Shirtless Chef – Double Down Brownies

Local fitness enthusiast Jason Murphy transforms favorite meals of his youth into healthy dishes. See the full list of her recipes at

Double Brownies

I’ve already covered brownies in my articles on how to hack recipes for a healthy lifestyle. I say you can’t have too many brownie recipes. In fact, I’ll end up writing another one for a gooey, decadent avocado brownie that might be my all-time favorite. We’ll save this one for the winter months when I’m not trying to go into a slight calorie deficit for the summer.

This brownie was born because, damn it, I had a brownie craving and needed a version that was lower in calories, quick, and could be whipped up with items I already had on hand. I started going through a mental checklist of essentials for healthy brownies.

Let’s see, almond flour, dark chocolate, grass fed butter, low carb sweeteners, eggs and nuts. Checks on all levels, as these are all things I keep in stock for such an emergency. That’s the key to it all, kids… the cravings will come, and if you’re willing to handle those cravings in a healthy, unprocessed way, you won’t end up looking like Steve Dallas in Bloom County:

Believe me, I lived through that cartoon, and I wasn’t even trying to quit like Steve was in that strip. The cravings will come. Sometimes you have to be tough and come through with absolute determination, but it will only work a certain amount of times. It’s a much better strategy to have a plan to satisfy that craving while keeping control of your food, than letting Little Debbie take over. That’s when you find yourself in a sugar coma on the bathroom floor, wearing only tight white clothes with cake crumbs on your chest.

To be honest, this recipe isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. It’s super easy to make and comes together so quickly, I bet you can make it from scratch and eat it before you can get dressed and go to town to buy cupcakes. Make a batch and you can thank me later that your kids don’t come home to find you looking like Steve Dallas.

Quick Brownies


2 pastured eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup Swerve Brown Sugar Replacement (packaged)

1/4 cup Stevia in plain sweetener

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) grass-fed butter

8 oz 72% dark chocolate chips divided

1 1/2 cup fine almond flour

Chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


Cut the butter into chunks and place it in a glass bowl with 4 ounces of chocolate chips. Fill a saucepan about 1/3 full of water and place the bowl over it to make a double boiler. Melt gently, stirring often, until the mixture is smooth:

Stir in the brown sugar, stevia and vanilla, then let cool for a few minutes.

Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the eggs one by one to the chocolate mixture and beat well:

Once the eggs are incorporated, add the almond flour and salt, then beat with a hand mixer until completely combined. Then add the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate chips and chopped nuts and stir in if using:

Pour the preparation into the mold, smooth and bake for 30 minutes:

Let cool 30 minutes before cutting and serving:

Check out the list of all Shirtless Chef recipes at


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