Well, due to a serious health scare in my family, I've decided to include "low-fat" as part of my baking vocabulary.

Now, I know that I might have mentioned before that using substitution to make a cookie, cake or other baked goodie "healthier" ends up making the baked good taste a little less authentic. Who am I kidding, they end up tasting "fake".

An essential ingredient in most baked items is butter. Good, golden, creamy, fattening butter. According to the International Food Information Council,

In baked goods such as cakes, fats help produce a high, fine texture. When "creaming" fats and sugar—the first step in mixing many cake batters—fats trap tiny air bubbles that help the batter to rise. Fats also help keep dough and batter from separating and falling. And fats coat the proteins in flour to make a tender or flaky product.

So when there is little or no fat in a baked good, you end up with a drier product, or worse - a flavorless one.

But the topic of this post is "low-fat" and so I decided to try my hand at a low-fat brownie. What ended up happening was me creating a low-fat, richly satisfying treat that even my sugar-crazed brothers could love. The secret? Low-fat, plain yogurt and a little baking powder.

Yogurt Cocoa Brownies

1 cup of granulated sugar
6 TBSP cocoa powder (any kind will do)
10 TBSP low-fat yogurt
2 large eggs
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup + 1 TBSP all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8 x 8 in. baking dish (I use non-stick spray).

Mix together sugar, cocoa and yogurt until well blended. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated fully. Add vanilla and salt and mix well. Stir in flour and baking powder until it doesn't show and batter is creamy. Do not over mix.

Fold in dried cranberries and chocolate chips. (optional)

Bake for 28-32 minutes (when a toothpick is inserted, it should come out with a little of the brownie sticking to it).

Cool and cut into squares. Serve warm or room temperature with a nice cold glass of low-fat milk. Enjoy!