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The Best Fudgy Brownie Recipe

The hunt for the perfect, low-calorie, chocolate dessert is over.

Low-calorie bakers have tried every trick in the book to come up with a "healthy" brownie: butter substitute, egg substitute, sugar substitute. And yet, we don't eat dessert for its nutritional value, right? We do it because we want some sugar satisfaction. And what's the point in eating dessert if we can't get no satisfaction? (If you don't get that reference, you don't get dessert.)

But in all seriousness, if you want to eat a brownie, you're not going to feel truly satisfied by any substitute for the real ingredients. One well-known cook even makes his brownies with mashed black beans. No thanks. Make a batch of brownies like that, and you're likely to eat half a pan and still not feel satisfied. Why waste the calories on something that's pretending to be something that it's not?

We'd rather get it right the first time, using the real ingredients, but maybe just a little bit less of them. With a restrained amount of butter and sugar and a dose of good, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, you're going to have a delicious square to devour, rather than a sweet treat that leaves you disappointed. This brownie may be low-calorie, but it's 100 percent the real deal.

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Nutrition: 200 calories, 12.5 g fat (6 g saturated), 16 g sugar

Makes 12 brownies

You'll Need

1⁄2 cup (1stick) butter
2 oz semi-sweet dark chocolate, chopped
3⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1⁄2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a pan set over low heat.
  3. Stir in the sugar, cocoa, and vanilla and remove from the heat.
  4. Add the eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk until smooth. Stir in the walnuts if using.
  5. Pour the batter into an 8" x 8" baking pan coated with a bit of nonstick spray.
  6. Spread the batter out into an even layer.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out nearly clean. (If you like your brownies less fudgy, bake a few extra minutes, until the toothpick comes out perfectly clean.)

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