I had so much fun participating in the Secret Recipe Club last month, I was so excited to do it all over again this month. The concept of the Secret Recipe Club is just so much fun. You are assigned a blog, from which you can choose and make any of their recipes, including being able to adapt it to your dietary needs.
This month I was assigned The Realistic Nutritionist. I had so much fun reading her blog, but first I have to congratulate Claire on her new journey that she is beginning next year, as a full-time blogger. What an accomplishment! She is also working towards attending culinary school and I can not wait to read all about it on her blog when she starts attending.
Since she is an aspiring nutritionist, Claire’s recipes are mostly “skinny” or reduced in calories/fat. And I could not have been assigned her blog at a better time. I (re)joined my local gym exactly one week ago, so I’m back on a health kick. I love that the name of the blog is The Realistic Nutritionist, and that she does do posts with sweet goodies.
While browsing through the recipes on The Realistic Nutritionist blog, one jumped out at me. Blame it on the holiday season, blame it on the chocolate craving that hit just as I was browsing recipes… I just knew that I had to make Claire’s Peppermint Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting. I did make a small adjustment to the frosting recipe, instead of using vanilla extract I used peppermint extract for extra peppermint flavor.
A great combination in a peppermint chocolate dessert just in time for the holiday season. If we had kids and were setting cookies and milk out for Santa, I think I would be setting these out instead.
Peppermint Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe slightly adapted from The Realistic Nutritionist)
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8-oz) package fat free cream cheese, soft
3 tablespoons of butter, soft
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
2 – 3 candy canes, crumbled
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa and salt with a whisk. In another mixing bowl, mix together the brown sugar, canola oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract and eggs. Then add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix well.
Coat a 8″ by 13″ pan with cooking spray, then pour the brownie batter into the pan. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick that is inserted comes out dry.
To make the cream cheese frosting, mix together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and peppermint extract together with a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer. Mix until the mixture is creamy and well blended.
Spread the frosting on the brownie once the brownie has cooled to room temperature. Then sprinkle the candy cane crumbles on. Enjoy with a glass of milk or cup of tea.