That’s right. It’s another baking recipe.
Which might seem odd to you, given that I’m on Weight Watchers and all. But given that I’m on Weight Watchers, I’m all the more motivated to find sweet treats that won’t leave me in a sobbing, chocolate-smeared heap after devouring every last bite. Treats that fit into the program, in other words. And yes, I know that everything fits in, as long as you account for it, but I don’t have enough points to waste on food with no redeeming nutritional value (the horror!).
I happen to be working on an assignment for WeightWatchers.com right now, one that involves trolling through their recipe database. When I stumbled upon something called Chewy Cupcake Brownies, which claim to be only one point per serving, I stopped what I was doing and investigated (because let’s face it, chocolate trumps work any day). Sure, there’s only half a tablespoon of butter in the entire recipe. But one little point for chewy chocolate goodness just seemed impossible, so I entered all the ingredients into the Recipe Builder on the site, which calculates the points value for you. One point. Happy dance time!
Perhaps I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m something of a volume eater: the more times I lift food to my mouth, the happier I am. (Someone should really examine that aspect of my personality, don’t you think?) Which made it highly unlikely that I’d stop at one cupcake. So I did what any smart, binge-prone person would do: I baked them in mini-cupcake pans. Like magic, now you get two cupcakes for one point! You’re welcome.
At this point you’re probably wondering how they taste. Because it’s highly unlikely that one can eat two cupcakes, even two mini-cupcakes, for a single point and find it the least bit satisfying. Surprise! They’re quite good. Similar in flavor, in fact, to Amazon Cake, my go-to chocolate cake recipe, pre-Weight Watchers—which is 6 points per serving, assuming 8 servings per cake. Five fewer points per serving, people! That’s nothing to shake a stick (or my shrinking butt) at.
Be careful when combining the wet and dry ingredients, though. As it the case with many low-fat baked goods, if you overmix the end result will be gummy, almost tough. Texture is a tricky thing when baking with so little fat, but if you’re gentle with the ingredients, they’ll be gentle with you. And your waistline. And—most importantly—your tastebuds.
Brownie Cupcake Bites
Adapted from WeightWatchers.com
Serves 12/1 point per 2 mini-cupcakes
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons cocoa (I used King Arthur Flour’s Double-Dutch Dark)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two mini-cupcake tins* with paper liners, or coat with nonstick spray, and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a glass measuring cup, combine the remaining ingredients. Drizzle the wet ingredients over the dry, then stir gently until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake tins, filling a little more than halfway. (I used a small cookie scoop, which worked like a charm.) Bake for 14-16 minutes, until the tops are dry and spring back when you touch them, rotating the tins halfway through.
Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, them remove to a rack to cool completely.
*If you don’t have mini-cupcake tins, use regular-sized ones and bake for 18-20 minutes. You’ll get 12 full-sized cupcakes, each with a points value of one.