Bake a Brownie for Your Sweetheart

Photo courtesy of Cooking à la Heart


Bake a healthy chocolate sweet for your sweetie, and while you’re at it, look out for all our tender little hearts with daily meals cooked with heart health in mind. The new, fourth edition of Cooking à la Heart: 500 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Make Every Meal Heart Healthy offers a science-based approach to your home cooking with easy-to-follow recipes and practical guidelines that keep your favorite dishes on the table as you gain deeper understanding of why fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, carefully chosen meats and oils, and enlightened enjoyment of flavors and textures make a difference to our health.

The following recipe is republished with permission from Cooking à la Heart: 500 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Help Make Every Meal Heart Healthy Ⓒ Linda Hachfeld, MPH, RDN, and Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, FAND, 2023, published by The Experiment. Available everywhere books are sold. Find purchase links at

À la Heart Olive Oil Brownies  

Makes 16 brownies

If you love a brownie with a moist, fudgy middle, this is the recipe for you! For a more intense chocolate flavor, choose chocolate chips or chunks with a higher cacao percentage, which will provide more bitterness and intense chocolate flavor. If you prefer a sweeter brownie, use semisweet chocolate chips or chunks.

  • Cooking spray
  • ½ cup (170 g) honey
  • ½ cup (120 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup (100 g) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup (90 g) whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (85 g) chocolate chips or chunks (62–72% cacao)
  • ½ cup (60 g) chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the bottom and two sides of a 9-inch (23 cm) square baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the honey, oil, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl. Use a whisk or handheld mixer to mix until creamy and lightly golden in color. Add the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Stir to incorporate.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the batter into the baking pan and spread evenly.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes; the top will look dull (not shiny) and will have many holes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 to 15 minutes in the pan before cutting into 16 bars. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Tip: If you don’t have instant espresso powder, you can grind dark roast whole or already ground coffee beans to a very fine powder with a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.

Nutrition: Serving Size 1 brownie; Calories 203; Protein 3 g; Carbs 23 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Added Sugars 17 g; Total Fat 12 g; Sat Fat 3 g; Omega-3s 410 mg; Sodium 20 mg; Potassium 73 mg