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Old 11-16-2008, 02:12 PM   #1
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Simple Cocoa Brownies (with a holiday twist)

These brownies are easy to prepare and naturally sweetened with erythritol and stevia. Xylitol also works well if you can tolerate it. You can find oat flour at most grocery stores.

They are rich and chocolaty, but not gooey. If you use Dutch-processed cocoa they taste a bit like a hostess snack cake. Try 'em with the cranberries for a tart surprise.

Recipe and more photos here!





Cranberry Hazelnut Holiday Brownies

One recipe of Simple Cocoa Brownies
1/2 cup frozen cranberries, chopped into halves
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or walnuts, toasted

If you are using frozen cranberries, thaw chopped halves in 10 second intervals in the microwave until heated through and no longer icy. Squeeze as much moisture out as you can with paper towels. Mix into batter.


Simple Cocoa Brownies

Yields 10-12 brownies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup organic unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup erythritol or 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons xylitol
1/4 teaspoon good-tasting pure stevia extract (NuNaturals)
2 large organic eggs
1/4 cup organic heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup oat flour
1/4-1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preparation:
Preheat oven 350F. Melt butter and cocoa together and stir until smooth. Whisk in eggs and xylitol. Pour cream in, whisking for a minute or two to dissolve all of the xylitol. Add in remaining ingredients, reserving nuts to stir in last. Pour batter into silicone muffins cups (fill half full) or an 8 by 8 inch pan lined with parchment or greased aluminum foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

~3g net carbs per brownie
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Last edited by jacksmixedtape; 11-16-2008 at 02:19 PM..
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:05 PM   #2
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Lauren, I bet they would be good with Kevin's dried sweetened cranberries!
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:25 PM   #3
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Lauren....I'm really looking forward to making these! A couple of ?s, though. Is the erythritol powdered and is there a reason not to use all almond flour?
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:35 PM   #4
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Kevin's dried cranberries would be wonderful in these, Tweaker! Great idea. The cranberries are surprisngly good without sweetener, though...

Quote:
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Lauren....I'm really looking forward to making these! A couple of ?s, though. Is the erythritol powdered and is there a reason not to use all almond flour?
The erythritol is not powdered--if you whisk it for long enough the cream will dissolve it.

The oat flour is important because it stops any sort of "cooling effect" with the erythritol. It really works! There is no cooling effect in these brownies. Without oat flour I can always taste it. Oat flour is available at most grocery stores in the flour section.

Last edited by jacksmixedtape; 11-16-2008 at 07:38 PM..
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:46 PM   #5
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Thanks, Lauren! I will pick up some oat flour. I do not have granular erythritol, only powdered, so should I double it for more sweetness?
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam View Post
Thanks, Lauren! I will pick up some oat flour. I do not have granular erythritol, only powdered, so should I double it for more sweetness?
Pam, doubling your powdered E should give you the correct amount.
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:22 AM   #7
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Lauren: These sound wonderful. I have a cookie exchange coming up and I wonder how they would be in mini-muffin pans as "cookies"..
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:09 AM   #8
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Not to thrilled with using Oat Flour. What is the carb count vs something like KevinsPA's cake and cookie flour mix?
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:54 AM   #9
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Oh Lauren g/f!! YUM~~ Wonder if I could use Fresh Cranberries in these and make my Oat Flour with my Food Processor..I have the Natural Oats to make the flour with..

Keep them wonderful Holiday recipes coming g/f!!

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Old 11-17-2008, 11:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynF View Post
Lauren: These sound wonderful. I have a cookie exchange coming up and I wonder how they would be in mini-muffin pans as "cookies"..
That's what I was thinking of doing too!
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:18 AM   #11
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LOL Copycat!! I think I am going to do that too...

HUGS!
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkeeterN View Post
Not to thrilled with using Oat Flour. What is the carb count vs something like KevinsPA's cake and cookie flour mix?
Oat flour is 54g net carbs per cup. The amount that you use in this recipe is 1/4 cup = 13.5 net carbs. The oat flour really does something to the erythritol to keep it smooth and not "cool" at all. Amazing! It's just pulverized whole oats.

No guarantees with any substitutions, but if you try it and it works out, please report back!

CarolynF--The brownies would probably work well that way! Ooh, the cookie swap sounds like fun. Do you know if any other low carbers will be there?

Christina, you can definitely make oat flour in your food processor, gf! Just whiz it right up till fine.


Important recipe note: Please try to restrain yourself and LET THE BROWNIES COOL! They are so good the next day. They are seriously reminiscent of those prepackaged frosted brownies with the nuts on top, LOL. Brings back memories!
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Old 11-17-2008, 02:49 PM   #13
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Lauren, one more question regarding making your own oat flour. Do you use rolled oats or can you use the steel cut?

Thanks!!
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:20 PM   #14
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:54 PM   #15
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Hi folks...
I built a batch tonight with the following changes...
Our cocoa is not the Dutch type. The batter made 11 cupcake shaped brownies which I baked in ungreased silicone cupcake liners setting in a cake pan in the oven. The brownies released just fine when cooled.

Impressions...
  • Very rich and chocolaty
  • Great cake texture - the cakes held shape well. I feared they might be weak made with only almond flour
  • Nice nutty taste and a bit of a chewy bite from the coconut
  • No artificial flour after taste (no hint of low-carbishness)
  • No noticeable cooling effect from the Erythritol

This may go with us to our Thanksgiving gathering.

I will experiment with other added ingredients and different baked shapes (8''X8'' pan, 9''X13'' pan etc). We will probably try these with whipped cream or low carb ice cream as a dessert (topped with fresh strawberries or raspberries).
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Last edited by ljguitar; 11-17-2008 at 08:56 PM.. Reason: added a sentence
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:22 AM   #16
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Leanna, you use rolled oats to make oat flour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi folks...
I built a batch tonight with the following changes...
  • Used only Almond flour instead of half oat flour
  • Used Erythritol and 2 TBS Davinci Plain Syrup instead of Stevia
  • Used 3/8 cup Macadamia nuts
  • Added 1/8 cup unsweetened coconut shred

Our cocoa is not the Dutch type. The batter made 11 cupcake shaped brownies which I baked in ungreased silicone cupcake liners setting in a cake pan in the oven. The brownies released just fine when cooled.

Impressions...
  • Very rich and chocolaty
  • Great cake texture - the cakes held shape well. I feared they might be weak made with only almond flour
  • Nice nutty taste and a bit of a chewy bite from the coconut
  • No artificial flour after taste (no hint of low-carbishness)
  • No noticeable cooling effect from the Erythritol

This may go with us to our Thanksgiving gathering.

I will experiment with other added ingredients and different baked shapes (8''X8'' pan, 9''X13'' pan etc). We will probably try these with whipped cream or low carb ice cream as a dessert (topped with fresh strawberries or raspberries).
Oh wow, the mac nuts and coconut give 'em a nice tropical flair! They sound delicious. And they work without the oat flour, huh! Thanks for trying these and sharing detailed feedback, Larry. You are always doing something interesting in the LC kitchen!
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:30 AM   #17
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I was so worried about what kind of sweets I could have during the holidays. . .I didn't want to reach for the other stuff I'll be making.

Thanks Lauren for these awesome recipes!!
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:40 AM   #18
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Ok, here's a dumb question. I've been around here forever, but try to stay away from the LC sweets. As a result, I don't have things like erythritol. Any reason splenda or liquid splenda wouldn't work? Do the two sub out 1 for 1 (i.e. 1/2 c erythritol = 1/2 c splenda)?

Thanks.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:31 AM   #19
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OK, I've got a question for both Larry and Lauren....
Are these cake type brownies, or chewy fudgy brownies? If they are cake type, I don't concider them brownies. I concider them cake, very good chocolate cake possibly, but cake just the same.

I never understood people calling chocolate cake brownies. (But that's ME!)

Does sound like it might be a good choolate cake, if not brownies. Sounds interesting.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:03 AM   #20
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Quote:
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OK, I've got a question for both Larry and Lauren....
Are these cake type brownies, or chewy fudgy brownies? If they are cake type, I don't concider them brownies. I concider them cake, very good chocolate cake possibly, but cake just the same.
Hi Billie...
Cake type not chewy...I don't perceive them as brownies, but a really fudgy, chocolaty cake.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:36 AM   #21
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Hey Billie, they are dense and not cakey IMO after chillin' out in the fridge for a day (made with the OAT FLOUR). If you sample them hot out of the oven or the same day as you make them, they will be cakey.

Last edited by jacksmixedtape; 11-18-2008 at 11:40 AM..
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:39 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim964 View Post
Ok, here's a dumb question. I've been around here forever, but try to stay away from the LC sweets. As a result, I don't have things like erythritol. Any reason splenda or liquid splenda wouldn't work? Do the two sub out 1 for 1 (i.e. 1/2 c erythritol = 1/2 c splenda)?

Thanks.
Hey Tim! The erythritol (or xylitol) really helps with the texture of the brownies, make them less cakey. It also improves the chocolate flavor greatly. Not sure of how Splenda would work but you could give it a shot! Your amount sounds about right.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:53 AM   #23
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OK thanks Lauren & Larry!
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Old 11-19-2008, 04:06 AM   #24
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In the oven now...for work later today. The batter was awesome! I sprinkled SF choc chips over the top before baking. I'll report back later...probably with chocolate on my face, LOL!
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:28 AM   #25
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Okay, brownie report.....they were EXCELLENT!! Even the non-low-carbers in my office couldn't stop eating them! As they cooled, they became fudgy and fabulous. I did a double batch, baked in a 9x13, and baked for 25 minutes.

Definitely a hit. Thanks, Lauren!!
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:45 AM   #26
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Quote:
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...Definitely a hit. Thanks, Lauren!!
Hi CA...
Yes, thank you Lauren. We made them with all almond flour and changed the nut combination. We will make them again to take with us for Thanksgiving dessert at relatives.

We plan to serve them topped with a few raspberries and some vanilla ice cream (low carb of course).
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:09 PM   #27
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The recipe calls for:
1/2 cup erythritol or 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons xylitol

I only have splenda (gran & quick packs) and stevia. Would that work? How much of each should I use. My stevia is unopened. Never used it before.
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:31 PM   #28
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NurseMonkee, As Lauren said above, the brownies won't be at all the same using Splenda, even with adding the Stevia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksmixedtape View Post
Hey Tim! The erythritol (or xylitol) really helps with the texture of the brownies, make them less cakey. It also improves the chocolate flavor greatly. Not sure of how Splenda would work but you could give it a shot! Your amount sounds about right.
As for how much of the steiva to use, it depends on whether the stevia is pure or has any added fillers.

I believe there are recipes for brownies that use Splenda & stevia, but they will have a totally different texture. (and flavor)

Last edited by crazywoman-n-wy; 11-20-2008 at 06:53 PM..
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Old 11-20-2008, 07:28 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NurseMonkee View Post
The recipe calls for:
1/2 cup erythritol or 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons xylitol

I only have splenda (gran & quick packs) and stevia. Would that work? How much of each should I use. My stevia is unopened. Never used it before.
It's been my experience that Diabetisweet also helps with the texture like erythritol and is available at Walmart (usually diabetic section). You might try that.
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Old 11-21-2008, 03:51 AM   #30
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Our Walmart no longer carries Diabetisweet.
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