Want to eat fudgy chocolate brownies without using a cup of butter and a pound of chocolate? For now, me too.

Spring is only four months away. And I want to re-wear the shorts I wore last summer.

Except I was using the third notch on that belt I also wore last summer. And now I don’t wear a belt.

So…I’m hitting my low(er) fat phase.

HOWEVER — I can’t sacrifice my late-night sugar snack and I have to bake almost every day. So I gave these a try.

It’s from the “The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.” I love this book.

I first learned about this group of perfection-through-experimentation chefs/bakers with a subscription to “Cook’s Illustrated” — a gift from my father-in-law, the passer-down of the family lentil soup recipe and a fellow cream horn-lover (yes, those puffy, flaky pastry “horns” filled with soft, delicious, white cream).

This is also the same man who has challenged me to poach an egg.

Which I will do. Someday. And The Poaching will be photographed. It may get ugly — but that egg will get poached and posted and possibly even eaten.

Getting back to the chocolate — these brownies are undeniably fudgy. 

To make up for the lack of butter in the batch (it has 2 tablespoons rather than the hefty 8-16 tablespoons seen in other recipes), the authors use low-fat sour cream. They also throw in three different kinds of chocolate — cocoa, bittersweet and even a little chocolate syrup.

Basically, these brownies are yummy and mostly guilt-free. Mostly.

Fudgy Brownies

from “The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook”

makes 16 squares

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream

1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

1 large egg

1 large egg white

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with foil and coat with vegetable spray.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Microwave the chocolate and butter in short 20 to 30 second bursts until melted. Stir until smooth and allow to cool slightly.

Whisk the sugar, sour cream, chocolate syrup, egg, egg white and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula until just combined.

Pour batter into lined pan and smooth evenly with spatula. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, turning the pan after about 10 minutes. Tester inserted into center should come out with just a few crumbs attached.

Let brownies cool in pan on wire rack. Once cool, remove from foil and cut into squares.