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When life gives you beets, make brownies.

In my CSA this week, we received a few small beets.  I don’t hate beets, but they are not my favorite either. Having such a small quantity also meant that I was going to need to use them to accompany something else.  Then…I had a vague memory of hearing about putting beets in red velvet cake.  I pulled out my trusted brownie recipe and started jotting down the required modifications. The result?  Moist and fudgy treats that are not only addictive, but are also a conversation piece.  The brownies I normally make are thinner in the same sized pan…and use another 2 tablespoons of butter.  So, while these are in no way health food, they are slightly less guilt inducing and are just as rich and delicious.

You’ll need enough cooked beets to make 1/3 cup of puree.  I just peeled and boiled mine and gave them a quick run through the Magic Bullet, which has recently became one of my favorite cooking tools.

Block Rockin’ Beet Brownies

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup beet puree
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8″ x 8″ square pan with foil (or parchment paper) leaving the edges high so you can literally pull the brownies out of the pan.  I used parchment as you will see, but I think I prefer foil for cleaner, crispier edges. Place a glass bowl over a pan of lightly boiling water.  Combine butter, sugars, and cocoa powder in the bowl.  Press the butter to the bottom of the bowl and let this sit for 2-3 minutes.  Then, start to regularly stir until butter has completely melted and is combined with the sugars and cocoa.  Reduce the heat slightly and continue to stir this frequently for another 2 minutes to allow more of the sugars to dissolve. Remove this mixture from the heat and set aside for about 3-4 minutes to allow it to cool down slightly.  In the meantime combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

Return to the chocolate mixture and stir in vanilla.  Then, beat in eggs (one at a time) and stir in beet puree.  Slowly add in flour mixture until combined, then continue to quickly beat this by hand for a full minute.

Pour this into your pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.  The top and edges will be set, but a toothpick inserted into the brownies should still emerge with some batter.  However, if you look closely at the batter, it will not look like thin, raw batter.  It will be thick. Making sure not to over bake these is the key to getting a fudgy moist brownie.

Impatient as usual, I did not wait to remove my brownies from the pan.  I do, however, recommend letting these cool down before pulling them out and cutting them up.


Bonus Idea: I discovered that the sauteed beet greens were delicious with some sauteed bacon and red onion, then topped with feta.