Organic ingredients, vitamin-rich salads and sandwiches made with house-baked, whole-grain bread project a healthy halo at five-unit Hannah’s Bretzel, but some desserts didn’t align with the rest of the menu and weren’t selling as well, says Scott Perin, leader of brand experience at the Chicago-based fast casual. “Our brownies and blondies were too large, high in calories and low in nutritional benefits,” he says. “[Here,] something sweet should be a small indulgence.” So chef and nutritionist Kendra Peterson started playing with the blondie recipe, blending more healthful whole-wheat pastry flour with organic all-purpose flour and adding quinoa flakes. She also dialed back the portion size, lowering the calorie count from 680 to 230—and allowing Hannah’s to drop the price to $2. “Sales are up, with customers purchasing the organic blondies for snacks as well as dessert,” says Perin.
The original recipe used all organic ingredients—organic eggs, for instance, have a denser yolk which added richness to the batter—but Peterson aimed to make it more nutritionally sound without affecting food cost. Whole-wheat pastry flour is lower in gluten protein, so she added 10 percent quinoa flakes to compensate; this mix yielded the best texture. Molasses stands in for some of the sugar, lending small amounts of vitamins and minerals while preserving the caramel taste.
|INSTEAD OF...||TRY THIS...|
|All-purpose flour only||Half whole-wheat pastry flour|
|6-ounce portion||2-ounce portion|