I will now offer the soundest advice for deciding between two brownie recipes: Make both.

That’s what I did this weekend.

Recipe 1: Moosewood Fudge Brownies, from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook

Recipe 2: Amazing Black Bean Brownies

And the adventure begins!


Cast of characters for Recipe 1. Please note the strong coffee on the right.

yep. them be beans.

Decidedly more disheveled cast of characters for Recipe 2.

(brownie batter. stay tuned for the baked details.)

Recipe 1 has come out of the oven!

kitchen explosion

Recipe 2 comes out of the oven and compounds the mess that has already exploded all over the kitchen.

in which Hannah washes the dishes like a boss

Behold! A cleaned kitchen!

secretly I baked a batch of marble in the oven.

Marbley Recipe 2 brownies ready to cut.

I made dem dere brownies.

Proof that these brownies were crafted by myself.

brownies on vacation, basking in the sunlight

Brownie Recipes 1 (front) and 2 (back), in all their supremely edible glory. A unbiased panel of five taste-testers was selected precisely because of the convenience of their availability. Their judgments are as follows:

Corinne eats the brownies with a side of gleefulness

Corinne: Recipe 1 was not typical; a fluffy texture but a dense flavor. Although the flavor was amazing, this recipe makes a better cake than a brownie. When Recipe 2 was warm (and not cooked long enough), the beans were too noticeable. Overall, however, the dark chocolate meshed well with the coffee flavor, and as far as brownies go, this one was the best. “I like that a lot. They really are quite marvelous.”

Becca eats the brownies with a side of amazement

Becca: Recipe 1 is not quite like a brownie, and a bit dry. However, the cinnamon gives the dessert a rounded, full-bodied flavor. The smooth coffee flavor of Recipe 2 is excellent; the chocolatey goodness went down smoothly and, although intense, was not overwhelming. Recipe 2 improves much after baking a bit longer and refrigerating.

Hannah eats the brownies with a side of skepticism

Hannah: Recipe 1 has amazing flavor, but an odd texture; somehow fluffy and dense at the same time. Before baking, the batter was the most heavenly substance. Recipe 2 is intense and decadent, rather amazing after baking longer.

Jaime eats brownies with a side of haircut

Jaime: Both brownies tasted excellent, but Recipe 2 won out because of its fudginess and the intensity of the chocolate and coffee.

Jessie eats brownies with a side of snarkJessie: Recipe 1 had a sub-excellent texture. Recipe 2 was quite good, and similar to an Italian espresso chocolate. It was “better than one would have expected from a brownie,” more like a bar of chocolate.

brownies of glory and hallelujah choirs

Recipe 1 Verdict: Good flavor, but lacking in browniness. I’d like to play around with the recipe to either make an excellent chocolate mousse or a more fudgy brownie.

winner brownies (all you other brownies, get out the way)

Recipe 2 Verdict: Pretty amazing (and gluten free!). The only con to this recipe was the effort involved; for a brownie it’s a pretty complicated recipe. But for a result of over 40 excellent brownies? I’d say it’s worth it.

Some overall comments:

“I like how they are both decadent, but not cloyingly so.” – Corinne

“One is quite small and the other is rather large.” – Jessie

“It’s like no cheese I’ve ever tasted!” – Wallace


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