Moosewood Fudge Brownies

Moosewood Fudge Brownies Recipe


It has been a while since I've written up any sweets, so I turned to my cookbook collection for a bit of inspiration. I thought it might be a day for a batch of cookies, but instead I ended up focusing on a classic fudge brownie recipe from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook. These fudge brownies are packed with optional add-ins including freshly ground espresso beans, toasted walnuts, and mashed extra-ripe banana. Yum.

Let me back up for a minute. I know many of you are going to find this hard to believe, but I've never cooked anything from the Moosewood Cookbook. Mollie has over 6 million books in print, so it is quite possible I'm alone in this regard. Wayne's mom gave me a copy years and years ago, it is brimming with all the recipes that have become vegetarian staples - hummus, walnut pates, ratatouille, vegetable curries, enchiladas, vegetable egg rolls, cream of broccoli soup and the like. It is the book that millions of vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike have turned to over the past thirty years. This afternoon I took the plunge. Fudge brownies were the item of the day, but I have my eye on the Chilled Dill Soup for a hot day later this summer.

As far as brownies go, I wouldn't classify these brownies as dense, but they're certainly on the dense side of cakey, with a lovely, sophisticated crumb. The recipe calls for 5 eggs, so if you can imagine the way eggs impact the texture of your other baking endeavors (souffles or a quiche), you can imagine how using more or less eggs in a brownie recipe might impact its texture. This recipe seems to be on the upper end of the egg spectrum when it comes to brownies.

I love the crunch of the added walnuts, and recommend the banana-espresso addition for those of you who are looking to rid yourself of overripe bananas in something other than banana bread!

Update: 4/9/2008: If you're looking for an unimaginably dense, ultra-fudgy brownie recipe (much less cakey than these) I would encourage you to try this Amazing Black Bean Brownie recipe.

 
 
 
 

Moosewood Fudge Brownie Recipe

Heidi notes: I used 71% Valrhona chocolate. White whole wheat flour works great if you would like to substitute. I also added espresso powder, half of a large ripe banana, and about a cup of toasted walnuts (per Mollie's suggestions at the tail end of the recipe). I topped them with a sprinkling of walnuts before going in the oven as well.

Let soften: 1/2 lb. butter (don't melt it)

Melt: 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate. Let cool.

Cream the butter with 1 3/4 cups (packed) light brown sugar and 5 eggs. Add 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract. Beat in the melted, cooled chocolate and 1 cup flour.

Spread into a buttered 9x13" baking pan. Bake 20-30 minutes (hs note: mine took 30) at 350 degrees.

Optional: chopped nuts, or 1 tablespoon instant coffee, or 1 teaspoon grated fresh orange or lemon rind, or 1/2 teaspoon allspice or cinnamon, or a mashed over-ripe banana, or none of the above.

Yet another option: instead of uniformly blending in the chocolate, you can marble it. Add chocolate last, after the flour is completely blended in and only partially blend in the chocolate. It looks real nice.

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Your Comments


rachel sun
April 17, 2007

I grew up with the moosewood cookbook. A bible for many. I also have "The Enchanted Broccoli Forest", which is also good. Her books seemed to wane as time went on. I never found much out of her later books. I have had several of her recipes, but somehow I have only made a few recipes from Moosewood. She is big on dairy, as back when she wrote it, vegetarian alternatives were few, and beans and dairy were standard. Pre-vegan movement.
I kind of recall the broccoli forest being lighter on the dairy.

I Highly suggest the spinach ricotta pie.
Filling, and quiche-y but not so much egg-y. There is ample spinach, cheese and just enough ricotta. The "icing" on the pie is a thin layer of sour cream schmeared on top which gets a sprinkle of paprika, and cooks far nicer than you would expect.
It is a no fuss, very easily multiplied recipe.
I used to whip out 20 if them when I worked in a retreat center kitchen with no problem.

Try it, I promise it will delight even the kids at the table.

 

YOYO's Food
April 17, 2007

Yummy~

The taste fo Brownies is always in my mind~

i want to catch a piece of it and run away^^

 

Joyce
April 18, 2007

Mollie was our introduction to vegetarianism. I still rely on dishes I cooked or adapted from the Enchanted Broccoli Forest and Sundays at Moosewood as well as the original well thumbed, sutiably stained tome.
Lentil chili is a family favorite along with Yellowman's Banana Bread.
But I find myself thinking "Heidi" more than "Mollie" these days!

 

Cenk
April 18, 2007

Perfect timing Heidi! I had some overripe bananas sitting in the fridge and I am tired of baking banana bread all the time. I am invited to a dinner party tomorrow and now I know what I will be baking for them! Thanks!
(By the way, I ordered your book from Amazon and I am waiting impatiently for it to arrive - unfortunately it takes a long time to get to Turkey...)

 

MAS
April 18, 2007

Yeah, I'm with you. I never made any of Katzen's recipes. Having her cookbooks on my shelf does not make me vegetarian, so I finally got rid of them.

 

Lydia
April 18, 2007

The Moosewood Cookbook remains one of the mainstays of my kitchen library. I've moved from the original to the revised original, but still appreciate the classic recipes and Molly Katzen's approach. The Enchanted Broccoli Forest is another must-have, and her books for children are delightful. Glad you took the plunge!

 

maya
April 18, 2007

thanks, heidi! lookin' good!

some brownie recipes call for creaming the butter with sugar, and some just tell you to melt the chocolate with the butter and add everything else.

i am lazy. i'd go for the simpler version. what's the difference anyway?

 

CindyK
April 18, 2007

Wow. I'd forgotten about these brownies. They used to be my go-to brownie recipe, but I shifted to the super-fast One-Pot Brownies in "Cook Something." I think it's time to rediscover the Moosewood Brownies; I loved the slightly cakey texture. And I love the idea of adding bananas and espresso powder.

 

Snehal
April 18, 2007

5 eggs!! you can say i have extra-eggophobia .... dunno why! i steadfastly avoid recipes that have 6 egg whites or 7 eggs ..... coz every single time i tried out one of these recipes ... they bombed :(. And I have had similar bad luck with brownies over the years .... but I love em' .. GOSh I love em', and this yum picture might just make me take the plunge again! Thnx!

 

Anna
April 18, 2007

I think the Moosewood cookbooks were the first books I really learned how to cook out of--they're of the few I really trust as the recipe always just work exactly as promised. My only caveat with them is that any "ethnic" recipes usually need about double the spices they call for.

Moosewood cookbooks also taught me to make a perfect pie crust, so I am forever indebted to them!

These brownies look lovely, and I will definitely be adding some espresso to my own brownies in the future. What a great idea.

 

Mary
April 18, 2007

Moosewood has been one of my favorite cookbooks ever, and I've got quite a few of the other books. Moosewood Lowfat Favorites is one that I use more than any others. These brownies look scrumptious. Thanks!

 

Astrid
April 18, 2007

Interesting that you used 71% cocoa chocolate in place of the unsweetened chocolate. American unsweetened chocolate has no sugar at all in it, and it usually can't be bought in Europe. Did the recipe come out very sweet? Would you recommend reducing the amount of sugar when you use bittersweet chocolate?

 

Ehrrin
April 18, 2007

I love Mollie! When I started trying to lose weight, and looking for some different types of foods to make I picked up the Moosewood Cookbook, and then The Enchanted Broccoli Forrest. I think they're really great books for learning how to cook (TEBF has a great list in the back for cook to cook lots of different kinds of beans and grains--maybe that'd be a good guide for the reluctant cook that Heidi posted about recently?). I've found that I end up tweaking most of the recipes, but I think they're great staples, and some interesting ideas I hadn't thought of. I tend to think of these cookbooks as my fundamentals, and ones I use as standards that I can build on. My favorite recipe (I think it's in the New Moosewood Cookbook) of hers, I think, is the Mediterranean Lemon Soup. Really easy, and really fantastic!

 

Susan S
April 18, 2007

There are too many people in this world (we far outnumber the cookbooks) for you to be the lone Katzen-less cooker...I too have never cooked from one of her books, and there it sits in my cookbook collection. I know firsthand that her recipe for moussaka is delicious, but only enjoyed the dish made by others. Katzen is an interesting person who found she must eat meat to cope with her low energy level, especially while travelling. She and the Dali Lama have this in common.
I've recently discovered a perk of menopause - I can now eat chocolate...couldn't before due to fibrous cysts which coffee, black tea and chocolate fed. Now, I can enjoy the full sumptous depth of chocolate - even in brownie form! Thanks for the great photo.

 

mollie bryan
April 18, 2007

I've been a vegetarian for 30 years--so Mollie's books are a part of my life. I always thought it would be fun to try to take a year or so and work my way through one of her books. But I must say I've never made the brownies. Now, I must! Thanks, Heidi, for the inspiration.

 

Sugar Creek Farm
April 18, 2007

I've been looking for recipes that use a lot of eggs - my girls are back in the full swing of production now that spring is finally here. Definitely will give this one a try!

 

lucette
April 18, 2007

I'm another Moosewood fan--The Moosewood Cookbook and The ENchanted Broccoli Forest were the 1st cookbooks I bought to join the redoubtable Joy of Cooking (a wedding present).
I wondered about the nuts in the brownies--did you sprinkle them on the batter in the pan? When I use nuts, I've always stirred them in, and they're invisible. But I like the way they look showing on top.

 

Heidi
April 18, 2007

Just a quick note re: the chocolate. Yeah, I thought the phrasing in regards to the type of chocolate to use was a bit confusing - calling for unsweetened and then encouraging bittersweet over semi. I think this is a very old edition, and maybe this has been updated since. I'm going to go in and change the unsweetened to bittersweet (that is what she is emphasizing in the note.... -h

 

Erin
April 18, 2007


I actually made these at christmas and i *hated* them!! I love Moosewood (the Carrot Ginger soup recipe is amazing) but these brownies were way too dense and way too cake-like for people who actually like the consistency of an actual brownie.

 

Patricia Scarpin
April 18, 2007

Heidi, your brownies look fantastic - I've never heard of bananas in brownies and now I'm very curious!

 

hillpagan
April 18, 2007

When I first learned to cook I used Moosewood a lot and now many of my staples that I make without using recipes are just my interpretations of these classics. I didn't even know this until I looked through the cookbook recently and kept thinking- "wait, that's exactly how I do it!" There were several but two I recall in particular are the Hummus and the Gado Gado.
I always use bananas in my brownies, and in some of my cookies too, but I substitute 1/2 banana for one of the eggs in whatever recipe I'm using because I find they get too cakey otherwise.
Thanks for the continually awesome food blog.

 

Lexi
April 18, 2007

A "Mollie" recipe that's unique, easy and gets raves at potlucks is the "Kale Krunch" or "Krunchy Kale" (can't remember). I don't own the particular Moosewood cookbook that has the recipe so I have googled it from Mollie's website. It is great! I work at a natural food market and have had a lot of discussions with folks about what to do with kale. This is one of the best ways. Last time I made Kale Krunch, we found it pairs well with devilled eggs.

I have't made the brownies yet, but I consider the Moosewood cookbooks to be a great resource in my cookbook library - especially when I am trying to find a unique recipe for veggies.

 

Purple Carrots
April 18, 2007

Heidi, I love your choices. You're just like a racketball. I never know where you're going to come from next. And the plates are so pretty! I have to try this. Eggs, bittersweet and banana here I come.

 

Susan G
April 18, 2007

I bought my 1st Moosewood book in the late 70's, the edition with the creative, not practical, index. When we ran a natural food store with deli from 1981, we served a number of her recipes, Orange Hummos being one of the notables. This book, with a few others, were groundbreaking, taking veg cooking out of the 'good for you if nasty' mold and really going for the pleasure of good taste, even if it meant fat and calories. Also useful to note that Katzen is not associated with the subsequent Moosewood works. Still using hers (as much as I use any cookbook).

 

Brilynn
April 18, 2007

I just made banana brownies too, but I added cacao nibs to mine instead of nuts. I think the espresso would have added some great flavour, I was contemplating adding rum but didn't in the end.

 

RisaG
April 18, 2007

Heidi, the Moosewood Cookbook was the first book I ever bought myself when I was in college. I've had it since 1980??? I used to cook from it very often but I never made the brownies. I made the hummus, the Cranberry cake, and many of the other recipes and never the brownies. Aside from the recipe from last week's NY Times that I want to make, I'll put these on my list.

Thanks for reminding me of them. They look delicious (as your pictures always do).

 

Anna
April 18, 2007

I have a Moosewood cookbook... The Dilly Bean dish is quite tasty and very different from what I normally do with beans. The veggie chili is good too.

 

elf
April 18, 2007

I like Moosewood a lot -- especially the soup recipes -- but I am not a fan of the brownies. Creaming the butter and adding all those eggs makes them much too cakey. And have you noticed that there's no salt?

I also find some of Katzen's basically good recipes pretty bland, and often find myself doubling or tripling the seasoning.

 

connie
April 19, 2007

if its from Moosewood & endorsed by you it's gotta be good!

 

myriam
April 19, 2007

wanna join the circle of browniebabes?
http://onceuponatart.blogspot.com/2007/04/browniebabe-of-month.html
looks like you are very close to that apron...;-)

i got your ADORABLE cookbook last night. i was dreaming about the curd chocolate cake. you did such a great job! well done!

*M

 

rob
April 19, 2007

Sounds delicious, but does adding the ground espresso make it gritty?

 

Rebecca
April 19, 2007

Thanks for sharing these! I made a batch this morning and they turned out very well. They took 25 minutes with my oven. I opted against any add-ins this time, but I think I'll try cinnamon next time. I found them to be very cakey, but that's my preference in brownies. Now I need to get a copy of the Moosewood Cookbook.

 

Ronnie
April 19, 2007

Hello from another Moosewood fan. Brings back great memories of cooking for my friends in college. Indonesian Rice Salad and the Mushroom soup were among my favorites.

 

Amber
April 19, 2007

I grew up on Moosewood classics, from the original, as well as The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, which I was dismayed to find was not carried at ALL on the shelves of the Ithaca, NY home restaurant, where it all started.

Do try the cheesey potatoes, the mushroom-leek fritata casserole (although we always made it without the leeks), the zuchinni-feta casserole (DELICIOUS, I always wanted there to be more of the baked stringy tomato slices! A baked tomato slice under cheddar on top of feta tastes like 1988 to me!). All are so great, filling, and flavourful. I am always wanting to sock anyone who says "/sniff I'm not a vegitarian so these cookbooks aren't for me". These people surely eat salads? Or meat-free lasagna? Cereal? Moosewood is no more "vegitarian" than those things people eat every day are. People seem to have this stigma about vegitarian food and frankly, it's a little insulting. "Oh, I'm not one of THOSE people". Perhaps if they took the time to try something new, they'd see that so-called vegitarian food is a treat, not a task to eat. Moosewood, at least the early cookbooks, really provide a diverse and interesting diet to even the most snobbish of epicurians, and it's a shame I read so many comments to this entry scorning the diet I grew up loving. I call my prefered eating style "vegitarian-minded", as my body simply doesn't feel right if I'm not eating meats, I wouldn't have survived a grocery stock job without my daily quarter pound of roast beef and eighth pound of cheese with a take-away tray of sushi for my dinner break! But growing up on Moosewood recipes gave me a true appreciation for the complexities of a vegitarian diet so few who actually ARE vegitarian actually let themselves enjoy. Channa Masala AGAIN? Not from Moosewood! Earthfoods Cafe could really learn a thing or two! (I worked there, I should know! For those not in the know, Earthfoods Cafe is the *oldest* student run business in the USA, which is on UMASS campus and is still run *only* by students, no admin advisor to tell them what to serve or how to run it, 20-30 students a semester run this business alone. It's GREAT. Anyone who's in Amherst, MA should stop by to see how it's done!)

 

Monika Korngut
April 19, 2007

I must say I don't have a Moosewood cookbook. But I think I need to run out and get it. The brownies look great. Very delicious. :)

 

Schlake
April 19, 2007

I'm pretty sure that Moosewood was the very first cookbook that I ever bought. I never cooked anything out of it, but I did look through it quite often. It took me a while to notice that there were no meat recipes in it. Since then I've continued to collect her books, but I've still not cooked anything out of a single one of them. But I can say that about most of my cookbooks.

 

Sarah Mac
April 19, 2007

i have an obsession with ganache - dark chocolate rosemary or orange zest (or sometimes both)that goes amazingly well with every brownie recipe i've ever tried. i'm sure this one would be no exception.

for rosemary:
heat cream with a stick of fresh rosemary floating in the pan. remove and pour cream through a civ before pouring over dark chocolate.

for rosemary:
simply grate fresh orange zest into the cream as it heats and pour the whole lot into the dark chocolate.

i like to cut my brownies into bitesize pieces for parties and then drizzle the ganache all over them. top with a grated curl of white chocolate and you've got yourself a delicious work of art!

thanks heidi! i'm off to search for apple butter...

 

Brad
April 19, 2007

What does the banana do? Moisturize? Make it taste like a banana?

 

Michelle
April 20, 2007

I looooovee these brownies... so tasty. Even better when you melt dark chocolate on top and sprinkle pecans on the melted chocolate and let it set... hard to cut but very delicious.

I own every Moosewood cookbook printed and I've been meaning to check out the restaurant. There frozen dinners are pretty tasty and low in salt and calories. If you like this recipe thought, you should try the six-minute chocolate cake recipe. It's a non-soy vegan recipe.

 

Lidia
April 20, 2007

Yummy, very gooooood recipe
the best ever thank you very much


Can you send me some more summer baking ideas?

 

Heidi
April 21, 2007

Brad - a bit of both. even though I only used half a large banana the banana flavor was quite pronounced in my batch...

 

Morgan
April 21, 2007

I just wants to tell you that I bought your book at a store called McNally Robinson in Calgary, Alberta. I'm very excited - I now have pearl barley on the counter just waiting to be made into risotto...

http://www.mcnallyrobinson.com

 

Vincci
April 22, 2007

My roommate has a copy of the Moosewood Cookbook and her goal for the year was to make every single soup from it! They are all very good :)

 

jenjen
April 23, 2007

I have never heard of Moosewood, so I am guessing it is an American thing. But it has intrigued me. Especially with this wonderful brownie recipe. I've never seen a brownie recipe that includes bananas, I am anxious to give this a try. Thanks.

 

Jen
April 23, 2007

Heidi,

You read my mind!!! I was just eyeing this recipe, from my admittedly under-used Moosewwod cookbook.

I was discouraged my the amount of eggs. Although, it's hard to resist a way to use up some bananas. Thanks so much for doing the experimenting for me.

I'll be making them this week!!!
Jen

 

JennyLeah
April 25, 2007

I love Mollie, but I've never particularly cared for this brownie recipe. It's too cake-y for my tastes, but when you use the bananas, they're a little bit denser.

I just really thought it was funny to read you say that you were planning on cookies but went with brownies instead because brownies ARE cookies. They're bar cookies, which means you cut them into cookie sized bars after they've baked. :)

 

Matt
April 26, 2007

These brownies look rich! Are they? I imagine this bursting of chocolate flavors at the first bite.

 

Julie
April 26, 2007

Have to add my 2 cents to the Moosewood fest. The very new one, Simple Suppers, is wonderful, and the only TRULY fast and easy cookbook I have ever found.

 

Anonymous
April 27, 2007

looks good

 

Lisa
April 30, 2007

These look delicious. I'm always looking for something to do with overripe bananas. Thanks.