Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gluten Free Bake-Sale Brownies

I've experimented with a lot of brownie recipes, and this is one of my favorites. It comes from "The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook."  What I like the most about this recipe, besides its brownie-yumminess, is the easy clean-up.  By layering the bottom of the baking pan with tinfoil, you end up having a relatively clean pan, and an easy way to get the brownies separated from it.  Each batch makes about 16 tiny person brownies, or 9 Trav-size brownies (or 4 depending on the day I've had).  It only takes about 10 minutes to prep, and then 45 minutes to bake.

The brownies pictured are a result of an experiment substituting my typical GF flour combination (see recipe below), with equal parts Bob's Red Mill GF Pancake Mix.  The result was very cake-like brownies. In fact, I think using pancake mix with this recipe, instead of all-purpose flour, would make a perfect chocolate birthday cake. Or, you could pour the batter in a loaf pan and make chocolate bread, and then use that bread to make decadent chocolate french toast!  I digress...

When made with my own GF all-purpose flour the brownies come out a lot denser; a bit more fudgey.  I love them either way!  Whether you make these with an all-purpose GF flour, or decide to fluff them up with GF pancake mix, you'll know they are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs. After removing from the oven, let them cool for at least 45 minutes before digging in. I know... the wait is torture.

The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

Gluten Free Flour Mix
  • 3 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum

Brownie Ingredients
  • 8 tblsp (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into chunks 
  • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup  sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (GF of course)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3  cup all-purpose flour (or GF pancake mix)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Cooking Directions

  • Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  
  • Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, so that the aluminum sheets make a big "plus" sign. Lightly coat the aluminum sheets with cooking spray (make sure its GF)
  • Place the butter and chopped chocolate into a small sauce pan and heat over low heat while stirring frequently. It's easy to do, so don't burn the chocolate!
  • While the chocolate is melting, whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until combined. Pour the melted chocolate/butter mixture into the bowl and mix it all up good. Then mix in the flour until no streaks remain.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Sprinkle the top with nuts (or not) before placing in the oven.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached (about 25 minutes with all-purpose GF flour mix, or about 35 minutes when using GF pancake mix).  To be safe, start checking it around 25 minutes no matter what.  It would be shame to lose these morsels of deliciousnesss to overcooking
  • Enjoy! Maybe even better with a couple scoops of Bryers vanilla ice-cream (it's GF)!

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