Recipes // Desserts // Brainy Brownies

Brainy Brownies


When The Sneaky Chef cookbook first came out, one of the most talked-about recipes was the brownie recipe. Everyone was amazed that no one—neither kids nor adults—could detect the hidden spinach, blueberries, oats, wheat germ, or the missing fat and sugar. Make this recipe at home for 16 servings.

Serves 10 (2 strawberries per serving).


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped (or use 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Purple Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #1)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Flour Blend (see Make-Ahead Recipe #13)
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Butter or non-stick cooking spray
  • Optional extra boost: 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter or spray only the bottom, not the sides, of a 13-by- 9-inch or 9-inch square baking pan.
  3. Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water (or in a microwave, checking every 15 seconds). Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool a bit.
  4. Meanwhile, in another bowl, stir together the eggs, vanilla, sugar, and Purple Puree. Combine this purple egg mixture with the cooled chocolate mixture.
  5. In a mixing bowl, stir together Flour Blend, oat bran, cinnamon, coffee powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Add this to the chocolate mixture and blend thoroughly. Mix in the chopped walnuts, if using, then pour the entire mixture into the baking pan.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in pan before cutting the brownies and use a plastic or butter knife. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
  7. Keeps for a week in the refrigerator, covered tightly.
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