Brownie bark: It’s 1 part cookie, 1 part brownie and 100% delicious.
Made simply by pouring brownie batter into a thin layer – and then adorning with your favorite toppings – brownie bark will forever end the argument as to who gets those deliciously chewy and crisp edges found in the corners of a brownie pan.
But as you already know, most brownie bark – while addictively delicious – is anything but a healthy indulgence.
And if you choose the popular packaged brand of this new favorite treat, you’ll get a whopping 14 grams of sugar per itty-bitty ounce, and these unsavory ingredients:
Sugar, Enriched Wheat Flour (Flour Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Cocoa, Corn Syrup Solids, Soybean Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Oil, Egg White Powder, Corn Starch, Salt, Caramel Color, Leavening (baking soda), Dextrose, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor, and Non-Fat Dried Milk.
Here’s a quick rundown on the “starring” ingredients in most brownie bark and how they impact your health:
- Sugar: Speeds the aging process, increases insulin resistance and promotes diabetes, contributes to heart disease by making plaque “sticky”, feeds cancer of all kinds, promotes weight gain and obesity.
- Wheat + Gluten: Today’s wheat is far different than what we consumed 100 years ago. In fact, due to genetic modification and selective breeding, modern wheat contains up to 40x higher levels of gluten (as well as other inflammatory substances) than the wheat our recent ancestors ate. Wheat is also high glycemic and surprisingly, raises blood sugar more than a candy bar!
- Corn Syrup: This sticky sweet sugar is primarily fructose – the fruit sugar associated with increased triglycerides and oxidized LDL, fatty liver disease, increased belly fat and many other health issues. What’s more, fructose increases levels of the “hunger hormone”, ghrelin, causing you to eat more… and gain more weight.
- Soybean Oil: Made from genetically modified soybeans, and high in inflammatory omega 6 fats, soybean oil was found to promote the storage of body fat when compare to coconut oil.
- Caramel Color: Also known as the chemical 3-MEI, this ingredient requires a warning label in the state of California due to its link with cancer.
- Soy Lecithin: Made from genetically modified soybeans, soy lecithin is an emulsifier found in many chocolate chips and packaged foods. (NOTE: The chocolate chips in our Better Brownie Mix are soy-free, gluten-free and dairy-free and contain NO soy lecithin).
Making Better-for-You Bark: Gluten-Free Brownie Bark (with Less Than 2 Grams of Sugar!)
With our new gluten-free and low-glycemic Better Brownies Mix, we’ve made over this tasty and trendy new food using good-for-you ingredients.
And the results couldn’t be more delicious!
With dark organic cocoa, organic dark chocolate chips and organic chocolate liquor, farm-fresh eggs, virgin coconut oil, low glycemic sweeteners and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt, these crave-worthy creations are a snap to make.
And best of all they’re gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free… and have just 60 little calories and less than 2 grams of sugar per chewy and decadent serving!
Gluten-Free Brownie Bark: The Simple Step by Step
To get started, all you’ll need is one Better Brownies Mix, ¼ cup virgin coconut oil (we like Nutiva) or grass-fed butter, 1 Tbsp. coconut milk and two egg whites. (You can also add ½ tsp. of espresso powder or real vanilla extract, if you’d like).
Simply melt the coconut oil or butter over very low heat and stir in the Better Brownie Mix to melt all of the delicious organic dark chocolate chunks. Stir in the coconut milk and espresso powder or extract (if using). Remove from heat and add the egg whites, stirring well to combine. (Be careful about tasting the batter – it is hard to stop!)
Pour the batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. I used a 13 x 9 that fits in my countertop Smart Oven. You can use a large pan and spread the batter thinner for more “crispy” brownie bark.
Now, dot your batter with some dark chocolate chips (73% or higher, please!). You can also sprinkle on your sea salt now, but please note that it will sink in a bit. To keep those salt crystals on the surface, add this ingredient about 5 minutes into baking.
Then pop into your preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or just until the edges start to pull away. (Watch carefully to prevent burning). Remove from the oven to cool (about 15 minutes). Gently slice into squares and then return to the oven to crisp for another 8-10 minutes. Let your brownie bark cool completely (difficult, but necessary!) and then chill – this is what gives it the best chew and snap.
And here’s what you can expect…
- 1 Better Brownies Mix
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil or grass-fed butter
- 1 Tbsp. organic coconut milk (full fat)
- ½ tsp. espresso powder (optional)
- 2 egg whites (or liquid egg white equivalent)
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips (73% or higher cocoa content)
- ¼ tsp. Maldon Sea Salt (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet* with unbleached parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter or oil over very low heat. Add Better Brownies Mix and stir until all chocolate is melted. Add the espresso powder and coconut milk and continue to stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in the egg whites until fully combined.
- Pour the brownie batter onto the prepared pan, spreading evenly to create a thin layer. Scatter batter with chocolate chips.
- Transfer to oven and bake. Bake 18-20 minutes or until just edges pull away and a toothpick inserted into the center has a few crumbs clinging. (Note: If you’re using the Maldon, the best time to add it is about 5-10 minutes into baking so the flakes adhere and sink in just slightly, but don’t disappear)
- Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes. Cut into squares. Return to warm oven and bake for another 10 minutes to crisp. Cool completely and refrigerate until cold. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER BROWNIE CRISP
59 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g carbohydrate, 2 g sugar alcohols, 1.5 g sugar, 1.5 g fiber, 2 g protein, 63 mg sodium