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Dessert Makeover: Chocolate-Free Blonde Brownies

Rich desserts and desserts with chocolate or peppermint may trigger heartburn in some people.

Heartburn-Friendly Brownies:

This higher fiber and lower fat blonde brownie has plenty of flavor -- without the chocolate!


1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup unbleached white flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup less fat margarine with 8 grams fat per tablespoon and no trans fat

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 large egg, higher omega-3 if available

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Mix-ins (optional, not included in nutritional analysis): Include 1/2 cup dried cranberries and/or 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans and/or 1/2 cup of any other ingredient you add to your favorite chocolate brownie recipe but is tolerated well.


  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Coat a 9-inch nonstick round or square pan with canola cooking spray.
  2. Add flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and whisk together well; set aside.
  3. Melt the margarine in a small, nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and continue to cook for about a minute. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  4. Add brown sugar mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low speed until well blended. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, just until blended. Stir in the optional “mix-in” ingredients if desired, then spread into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies are done to your liking (don’t over-bake if you like them on the chewy side). Let cool about 10 minutes then cut into 16 squares.

Yield: 16 servings

Per serving: 98 calories, 1 g protein, 16 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 1.2 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 136 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 32 percent. Omega-3 fatty acids = .1 gram, Omega-6 fatty acids = .8 gram