Hidden Secret Brownies

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min (plus cooling time)
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 9 big brownies
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Nonstick baking spray

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces 

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) salted butter, softened 

1 1/2 cups sugar 

3 large eggs 

1 tablespoon vanilla extract 

1 cup finely chopped beets, from 8 ounces of cooked beets (see Cook's Note)

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped 

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 

Confectioners' sugar, to serve 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick baking spray. Line it with a piece of parchment overhanging the edges (this will help in removing the brownies from the pan) and spray again.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave or over a double boiler. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs. With the mixer on low speed, drizzle in the melted chocolate. Add the vanilla extract, beets and walnuts and mix. Whisk together the flour and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Add half of the flour to the batter and mix just until combined. Mix in the remaining flour; do not over mix.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Spread it to even out the surface. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let the brownies cool completely.
  5. Using the paper, lift the brownies from the pan. Remove the paper, and then cut the brownies into 9 squares. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Cook’s Note

Note: Wrap 8 ounces of beets in foil and bake at 400 degrees until soft, about 40 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel the skins off and cut them into chunks. Pulse in a food processor, scraping down the sides a couple of times, until very finely chopped. Alternatively, you can buy cooked beets in the produce section of most supermarkets.