Recipe: Protein-Powder Brownies

Alex and I have been working out regularly–no excuses, now that there’s a gym in our apartment building! (Did you hear that groan? That’s me, whining about my sore legs/arms/abs/back.) We’re also back to eating healthier and using protein shakes one to two times a day to make sure we have enough fuel and muscle-building material. But we still reeeeeally crave sweets, so thus this recipe!


The inspiration for these brownies came primarily from this recipe on Daily Burn. However, as you’ll see below, I heavily altered the recipe–partly because I didn’t want to use some of the ingredients listed, partly because I couldn’t find some of them, and mostly because I hate to follow recipes to the letter. My typical approach is to google a dish–say, creamed spinach–and look for multiple options (I also use the Epicurious app and FoodNetwork.com for this). I like to have two to three recipes that are fairly similar, but different enough that it gives me an idea of what are 1) the ingredients necessary for the dish to chemically come together right, versus 2) the optional flavory parts. Then I riff off of those and produce something of my own–though in this case, it was heavier on the creativity than usual. Next time I make them, I’ll try substituting honey for at least some of the sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs (I used equivalent to a US “large” size, because that’s the only option I got!)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons (200 milliliters)* chocolate-flavored casein protein powder** (we use GNC-brand)
  • 1/3 cup (78 milliliters) cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 2/3 cup (157 milliliters) flour
  • 2 sticks butter, softened (for those like me, whose butter comes in a big block, that’s roughly 16 tablespoons or 236 milliliters)
  • 1 cup (236 milliliters) brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp (1.23 milliliters) baking soda (-ish… I don’t have anything that will measure this small currently, so it’s a guesstimate.)
  • add water, if needed (my batter was a little too thick)

*The original recipe said “5 scoops.” I had no idea how big these scoops were–we have two types of protein, each with different scoop sizes. I ended up using 4 scoops, and figured out they’re 50 milliliters each. Side note: did you know there are different tablespoon/teaspoon measures for metric versus standard, even though they’re named the same? INSANITY, people. 

**Again, the original recipe used regular whey protein (which we use for our pre-workout fuel). I chose the casein powder instead because it’s a slower-burning protein, more suitable for consuming in the evening (all the science-y-ness of this is thanks to Alex, who likes figuring it out). 

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (that’s 176 C for those on the metric wagon). Preferably first ensure that there are no oven manuals hiding inside.

Cream the butter and sugar together. (Note: this is my favorite part of baking. I love making cookies purely because it means I get to cream butter and sugar. I think part of this is that I love the tool my mom used for it, and part of it is that when you taste it–dude, tasting your creations in-progress is IMPORTANT, this article says so!–that it’s just sweet sugar and fatty butter. YUMMERS.)

Add the eggs.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then slowly mix into batter.

Check the texture–hopefully you’ve cooked enough brownies (ah, the memories of Saturday mornings in high school–Dr. Pepper, fresh brownies, and cold pizza!) to know what a good texture is for the batter–not as runny as a cake, but not super-thick either. Add water if needed.

Grease a pan (I used a 9″ square) and pour in the batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. I suggest checking them at 18 minutes by poking a fork in the middle. If it comes out clean, you’re good. Slightly crummy, give it another 3-5 minutes. Verrry gooey, give it 7 minutes and hope for the best.

Marvel at the fantabulous tastiness of this (slightly) less-indulgent treat! (Sorry I don’t have nutritional info, since I changed it so much. But–there’s “some amount of protein” in it, that much I know!)

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