Brownie Points

If you are not feeling well, if you have not slept, chocolate will revive you. But you have no chocolate! I think of that again and again! My dear, how will you ever manage?
- Marquise de Sévigné

Before I got pregnant, I was never much of a sweets eater. My tendency to eat sugary snacks didn't extend much further than fruit, popsicles, the occasional milkshake. I rarely eat my own birthday cake, and at my wedding, the only cake that passed my lips was a result of the obligatory shot of my husband and I feeding it to each other.

However, dessert has been a routine for me since I've been pregnant, and my cravings for sweet things overcomes me at times. I've tried to keep it in check, but the desire for donuts, ice cream, cookies, cupcakes, and candy bars has become much stronger than my willpower. These days, the casual question "You know what sounds good?" is immediately followed by my announcement of whatever craving has popped up, combined with an impatient frustration that it's not right in front of me yet, why am I not eating it yet, where is it?

When I got hit with the need for brownies, mixed with a strong urge for a cupcake, I decided to take matters into my own hands and combine the two. I used a mini-muffin tin to make bite-sized brownie "cupcakes" - and they were amazing. I didn't put any frosting on them, in an effort to keep the sugar intake a bit lower, but these didn't need frosting anyway - they were rich and decadent, chewy and soft with just a bit of a crispy edge.

Brownie Bites

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin tin (or preferred pan).

- Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

- Bake until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. (Cooking times will vary depending on size pan used) Cool completely in pan on wire rack.