There was a time in my life where I didn’t love chocolate.
I mean, I liked it okay, but I always preferred vanilla based desserts. Now? Let’s just say I’m an equal opportunity dessert eater. 😉
My friend Jason, however, has always been a chocolate fiend. He always chooses the chocolate desserts, and it was only through tasting his amazing drink at Dutch Bro’s that I found the perfect post long run coffee drink (Cocomo–basically an iced latte made with chocolate milk + coconut syrup. I get sugar free coconut to make this drink so healthy 😉 ).
When Jason’s birthday came around (back in June…), I knew immediately that I had to make something chocolate, and after several post run coffee dates, I was super inspired to make something based off a coffee drink. Espresso makes chocolate sound even chocolatier, and these brownies are ohhhhh so chocolatey. Like, must have a glass of milk chocolatey.
I honestly don’t even know how I did it. I don’t know how I made the gooeyest brownie I’ve ever tasted without using any butter or oil, and I don’t know how or why they tasted so freaking good, but I just know they didn’t taste the slightest bit healthy. I mean, they really aren’t, but they tasted like they had ALL of the bad stuff, rather than compromising somewhere in the middle.
The flavors just all complement each other perfectly, and the melty chocolate chips in the center with the rich chocolate cream cheese frosting are just to die for. They are definitely a little indulgent, but worth the treat, in my opinion.
Coconut Mocha Brownies
yield 32 brownies
For the brownies:
- 1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tbs espresso powder
- dash salt
- 11 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
- 1 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 cup egg substitute
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp coconut extract
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened reduced fat coconut
- 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- 12 oz reduced fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder (dutch process or special dark are best)
- 2 tsp espresso powder
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/4 oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp coconut extract
- extra shredded coconut for topping (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 pan, then line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat together yogurt, chocolate, and sugar, eggs, and extracts until combined. Fold in the flour mixture, followed by coconut and chocolate chips. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30-40 min, rotating the pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out mostly clean. Let the brownies cool completely, then use parchment paper to lift them out of the pan.
- To make frosting, beat cream cheese in a large bowl on medium speed until smooth. Add extracts. Add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating on low speed, followed by cocoa powder. Increase to medium speed and add melted chocolate. Beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl often.
- Frost completely cooled brownies, then serve immediately or store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.