Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Almost but not quite entirely unlike a brownie.

Jason is out tonight, and as I was doing all the evening pre-kid bedtime activity, I kept telling myself that I was gonna make some brownies after they went to bed. I often make plans for myself after the kids are in bed. It's how I get through that emotionally fragile time between 5:30 and 7:30 in the evening. This may sound nuts to those of you without children. Wow--a brownie date! With myself! Thrilling--truly. I know, it sounds a bit pathetic.

I have been craving chocolate lately, which I am blaming on some recent stresses in my life. Yes, I have been walking Becky through her diagnosis and planning of treatment by eating handfuls of chocolate chips and the occasional peanut butter and honey sandwich. (Or as we say in the South, "sammich".) We all have our roles to play, and I want to be supportive. The day the biopsy results came back, I showed my support by baking cookies. For me. Ostensibly for the kids, but mostly for me.

So at about 4pm today, I decided to bake brownies tonight. But as I mentioned, I am trying to eat better and exercise, so I wanted to find a low calorie brownie recipe. Google, don't fail me now. I found a recipe that uses applesauce and promised 40 calories per serving. (That should have been my first clue. 40 calories is just too good to be true, right?) So after dinner and baths for all three, after cleaning up and a wombat diaper, after nursing and PJ's and brushing teeth and stories, I grabbed the recipe and whipped up those brownies. I made a cup of tea and prepared to enjoy.

Yes, that slab there is a brownie. And as I just made myself eat it, I can assure you that not only does it look like cardboard dipped in chocolate, it tastes like it, too. Except I'm pretty sure cardboard has more texture. And now it lies there in the pan, sluggish and dense. Like some kind of brownie swamp creature. Ick. I should've known better! For starters, I am not exactly a whiz in the kitchen. Some of you will remember my valiant effort with an ill-fated pineapple upside-down cake. But this time, I don't think it was entirely me--I blame the recipe. I blame the Internet.

It reminds me of a time years ago when I was visiting my aunt Maggie in San Angelo, Texas. She was doing Weight Watchers, and instead of guacamole, made "mockamole". We tried it, and I remember both of us laughing hysterically in her kitchen as we attempted to force a few bites down. I think it was kind of a brownish color, wasn't it, Maggie? Anyway, not so good. Apparently, guacamole will not be mocked. Respect the avocado.

Any good low-calorie cookie or brownie recipes out there? You guys are pretty resourceful. Don't just think of it as helping me out, but as helping Becky out, too. She needs me fortified with low calorie chocolatey goodness. And I will not fail her.

P.S. Extra points if you can tell me where the title comes from!


  1. Amy, you are a riot! I sat here chuckling at your description and picture of the slab-o-brownie. I know well your craving for chocolate. I could go for a Three Musketeers bar myself right now. Give 'em to Nate. That boy'll eat anything.

  2. Amy, Amy, Amy. That is not a brownie. Not at all! My personal opinion is that you don't mess with the sacred brownie by trying to make them low-fat! I mean, really, it's almost offensive. :) And lordy, if you are in a place where you (and Becky) need comfort food...you should take the brownies full force. And then limit portion control. Or not. ;) Personally, I often eat brownies for breakfast. No better way to start the day!

  3. I had totally blocked the mockamole from my memories!! It was HORRIBLE. I can't believe I forced loved ones to eat it. UGH!!
    I will tell you that if you use a cake mix and a canned diet cola (diet coke for chocolate mix and diet sprite for white) you can make a yummy WW cake. Top it with FF whipped cream. I have made this several times and it does work. Just pour the liquid in the dry mix and bake according to the directions on the box.I haven't quite given up on WW receipes. Let me know if this works. Hugs to ya

  4. BTW, the color of the mockamole was about the color of what one would find in a Wombat diaper

  5. I have a recipe for low fat brownies that is killer. It's def. not low cal, though. I can email it if you want.

  6. So did you put the batter in a 13x9 pan? They lie--you gotta use a 9x9.
    Maybe you could add peanut butter frosting?
    My kids would have gotten out of bed once the brownie atoms reached their nostrils.
    P.S. I think chocolate is mandatory for stress. I ate a Hershey's bar last night.

  7. It is the classic line from the Douglas Adam's book, The Resturant at the End of the Universe. Arthur Dent tries to get a good cup of tea from the replicator thingy machine, but all he gets is a drink that is, "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea."

    What do I win???

  8. If ever there was a time for actual brownies, Amy, this would be it. Just the opinion of a cancer support person with a kitchen full of sugary, chocolately, utterly fattening treats.

    Also, I think I might start referring to intense diaper situations as Wombat Diapers, just because it's hilarious. =)

    Hope you're hanging in there... I'm praying for you and thinking of you every day.

  9. That looks like it would make a good doorstop eventually. :) This is exactly why I never attempt baking.

  10. Amy, I respect your efforts at low-cal, but I need everybody on the team in their best spirits. This is not the time for brownie half-assery!

    Have some Easter candy.

    I personally ate three (okay five) mini PB cups today. Five is a serving!

  11. I hate to break it to you there are no good diet brownies! They all pretty much taste like cardboard. I suggest go for the real thing only eat less. Make the real deal and cut them up into smaller squares, then freeze them. You can pop a few out to thaw whenever you have a chocolate emergency.
    Mockamole! Sounds like something I would be tricked into making.

  12. Amy,
    Here's a recipe from my WW online account. Who knows it may be somewhat similar to an actual brownie.

    1 package(s) regular brownies, dry mix, about 21 1/2 oz
    1/4 cup(s) water
    1/4 cup(s) unsweetened applesauce
    4 large egg white(s)
    1/4 cup(s) walnut halves, coarsely chopped
    1/4 cup(s) mini chocolate chips, or 2 oz.
    8 medium marshmallow(s), chopped or 1 cup mini marshmallows

    * Coat a 9- x 13-inch pan with cooking spray; set aside.

    * Prepare brownie mixture according to package directions for lower fat brownies using 1/4 cup water, applesauce and egg whites. Pour into prepared pan.

    * Sprinkle walnuts over top of brownies; bake according to package directions. Remove from oven about 5 minutes before the end of the baking time, and toss chocolate chips and marshmallows over top; cook 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and cool brownies on a wire rack. Cut into 24 pieces; serve. 3 WW points

  13. I've got a rockin' good vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe. I'm not sure if it's low cal, but it is *healthy*. No butter or white sugar, sweetened with maple syrup and dates. I usually put dark chocolate MnMs in them. :-) You can find the recipe here: http://wp.me/pI6Ms-8N

    But I totally agree. You also gotta go full force on the brownies. The best brownie recipes I've ever made have instant espresso in them. Jacks up the chocolate flavor like nobody's business. Then, sprinkle with some sea salt and you are in serious gourmet brownie heaven. :-)

  14. Thanks for the recipe ideas, guys! And yes, jenni, i would love a recipe sent to me. Gonna email ya, yes I am.

    Meghan and Kathy--you make valid points. Portion control is a good idea too! And brownies for breakfast. Nice touch, Meg!

    Michele R--that actually WAS from an 9x9 pan, can you BELIEVE that? Sad. Sad and just wrong.

    And Beth--sea salt on brownies?? I ain't never done heard of such a thing. You intrigue me.

  15. I am sorry I can't help you out here as I'm not a brownie person either full fat or low fat:)
    But hang in there....praying for you guys...

  16. Trader Joe's makes a brownie mix that uses non-fat yogurt instead of oil. It's not half bad. If you're really sweet to me I might send you a box.

    Good for Papa for beating me to the Douglas Adams reference!

  17. You had me all amped up for brownies 'til I saw that picture. Sad little thing. (Tho' I still would've eaten it, no question.)
    I've been known to de-fat a recipe into oblivion.

    We all had ambitions to bake something tasty last night, too, but we ended up having bowls of generic cookie crisp cereal instead.

  18. You make me want to go whip up a pan of brownies, now that my kids are down for the night (3/4 of them, anyway).

    You *need* fat to feel satisfied. Low-fat brownies make you want to eat more brownies than full-fat ones, so you end up eating more calories and more sugar. Trust me on this one. Fat is good. Too much sugar is bad. And avocados are the perfect food.

  19. Ah HA! I was trying to remember what weird chocolate avocado recipe I'd tried and Mommy Blawger reminded me: chocolate cupcakes made with avocado.
    I believe it was one of those Jessica Seinfeld recipes. It was...ok.