies are fat-free! Crazy, I know. It’s a little whole in the wall natural food store that sells them and they are oh-so delicious. I wish I knew the recipe but they say it’s a secret!

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