Coconut-Pecan Brownie Bites (plus an unhealthier version)

On my last post, I wrote about our goal to eat healthier.   Without “gittin’ all up in ar bidness”  (thanks, Kelli), we are just trying to eat heart friendly.

I know, I know…you probably could not tell that by all the chocolate posts, Tavolo cooking classes and the recent raspberry muffins.   (At least I posted a healthy salad most recently.)

But as we segue away from butter, I am posting two recipes today—my previous “go-to” brownies that are a whiz to whip up and another healthier version of the same recipe.

My Go-To Brownies (The Unhealthy Version)

2 sticks butter
2 c. sugar
2 t. pure vanilla
4 farm fresh large eggs
3/4 c. cocoa
1 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. fine sea salt

In a 8 quart glass measuring cup (or other microwavable mixing bowl), melt butter.   Stir in sugar and vanilla.   Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each.   Add cocoa ;  stir until blended.

Add flour, baking powder and salt.   Stir well.   Pour into a prepared 9″x9″ baking pan.   Bake 30-35 minutes or until brownies pull away slightly from side of pan.

I think I originally found this basic brownie recipe on the side of a Hershey’s cocoa canister.    You can omit the vanilla and add butter pecan flavoring with chopped nuts.    Delicious.    One of my mom’s variations is to remove them hot from the oven and sprinkle Andes mint chips on top, allowing them to melt and then spreading them out with a spatula.    Yum!   I have added everything from chocolate chips to trail mix to this recipe.  It is perfect every time.

But now for the new experiment:

Coconut-Pecan Brownie Bites

1/2 c. coconut oil
1 c. sugar
1 t. pure vanilla
2 farm fresh large eggs
6 T.  cocoa
1/2 c. flour
1/4  t. baking powder
1/8 t. fine sea salt
1/4 c. reduced fat unsweetened coconut (finely shredded for baking
1/4 c. pecans, chopped

In a 8 quart glass measuring cup (or other microwavable mixing bowl), melt coconut oil.   Stir in sugar and vanilla.   Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each.    Stir until well blended.

In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.      Add dry ingredients to the coconut oil/sugar/egg mixture.   Stir well.   Use a small cookie scoop and fill prepared mini-muffin tins (1/2 full).   Bake 12-15 minutes or until brownies pull away slightly from side of pan.

Makes 2 dozen mini brownie bites (depending on the size of your tins).

IMAG3448As you can see, this is also a half recipe.   Portion control is key ’round here!  I also added some coconut and pecans to this mix and baked them in mini muffin tins and my silicon brioche pan (just filling the bottom part).

These brownies (whichever version you like) are also my Food ‘n Flix post this  month.      Glennis at Can’t Believe We Ate is hosting and the film this month is Practical Magic.  If I had ever heard of  this 1998 film, I have since forgotten.     🙂   The film is based on  Alice Hoffman’s novel by the same name.   (I really want to read the book now.)practical

I loved the quirky aunts (I want to be eccentric and wear Victorian dress when I get old) and the premise of the film:   embrace who you are.

My darling girl, when are you going to understand that being normal is not a virtue.   It rather denotes a lack of courage.  —Aunt Fran (Stockard Channing) to Sally (Sandra Bullock)

Sally just wants to be normal and vows early on never to fall in love (due to a family curse dating back to colonial times).   That is why she casts a spell only to fall in love with an impossible match:

He can ride a pony backwards….He can flip pancakes in the air. He’ll be marvelously kind. And his favorite shape will be a star. And he’ll have one green eye and one blue.   —a young Sally (Bullock)

Because this imagined “true love” could never exist, she will never have to bother with love.    Enter Gary Hallet (Aidan Quinn).   Bet you can guess what color eyes his character has.

I knew I had to make brownies too.    Brownies (and chocolate cake) seemed to be the “go-to” breakfast in the Owens’ household.   That is until Gary arrives to flip up some cactus-shaped pancakes in the air.

If you have not seen this film, I would recommend it for a lazy afternoon or a rainy day.    Sandra Bulluck and Nicole Kidman look so young and you also get to see a very young Evan Rachel Wood as one of Bulluck’s daughters, Goran Visnjic before his ER stint, and Margo Martindale way before Justified.

Sally ultimately embraces her many talents and finds courage in her not-so-normal family.    By the end of the film she has a successful botanical beauty product business, has found acceptance from the other town mothers and has found her one true love—that backward-pony-riding, pancake flipping  marshal with a star.

Here is Sally’s advice and the last line of the film:

Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder.  Keep rosemary by your garden gate.  Add pepper to your mashed potatoes.  Plant roses and lavender, for luck.  Fall in love whenever you can.

And, I will add, enjoy healthier brownies in moderation.IMAG3449

Thanks for hosting,  Glennis!

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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Naked
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
The Paris Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls


Debra's favorite books »