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 3 4 5 6 7 13
  1. Andrea on February 17, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I tweeted this giveaway

  2. Andrea on February 17, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    And now I’m a facebook fan :)

  3. AmyLynn on February 17, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Favorite brownie is from my mom’s old Better Homes & Gardens cookbook (1963?). Part is probably nostalgia, but also I find they’re the perfect level of richness and chocolatiness (is that a word?!) without being over-the-top rich. Following some health challenges this past year, we’re trying to change up our diet and this book would fit right in!

  4. AmyLynn on February 17, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I’m an RSS feed subscriber too!

  5. AmyLynn on February 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    …and follow your Tweets!

  6. a little bit of everything on February 17, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    I have been making these brownies for years. A close friend gave me the recipe. They are best with mimi bits throughout and sprinkled on top. With vanilla ice cream And hot fudge sauce.
    I am a follower! Be great if you did the same!
    I am also a follower on FB.

  7. Amy on February 17, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Sometimes I think the box mix is hard to beat. I’m searching for my perfect go-to recipe but recently I made the brownies from the back of the Baker’s Chocolate box. They were delicious but very hard to slice. If you don’t mind eating chucks of brownie (and I don’t) they were fabulous.

  8. Tena on February 17, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Here is how I make my “fav” brownies… Hershey Syrup Brownie recipe topped (after brownies have cooled) with a generous layer of peanut butter and a layer of milk chocolate frosting (Pillsbury is best). Chocolatey, gooey and wonderful! Sll you need is a cold glass of milk.

  9. Carolyn on February 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    I LOVE a fudgy brownie with a crackly top & Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet Brownies (from Pure Dessert) fit the bill.
    Here in Canada I’m having a tough time finding the equivalent of King Arthur’s white whole wheat flour which is a flour I really want to try: if I can add in a little extra nutrition to Indulgent – without taking ANYthing away of what makes it so – then it’s having your cake (or brownie) & eating it too!

  10. Laura on February 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    A drastically modified variation on Dorie Greenspan’s Quintuple Chocolate Brownies… Similar batter and techniqie, but no chunks or nuts, just a ton of coffee powder to complement a perfectly fudgy texture. Add a splash of kahlua and a swirl of cream cheese frosting spiked with kaluha too…perfection!

  11. Brandi on February 17, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    My alltime favorite brownies were nothing special ingredient-wise. I made them while living in Japan, and since the ingredients were shipped from the States, they were “real” brownies, something I just couldn’t get in Japan. Oh my goodness, it was like heaven melting in my mouth, even as basic as they were!

  12. Amy on February 17, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    My favorite recipe is the Hershey’s recipe! I substitute chocolate chips for the nuts (not a fan of nuts in brownies). Love it!

    Tweeted about this one! I know some people who might be interested, for sure. :)

  13. Brandi on February 17, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I’m an RSS feed subscriber…

  14. April Kofler on February 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I like to use just a cheap brownie mix ($1.00 on sale) I add coled coffee in place of the water and on top I like to swirl on melted caramel and toaster pecans after they have cooked and cooled a little. Sometimes I will add chocolate chips also to the batter.
    I just found you on Facebook and have been getting your updates in my box for awhile now. I love King Arthur, would someday love to have the cookbook.

  15. Brandi on February 17, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Am now following on twitter… (BrandiAM)

  16. Susan on February 17, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I love homemade brownies but must admit that I usually reach for a box or package mix because I am having one of those “gotta have it right now moments”. Most of the time I pour half of the mix in the pan then sprinkle chocolate chips or hershey with almonds candy and then pour the half of mix on top and bake. Always delicious!

  17. Deanna on February 17, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I am an email subscriber. And I love KAF and use white whole wheat for most everything.

  18. Deanna on February 17, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    I love a smore’s brownie. I remember a favorite one that had graham crackers for crust, brownie layer, then you push in broken up Hershey bars, chunks of grahams and marshmallows til they toast. Yumm.

  19. Carol on February 17, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    I don’t have a favorite brownie recipe. I do have one requirement though. I don’t like the brownies that are cakey and have icing on top. To me, that is just a really short cake!

    I love cooking with whole wheat when it does not interfere with the taste of the recipe. I’m super excited to see a good whole grain brownie recipe. THANKS!

  20. Carol on February 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Oh and I totally subscribe to your feed! Wouldn’t miss an update!

  21. Susan on February 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    I become a fan of Brown Eyed Baker on Facebook!

  22. Amy on February 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    My favorite brownies are a recipe from my grandmother. They are thick and chewy with lots of chocolate chips in them. We love them frosted with chunks of crushed heath bar on top. My husband calls them “brownies on crack:)” Can’t wait to try this whole wheat recipe. Always looking for ways to make things healthier!

  23. Susan on February 17, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    I shared your giveaway on my FB profile!

  24. Matt on February 17, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    My favorite brownies would have to be from the Ghirardelli mix. They always come through for me!

    And I follow you on Twitter- love the updates

  25. jennifer on February 17, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    oh, this looks awesome!! I love trying whole wheat but like you, I’m not a fan of the denseness it give. I like bread light and soft :) but I’m willing to give it a try!!

    I usually just make brownies out of a box….I know, i’m lazy :(

  26. DeniseIN on February 17, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Triple Fudge Brownies – made with chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding, and chocolate chips. So much chocolatey goodness!

  27. jennifer on February 17, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    PS–I am already subscribed to you through a google feed!! :)

  28. jennifer on February 17, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    I am also your fan on FB:)

  29. Melissa P. on February 17, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    I posted about this on my Facebook page. Here’s a link, although my posts are all set to private.

  30. denise on February 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    my favorite brownie is from duncan hines box since it’s easy to make and always delicious. =)

  31. barb on February 17, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    My fav is still the one from the vintage Hershey’s syrup chocolate can. It’s not there anymore but I still have it & use it faithfully. Of course I’d love to try king arthur products!

  32. Robin on February 17, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    My no-fail recipe is the Ghiradelli triple chocolate mix with either extra chocolate chips or peanut butter chips or reeses pieces added in to the mix. My family prefers them slightly underbaked, they are ridiculously good!

  33. suzy q on February 17, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Am still on a quest for my favorite brownies. Because right now, they come from a box. And I am NOT a box kind of girl!

  34. suzy q on February 17, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    And I am a faithful google feed reader girl! Thanks for the giveaway!

  35. Jessica on February 17, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Those brownies look soooo delicious! I’ve always wanted to make brownies from scratch…and someday I will! At the moment my favorite brownies would have the be the big box of Ghirardelli mix that they sell at Costco. There are 6 packets of brownie mix in that thing! I hope to someday move away from box mixes, but as a college student they are so quick and convenient!

  36. Dawn on February 17, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    When it comes to brownies I usually just buy Pillsbury box brownies. I love to bake but have not come across a brownie recipe that I loved. When I do make brownies I love to make a brownie sundae with mint chocolate chip ice cream and chocolate syrup drizzled on top.

  37. Jessica on February 17, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Oh! and I’m also a subscriber to your RSS feed! :)

  38. Rebecca on February 17, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    I’m an RSS subscriber — my favorite recipe is:
    Fudgy Brownies
    From the book The Essence of Chocolate by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg
    Yield 16 brownies

    In order to achieve the crackled top and fudgy texture of classic brownies, this batter must be beaten by hand until it pulls from the sides of the bowl. This sounds like a task, but it’s not; there’s something homey and satisfying about stirring this thick, glossy batter yourself.

    6 Tbsp. (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for the pan
    8 oz. 70-percent bittersweet chocolate
    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/4 tsp. salt
    2 large eggs
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup toasted walnut halves (optional)

    Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
    Cut an 8-by-16-inch piece of parchment paper. Lightly butter an 8-by-8-by-2-inch pan and line it with the parchment, allowing it to extend evenly over the opposite sides. Butter the parchment, including the paper on the sides ofthe pan.
    Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.
    With a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon, beat the sugar and salt into the chocolate mixture. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour and mix vigorously until the batter is very glossy and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
    Break the nuts, if using, into large pieces over the batter and fold them in.
    Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap the pan bottom on the countertop to level the batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out moist but clean.
    Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove the brownies from the pan using the parchment “handles,” and cool completely on the rack before cutting into 2-inch squares.

  39. Ed Schenk on February 17, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    I’ve always had problems with brownies but these look great. I’ll have to try this recipe.
    Best brownie-Anyone with nuts on top!

  40. karen on February 17, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    My favorite brownie recipe is Ghirardelli’s recipe for Fudgy Brownies.

    I already follow you on twitter and am a fan of you on Facebook.

  41. Margot on February 17, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Awesome giveaway! I’m originally from Norwich, VT (where K.A. is located), and I absolutely adore them! Such wonderful people and such great products.

    Alas, my absolute favorite brownie resides in Brooklyn, far, far away from my home. All of their brownies are amazing, but I go for the sweet & salty brownie. It is killer. Laced with homemade caramel and fleur de sel, it is so soft and fudgy, I always want more than one! I have to get it to go, or else I’m afraid I would buy a dozen.

    Can’t wait to try your new recipe!

  42. Quiltingdaisy on February 17, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    any recipe with a lot of eggs, this makes it both rich and moist.

  43. Kelly Dee on February 17, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    My favourite recipe is from the book ‘In the Mood for Food’ by Jo Pratt. They are super rich and have cherries in them……

  44. Carly on February 17, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    My favorite brownies are rum-frosted brownies: box brownies topped with rum/butter/confectioner’s sugar frosting, then a layer of bittersweet chocolate.

  45. Tracey on February 17, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Cooks Illustrated has the best brownie recipe I have ever made.

  46. Jamey on February 17, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I tweeted about this giveaway

  47. Jamey on February 17, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    My favorite brownies are Baker’s One Bowl Brownies, slightly undercooked to remain gooey.
    I would love to get more recipes from King Arthur. Their products are great

  48. Cindy Waffles on February 17, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I like to add an extra egg to brownie recipes to give it that nice cake like texture.

    I follow on you on Twitter. @lookytasty

  49. bridget {bake at 350} on February 17, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    My favorite is the Kind Arthur Flour Fudgy Brownie recipe. SO good!

    I love their white whole wheat flour and have heard raves about this cook book!

  50. bridget {bake at 350} on February 17, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    I follow you on twitter! :)

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