Cinnamon Walnut Brownies


There’s something I think I should state up front.  If I’m going to be blogging about baking and sweets and deliciousness, it’s best to just get it out in the open now.

I love chocolate.

I mean, I. LOVE. chocolate.  I’m notorious for it.  So much so that when planning my birthday dinner last year, my boyfriend immediately rejected a restaurant if it didn’t list a chocolate dessert on the menu.  So much so that my mom once bought me a page-a-day calendar featuring photos of chocolate, facts about chocolate, quotes about chocolate.  So much so that I kept every one of those calendar pages I tore off.  Hey, you never know when I might need to remember that the largest slab of fudge was made in Canada and weighed 5050 pounds.  Or when I might want to make a giant collage o’ chocolate photos.  They could come in handy.

It is only fitting then that my first blog baked good be made of chocolate.  And what chocolate treat is better than a brownie!  If you couldn’t guess from the image in my header, brownies and I have a secret love affair.  Mmmmm.  And so I bring to you, Cinnamon Walnut Brownies.


I used this as my inspiration but made a number of adjustments based on what I had on hand and where I wanted to take the recipe.  Namely, adding cinnamon to the mix and thus giving the brownies their namesake.  Here’s how mine ended up:

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup agave nectar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Spray an 8 x 8-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.  In one bowl, mix whole wheat pastry flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, whisk together agave nectar, oil and vanilla.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Fold in walnuts.  Spread into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Believe it or not, this was my first attempt at healthifying – it’s in the a dictionary – a brownie recipe.  Brownies are sacred in my book – I like them dense and fudgy and insanely rich and don’t even try to give me anything less and say it’s a brownie.  So I guess I was a bit intimidated at the prospect of replicating that perfection with more wholesome ingredients.  My Cinnamon Walnut Brownies aren’t quite there yet, but they definitely have potential.  Next time around, I’ll try baking them for 15 minutes or maybe lowering the oven temperature to 325*F to make them as gooey as brownie-ly – ok, that one’s not in the dictionary – possible.  And I’ll for sure double the cinnamon and halve the vanilla to up the spice factor and let the cinnamon shine.  That flavor was a bit too subtle for what I was going for.

There you have it!  My first Sweet + Natural treat.  Do you have a favorite healthy brownie recipe? If so, do share!  But don’t forget my criteria…


24 Responses to “Cinnamon Walnut Brownies”

  1. 1 Amanda November 3, 2008 at 2:52 am

    I expect some in the mail very soon!

  2. 2 caitlin November 3, 2008 at 10:45 am

    this looks wonderful! thanks for sharing!

  3. 3 Betsy November 3, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Hi Ashley! I can’t wait to see more from your blog. I’m such a baking addict too. And those look fantastic…I love gooey brownies.

  4. 4 Tina November 3, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Omg, these sound WONDERFUL!

  5. 5 catms916 November 3, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Those brownies sound great. I actually do have my own healthy brownie recipe… although not on hand. I’d love to try those cinnamon-walnut ones though!!

  6. 6 Amy November 3, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    What a great idea for a site! Can’t wait to see more.

  7. 7 Kath November 3, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Gorgeous photos!!

  8. 8 Lindsey November 3, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Hey, I just found your blog from a comment you left on Caitlin’s blog (see bride run). I love it already! Whole wheat pastry flour is a big favorite of mine, and I am hugely interested in nutrition and everything health-oriented. 🙂 Look forward to more recipes!

  9. 9 sweetandnatural November 3, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Amanda – I’ll send you a package with my next baking creation. These still need some tweaking and that’s just not worth the postage. One day we’ll live closer to each other and you can come over whenever you want to be my taste tester. That would be nice for me too because I would no longer feel obligated to eat everything I make before it goes bad. Ahhh…baking for one.

    caitlin, Tina, Kath – So glad you stopped by! And Kath, I’m totally winging it on the photos, so I’m glad they’re well-received. 🙂

    Betsy – Yay baking! Gooey is most definitely a brownie prerequisite.

    catms916 – Ooh…I hope you share that recipe!

    Amy – Thanks! Hope you’ll be back!

  10. 10 Sharon November 3, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Amazing picture! It looks sOOOOOO good

  11. 12 Hangry Pants November 3, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Um yeah – these look fantastic. I think I’m going to like this blog. 😀

  12. 13 erica November 3, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    I’m loving the blog so far! And what better way to draw in readers than with brownies that look like that?! I’m drooling over here!

  13. 14 VeggieGirl November 3, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    BEYOND phenomenal brownies – yum!!

    My favorite brownie recipe = the Crumb-Topped Brownie recipe from the My Sweet Vegan cookbook.

  14. 15 sweetandnatural November 4, 2008 at 1:09 am

    Lindsey – I just started using whole wheat pastry flour and I’m falling in love.

    Sharon, Wholesome Foodie – Brownie goo gets me every time too. 🙂

    Hangry Pants, erica – Thanks for checking out the blog!

    VeggieGirl – I see a trip to Borders in my future…

  15. 16 eatingbender November 4, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Beautiful pictures and scrumptious looking brownies! Thanks for your comment on my blog – Go U-NU bloggers 😉 I can’t wait to read more! And try this recipe!

  16. 17 sonia November 4, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    I am so glad to find your site. I look for healthy recipes esp. easy to hand out breakfast items such as banana breads and muffins that are low-fat, whole wheat and take less effort. My bf is really picky and will not touch cereal or oatmeal. I am looking forward to more recipies. Thank you.

  17. 18 sweetandnatural November 4, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    eatingbender – Go NU! Thanks for saying hello. 🙂

    sonia – I think muffins will be up next!

  18. 19 Andrea November 5, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    This recipe sounds amazing! I’m definitely going to try it out in the next couple of days, but since I have fruit juice concentrate in my pantry I’ll try it with that instead of the agave nectar and let you know how it turns out! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  19. 20 sweetandnatural November 5, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Andrea – If you do make the brownies, be sure to try the adjustments I suggested. I think they’d make them way better! Keep me posted!

  20. 21 Hangry Pants May 1, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Have you made these again? I want to make them! I know you said you might cook them for less time and/or lower heat. Any other changes?

  21. 22 sweetandnatural May 3, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Hangry Pants – I haven’t tried them again! I do need to do that, but I always get so curious about other recipe ideas and then make those instead!

  22. 23 cards by cara September 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Any changes to this recipe that you would now recommend? Planning on making some for my students …

  1. 1 She Says: Baking with Agave | Hangry Pants Trackback on May 4, 2009 at 12:37 pm
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