Tricky little things these skinny strawberry cheesecake brownies are being only 115 calories and 4 grams of fat each. I’ll let that sink in.
Packed with all the richness of a full fat brownie they don’t taste the least bit low-calorie or low-fat. That’s the tricky part.
One of the many things I love about them is they don’t require any weird ingredients like you sometimes find with low calorie recipes, only wholesome ones you can feel good about eating and probably have on hand right now for an impromptu baking session.
The brownie base is Jillian Michael’s recipe that I make all the time. Usually when I’ve overindulged on desserts but my overactive sweet tooth demands yet more.
The brownies are sweetened with honey rather than sugar and need only 1/2 cup flour – white wheat flour. If you don’t have white wheat you can use gluten free baking mix, all-purpose or even whole wheat. I’ve tried them all with good results.
The strawberry cheesecake part of the brownie is made of low-fat cream cheese mixed with a bit of egg white, honey and low-fat sour cream swirled into the brownie batter with reduced sugar strawberry preserves. You can use raspberry or another flavor, if you like, or omit the preserves altogether and simply make cheesecake brownies. That are anything but simple.
These bake up moist and fudgy with a texture just like everyday fatty brownies! The cream cheese strawberry swirl is reminiscent of a cheesecake with a tart, fruity bite that is downright dreamy with the chocolate.
Feed these to your family. Feed them to your friends. Hide some for yourself. They will never, ever guess they are low-fat or low-calorie. If they do you can come back and yell at me.
In the nicest way possible. Please.
Low-calorie, low-fat brownies with all the richness of a normal brownie and without any weird ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment and spray with olive oil.
- Measure the honey into a deep-sided small bowl and microwave on high power 45 seconds.
- Whisk in the cocoa powder and let cool.
- Meanwhile in a small bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
- In a separate, large bowl whisk the applesauce, oil, egg, and vanilla together until well combined. Whisk in the cooled honey-cocoa mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir until all the flour is incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread out evenly.
- Add the cream cheese, sour cream, honey and egg whites to a bowl and beat on medium speed 2 minutes until creamy and smooth.
- Drop by the teaspoonful over the brownies then do the same with the preserves. Using a butter knife lightly swirl the cream cheese and preserves together (don't overswirl). Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.
- Bake 28 - 34 minutes until the middle is set and firm. Cool on wire racks then refrigerate at least an hour (2 or 3 is better) before cutting. Use the parchment to remove the brownies to a cutting board. Slice into 16 squares with a chef's knife, wiping clean after each cut. Store in refrigerator up to 5 days.
Adapted from Jillian Michaels
*Or all-purpose, whole wheat or gluten-free baking mix.
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