Monday, May 20, 2013

Sourdough Surprises: Graham-Crusted Brownies

There is one thing I absolutely don't like about May anymore: All I do is eat. Somehow I managed to have my birthday right about the same time as Mother's Day – and who created this “Eat What You Want” day that my friends have to remind me of, on May 11th, right when I'm trying to behave myself?

Instead, once the local bakery Red Velvet Cupcakes were gone from my birthday, I used this month's Sourdough Surprises challenge to do my Mother's Day baking in one swoop.

I found a different recipe this month, as I didn't want a 13”x9” pan of brownies lying around this time of year. I looked around for how I could jazz it up, and found a nearly empty box of graham cracker crumbs in the pantry. Reminded of a few variations of s'mores brownies that I've read about, I decided to top my brownies with the crumbs. I did realize (right after coming home from the store) that the recipe called for cake flour, so I had to make another adjustment.

My version of the recipe:
Graham-Crusted Brownies
Adapted from

  • 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup ripe sourdough starter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

  • Preheat oven to 375F, and grease a 9" pan.
  • Microwave chocolate and oil in 10 second increments, stirring in between, until melted.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat together brown sugar, egg, sourdough starter and vanilla, then stir in cooled chocolate mixture.
  • Stir in flour mixture until just blended.
  • Spread in prepared pan. Top with graham cracker crumbs
  • Bake 25-30 minutes, or until edge begins to pull away from pan.
  • Cool completely before cutting and serving.

They didn't need quite the 30-35 minutes in the oven that the recipe called for. My only complaint is that they turned out a bit more like cake than brownies:

Still, by using unsweetened chocolate, they had a very rich and satisfying chocolate taste. I do plan on making more of a graham streusel if I do this again, and probably omitting the baking soda so that they don't come out so cakey.
Yes, I will be saving this recipe. They're pretty darn good. And all things considered, they're not that bad for you – 1/12 of the recipe is only about 160 calories.
So even though it's May, I can still have my cake and my brownies too. And then I can go back to my regularly scheduled baking.

Check out our other delicious brownies!


  1. Graham cracker crumbs! Wow. That's different. I have made s'mores brownies before. I will definitely try it with crumbs one day.

    1. Definitely could have used some butter though. But good luck!

  2. May 11 is "Eat What You Want" Day?! No one told me that!! I would want to eat a few of these though - they look very chocolatey. And graham struesel is a great idea.

  3. So funny that you chose an almost s'mores inspiration - I made s'mores sourdough brownies too :) Yours look amazing! Happy belated birthday - I hope these made it extra special!

  4. Yum! Graham crumbs - I need to remember these! And remember May 11! ;)

    1. It definitely could have used butter in the crumbs, but they were good, thanks :-)

  5. Oh, love the crushed cracker crumbs on top! Great idea! Your brownies look great! It is fun how some brownies recipes are more like cake and some are thick and fudgy!

    1. They were good, just a little unexpected, thanks :-)

  6. Great idea with the crumbs - I bet the contrast (flavour and texture) was lovely!

    1. They could have used some moisture in the crumbs, but they were good, thanks :-).

  7. I like this idea with the Graham crackers. Nice texture, I'm sure!

  8. Need to remember the graham crackers on top for my next batch of brownies~ Great idea! Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

    1. They could use some moisture, but they were good, thanks :-)

  9. What an interesting idea to use graham cracker crumbs! Love the combo.

  10. The crumb topping idea is truly inspired! They look great!