Fudgey Brownies with Dried Pears

Walnuts are a great ingredient in brownies, but they can bring with them quite a few grams of fat. So to get some of that walnut flavor without a lot of fat, we used walnut oil instead. For a relatively small amount of oil (only 1/2 teaspoon per brownie), the brownies have a nice nutty undertone. The toasted-nut flavor of the oil makes the brownies seem rich even though they have less than 4 grams of fat apiece. As a side benefit, walnut oil is a good source of alpha-linolenic acid, which is a precursor to heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acid.

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 large egg plus 1 egg white
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup minced dried pears
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
2 In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3 In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, oil, egg, vanilla, and water until well combined. On low speed, beat in half the flour mixture just until combined. Stir the pears and chocolate chips into the remaining flour mixture and then add to the batter.
4 Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the brownie begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 brownies.

Makes 16 brownies servings.
Per brownie: 131 calories, 3.4g total fat (0.9g saturated), 26mg cholesterol, 1.1g dietary fiber, 24g carbohydrate, 2.2g protein, 105mg sodium.