February is a good month for chocolate. I mean, every month is a good month for chocolate, but February and chocolate go particularly well together… probably because of Valentine’s Day.
I’m not entirely sure how chocolate got associated with Valentine’s in the first place, but you definitely won’t find me complaining. I adore the stuff and it gives me an excuse to incorporate it into 99.9% of the baking I do this month…
It also means that I need to get a little more creative when it comes to figuring out ways to sneak in some healthier treats. I mean, I’m all for treating my loved ones with decadent indulgences every now and again, but I also like to balance those out with some healthier-but-still-delicious options.
And that’s where the creativity comes in. I’ll fully admit that healthifying treats is not an easy task, and it often takes a fair bit of patience and experimentation.
Heck, I’ve had my fair share of healthy baking fails (hockey puck brownies and soggy, lumpy muffins come to mind), but every now and then I get lucky with a healthy baking success, and this was one of those occasions…
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to my Double Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Bites. They’re healthy-er, but you’d never be able to tell by looking at them. Or tasting them!
In fact, not a single one of my taste testers had any idea that what they were eating wasn’t the rich and decadent traditional brownie [bite] they were used to… because that’s exactly what these taste and feel like! Sweet, rich, fudgy, moist, and loaded with chocolate goodness.
And the sneaky healthy ingredient? Applesauce. It replaces some of the oil in these brownie bites, which saves on fat and calories while allowing them to remain wonderfully moist and fudgy. And don’t worry — you can’t taste it at all.
I also added some naturally sweetened raspberry jam, both for a fun flavor twist and some added sweetness. This helped with the fudginess even more, and also allowed me to decrease some of the added sugar.
Oh, and I made them bite-sized! Two [delicious] bites, to be exact. This was mostly to up the cuteness factor, but also because it means you get to eat more of them… which you can happily do seeing as they’re healthy-er.
Baking healthy-but-delicious treats for my family and friends is probably one of my favorite ways to show them that I care. It’s a pretty awesome feeling to see someone’s face light up when they take their first bite of something that you made for them… which is probably why I [subtly-but-not-so-subtly] watch them like a hawk to try and catch their uncensored reaction.
Is that creepy? I feel like that’s creepy. But I can’t help it! And it’s especially bad when I’m giving them something that I know is healthier — because I’m nervous that they’ll catch on.
I even had one friend call me out with these bites! Her not-exact-but-close-enough words were: “Why are you looking at me like that? Did you do something to these?
There’s no way you did something to these” — which is exactly the kind of reaction I was going for. But don’t take my word for it! Give these bites a try and see for yourself!
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup seedless raspberry jam
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ white and dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 24-count mini muffin pan with oil or cooking spray. Set aside.
- Add coconut oil and chocolate to a large microwave-safe bowl and nuke on high in 20 second intervals, until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from microwave and stir in applesauce, jam, and sugar, mixing until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, lightly beat egg, egg white, and vanilla. Add to chocolate mixture and stir until well combined. Gently stir in flour, making sure not to over mix.
- Spoon batter into muffin cavities, filling just shy of the top. Sprinkle with white and dark chocolate chips.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until tops are set and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.