Olive Oil Brownies

by Elaine Trigiani
  • 3/4 cup (130g) soft wheat flour    
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt    
  • 2 eggs    
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar    
  • seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped with the back of a knife      
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) olive oil    
  • 6 tablespoons (50g) cocoa    
  • 1 cup (100g) pecans, coarsely chopped    
  • OR 3/4 cup (60g) hazelnuts, finely chopped, toasted    
Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until the eggs are light yellow and more than doubled in volume.
On low speed mix in the olive oil and the cocoa. Slowly mix in the reserved flour mixture and the nuts.
Prepare an 8 x 8 x 2 inch pan by coating it lightly with olive oil and flour, and if you like, a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 325 °F / 170 °C for about 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean.
Cool in pan, cut into squares to serve.

Yields 16 brownies

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The Mediterranean diet has long been hailed as a model for how to eat for healthy living. One of the pillars of the Mediterranean diet is olive oil, and often it’s the only fat present in the diets of people described as healthy for how they eat.