Brownie Hearts and Brownie Bites

I pinned this recipe on Pinterest months ago (courtesy of Kate), mostly for the cute idea of cutting out the hearts and then making little truffle balls with the scraps. I was really in the mood to bake something chocolaty today, so I decided brownies it is! Then I found I was *gasp* out of boxed brownie mix. Yes, I admit it. I love boxed brownie mix. I lurve it. It’s so damn tasty, even though it’s made with kind of yucky stuff. When I found the pantry would not yield my precious red box of joy, I decided I’d try and make them from scratch. And then I remembered Harry used all the white sugar. There’s like 2 tbsp left in the house at the moment. Since I don’t use sugar, I didn’t notice we were out when I went shopping on Tuesday.

Normally I’d just run out and get some, but I’m working from home and don’t have the luxury of popping out to the store. Even if I went out on my lunch break, but the time I got back, I wouldn’t have enough time to actually bake the suckers.

I was sad. So, so sad. No brownies for me.

Then I took a look at the recipe I pinned, and I realized I had most of the ingredients (it only calls for brown sugar!). The only thing I didn’t have was baker’s chocolate (or even chips… oh the horror!). I did, however, have unsweetened cocoa powder. I immediately googled how I could sub, and I found a few different ones (most called for shortening). I decided to give it a shot. Then, when I pulled out my Trader Joe’s cocoa, it had the conversion right on the damn package! 6 tbsps of cocoa plus 1 tbsp oil is equal to 1 oz baking chocolate. Voila!

So during my 15-minute morning break, I whipped these up and threw them in the oven. 38 minutes later, I had a yummy batch of homemade brownies. Winning!

Recipe adapted from


  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa and 6 tbsp canola oil (OR 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate)
  • 3 extra large eggs plus 1 extra large egg white (or 4 large eggs)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar, graham cracker crumbs, cocoa, colored sugar, etc for decoration


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan (I use shortening but butter can be used as well). In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, cocoa, and oil. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir.
  2. Beat eggs and vanilla into the melted chocolate with a wooden spoon. Beat in flour and salt. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Turn the brownie cake out onto a baking sheet, and flip over onto a work surface. Cut out the brownies with a 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. Dust with cocoa if you like. Form the scraps into 1-inch balls, and roll them in the coating of your choice.

Prep time: 15-20 min

Bake time: 35-40 min

Yield: 12 hearts and about 30 bites

brownies brownie bites

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