This Recipe Is: • Make Ahead • Vegetarian •
Gather round, friends. It’s story time.
Once upon a time, back when we were dating, my husband wanted our first Valentine’s Day to be really special. Instead of going out to dinner at a restaurant in our little college town, he wanted to cook me dinner before we went to his fraternity’s date party.
I shopped for the perfect gifts, found the perfect card (I spent … oh, I don’t know … an hour reading cards!), and got all dolled up for a fun night with my guy.
When I got to his house, there was a note on the door to follow the rose petals. I walked along the (darling!) path he’d made, and finally found him in the kitchen cooking up a storm. He was all dressed up, looking so darn cute. And on the table he had flowers and gifts for me. Oh … and dinner smelled amazing!
Before we ate, we exchanged gifts … cards first, of course!
As I opened the card he’d gotten for me, my heart stopped. Oh no!
Did I open the wrong card?
While my mind was racing, he started laughing as he opened the card from me.
What was happening???
I’ll tell you what happened. We bought each other the SAME card. The exact one. Of all the thousands and thousands of cards available for that one day, we’d picked out the identical card.
Welp, that was it for me. I was going to marry this one. I already knew I loved him, but those cards solidified it. If we could pick out the same sentiments for how we felt about each other … well, I figured it was destiny. And by the next Valentine’s Day, I was knee-deep in planning my wedding!
Now that we’re married and have kiddos, February 14th isn’t quite the same. Instead of shopping for the perfect gift, I’m at the craft store picking up supplies for the perfect Valentine’s Day “shoebox” for the class party. Stickers, papers, duct tape, oh my!
But no matter! With brownies like these, any Valentine’s Day (heck any regular day!) is awesome … rose petals or duct tape! Whether you’re a kiddo hoping for the best candy at the class party, a teenager hoping for a smile from the cute guy in your math class, or a wife hoping for a little blue box with a big white bow (ahem … hint hint, honey) … these brownies are just the thing.
Deliciously fudge-y, perfectly chocolaty, wonderfully healthy, and a breeze to make … what better way is there to tell someone you love them?
Want to know how I know these are so easy to make? It’s because I made at least 10 test batches. Some were promising, others … notsomuch. But this version. Oh … this version … our
taste tester panel families seriously loved ’em! My oldest didn’t believe they were healthy. So good. Shelley texted me in desperation when her supply ran out because she wanted more, and the rest were at my house. Yes, friends. These brownies are that good. And then, she texted to ask if I thought it’d be ok for her to make these once or twice a day. Told ya. They are just. that. good.
Oh … one more thing … this is all done in one bowl! Super fast. Super easy. Super clean. Seriously!
No doubt, these brownies say love any day of the year. Rose petals or no. Really … you need to enjoy these little beauties year-round. Every single day, in fact, would be best.
So … bake these brownies, and tell someone you love them! Any day … every day!
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 teaspoons granulated sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Stir well with a whisk until ingredients are evenly combined and brown sugar is broken up.
- Add eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla, stirring just to combine and being careful not to overmix.
- Pour batter into ungreased 8x8 pan.
- Bake for about 28-33 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean with just a few crumbs. (A perfectly clean toothpick will yield drier, more cake-like brownies.)
- Remove pan to a cooling rack and immediately sprinkle brownies with granulated sugar.
- Allow to cool before cutting.