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.
2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unbleached white whole-wheat flour*
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces low fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon egg whites
1/2 cup reduced sugar strawberry preserves (I like Smucker’s)
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
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.