Recipe: Brownie Thins

Have you tried brownie brittle? I've only heard about it and vaguely remember seeing it at a specialty gourmet store but have never tried it. The idea of a crunchy brownie didn't appeal to me. But then I came across a recipe for brownie crisps. It was described to have a slight chew in the center so that was enough to convince me. I think a better name for these are brownie "thins" since the version I made came out more like a thin brownie - not crisp like a cracker. Granted, it all depends on how thin you spread the batter. The very edges of my batch came out like crisps but the center pieces were chewy all around. So stinkin' addicting.

If you can pry these brownie thins away from your own hands, they'd make a sweet Valentine treat for the chocolate-lover in your family. Package them up in cellophane bags tied up with pink or red baker's twine and you've got a simple yet fancy little gift for family and friends alike. 

Brownie Thins*
Brownie crisps, bark, brittle, or thins - whatever you want to call them, they are the best part of a brownie, in my opinion. Slightly crisp edges and chewy throughout - you may never go back to regular brownies. And the fact that they don't contain all that butter makes you feel a little less guilty when you realize you've eaten the entire pan.

*To make gluten-free, just substitute 2 ounces of gluten-free all-purpose flour in place of regular AP flour. Make sure there aren't any leaveners or xanthan gum in the blend to keep these brownies "thin" and crisp (I used Trader Joe's gluten-free all-purpose flour to test). 

Yield: about 2 1/2 dozen 2" pieces

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or 2 ounces gluten-free flour blend without xanthan gum or leaveners)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon  nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup mini chocolate chips, divided


Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a jelly roll pan or large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Add sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, oil, and vanilla, beat until smooth.

Stir in milk powder, then the flour mixture and mix until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.

Using a dough scraper or spatula, spread batter as thin as possible onto the prepared baking sheet.

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips on top of the batter.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cut (but don't separate pieces) into squares using a knife or bench scraper.

Return to oven, and bake brownie thins for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool completely in pan, then break into squares.

Store in airtight container at room temperature or package in cellophane bags tied with ribbon to give as gifts.

Source: adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour