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CONDLEY: Daphne Oz’s fudgey brownies are Snicket approved

While off work because of the pandemic, I was flipping through the television and stopped on the Dr. Oz Show.

His daughter, Daphne, was in the kitchen with her children making something, and I wanted to see what was happening. About half way through the segment, Brad came in and I told him they were making “good for you” brownies.

He finished watching the baking portion of the show with me, and said, “We should try those.”

Brad had been in the mood for something sweet, which rarely happens, so I decided to give the brownies a try.

Just a few days before we had been looking through our pantry and found a can of black beans. Neither of us really knew why we had them; I suspect we bought them thinking Brad would use them in his chili for something different. This was the perfect time to use those beans and try something different along with satisfying Brad’s not-so-sweet tooth.

I had not written anything down while Daphne was in the kitchen with her kids making these brownies, so I headed to the computer to find the recipe. I just searched “Daphne Oz brownies,” and lots of websites popped up. I looked at three or four of the recipes, and they were all alike except for one which called for more coffee than the others.

I opted for the recipe I found on doctoroz.com, which listed less coffee.

Daphne Oz’s Fudgey Brownies


— 1 cup sweet potato

— 2 tablespoons butter, melted

— 2 eggs

— 1/2 cup brown sugar

— 1 teaspoon vanilla

— 1/2 cup black beans, smashed

— 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

— 1/3 cup hot coffee

— 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

— 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

— 1 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Microwave sweet potato until tender, about seven minutes, and set aside to cool. Peel off skin and mash.

Whisk the sweet potato, eggs, melted butter, brown sugar, black beans and vanilla together in a large bowl.

Place the coffee and the chocolate into a heat-proof glass measuring cup and microwave until melted.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Stir the melted chocolate into the sweet potato mixture. Then fold in the dry ingredients.

Pour into a greased pan or muffin tin and bake for eight to 10 minutes. Let cool and serve.

The first thing I did was microwave the sweet potato. I let it cool while Brad made some coffee.

I put the chocolate chips into a glass two-cup measuring cup and poured the coffee in. This started the melting process, but I ended up putting the coffee/chocolate mixture in the microwave and heating it a bit to completely melt the chocolate.

By this time, the sweet potato was slightly cool, and I removed the peel and mashed it.

Next, it was time to tackle the black beans. I wasn’t sure if I needed to drain the beans,  so I headed back to the computer and looked up Daphne’s recipe again. One of the websites said to drain and rinse the beans. Brad took care of that for me.

To puree the beans he placed them in the blender. They were so dry that he ended up adding a tiny bit of water and blending them a little more just so there wouldn’t be chunks of beans in the batter.

By this time, the sweet potato was cool enough to add the eggs, melted butter, brown sugar, black beans and vanilla. After a little mixing, I poured in the coffee/chocolate mixture, stirring just to combine.

I folded in the dry ingredients and was ready to scoop the mixture into a pan.

One of the recipes I had reviewed said this recipe would make 18 mini muffins. Since I think mini muffins are cute, I sprayed one of my 24-cup mini muffin pans with cooking spray. I sprayed all 24 because it looked like there was plenty of batter to make that many.

After filling all 24 cups, there was still batter left over. I decided we’d try larger muffins the second go round, and filled a regular size six-cup muffin pan with the remaining batter.

When the mini brownies came out of the oven, we let them cool slightly before Brad popped one in his mouth.

“They are moist and fudgey, but they don’t satisfy my sweet tooth,” he said.

By now you know Brad isn’t crazy about sweets, so to me, this meant they weren’t sweet at all. Before trying a second one he sprinkled it with powdered sugar, and he said that did the trick.

Since we had so many “good for you” brownies, and I don’t care for chocolate or things that are good for you (aka healthy), I texted our neighbor, Rachel, and asked if she’d like to have some.

She said, “Of course,” and I headed to her house. I handed the plate of brownies to her through the crack in the door and told her to let me know what she thought of them.

A couple of hours later, I received a photo from Rachel with the empty plate sitting on the counter and the message “You see this?” It’s a running joke with us that her husband, Chris, will sometimes eat all of something without sharing with her or their daughter, Maggie. They also have a 10-month-old Labradoodle named Snicket, and I replied, “Bad Snicket;” as a joke, thinking she and maybe Maggie had eaten all the brownies before Chris got home from work.

After several texts back and forth I realized Snicket really had eaten all of the brownies. You see, Rachel and Chris were in another part of the house when Snicket came in the room, laid down and started licking his lips and smacking his mouth.

Rachel wondered what in the world he was doing. She thought maybe he’d eaten another sock that had been laying around the house. After her talk with Chris, she headed to the kitchen for a brownie bite and discovered the empty plate and the crumbs on the counter. She immediately realized why Snicket had been smacking his mouth.

When I figured out Rachel didn’t get to try the brownies, I told her I still had some, and she headed to our house. I slipped them through her car window and she headed home, vowing to eat one on the way.

A little later Rachel texted me again and said she liked the brownies a lot; that they actually tasted healthy and she liked that they weren’t too sweet. She also mentioned that they were very rich and she could eat them a couple of times a month. The next day, Rachel informed me that she’d hidden the remaining brownies but Snicket somehow found them and ate the rest of them. I guess she doesn’t have a very good hiding place, or Snicket just really likes brownies.

At first, we were worried he would get really sick from the chocolate, but he must have an iron clad stomach because he’d eaten 10 brownies, three pencils, a tube of ointment, a half cup of coconut oil and a My Little Pony head, all within 48 hours. I guess he’s still a puppy, though a big one, and is testing the waters with his family.

We still had brownies, and Brad took a few to Sandra, his physical therapist, the next day. Sandra also really liked the brownies.

That evening I asked Brad what he thought about the brownies and if he’d want them again. He had a funny look on his face and said they were better the second day, but he’d rather have a chocolate chip pie.

My mom tried the brownies and agreed with Brad, they weren’t very sweet.

With that being said, I’ll have to say this is a failed it recipe at our house. But Sandra, Rachel and Snicket all say it’s a nailed it recipe.

I guess you’ll just have to try this one your self and you be the judge.

Just watch out for a Snicket in your house.

Sarah Condley is an amateur baker and chef who is compiling a cookbook of her favorite recipes.