gluten free brownies

Well, I made it through Lent gluten-free as planned.  At least I’m pretty sure I managed to avoid it almost entirely.  It sneaks up in places you don’t expect, like as a thickener in soups and is apparently sometimes used to keep pre-shredded cheese from sticking together in packages in the supermarket.  Hmm.  At any rate, I am back on the stuff but am trying to keep it in moderation and as previously mentioned will still be baking gluten-free items on occasion, since I have oodles and oodles of gluten-free flours in my pantry.  Fortunately I found a gluten-free cookbook that I really like: Blackbird Bakery Gluten Free.

The recipes in this book taste like the traditional baked goods I was used to and these brownies were no exception.  They were rich, dense, and sweet.  Totally brownie-like in every way possible.  They were even better heated up and served with a little Salted Caramel Ice Cream which I will share with you later in the week.  Until then, happy Monday!

Gluten Free Brownies (from “Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free” by Karen Morgan)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces high-quality chocolate, such as Scharffen Berger, chopped
  • 2 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, such as Scharffen Berger, chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • ¼ cup glutinous rice flour (Bob’s Red Mill Sweet White Rice Flour will work)
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons guar gum
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Take a piece of parchment paper and using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut 2 inches into each corner (right where the two edges of the paper meet) at a 45 degree angle.  Press the parchment into the greased 9-by-13-inch pan.  The slits you cut into the corners will allow you to fit the paper into the pan with perfectly smooth edges.

In a large stainless-steel bowl set over a saucepan with 2 inches of barely simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water), melt the butter and chocolate, being careful not to let the chocolate scorch.  Whisk in 1 cup of sugar.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and stir with a whisk to blend.  Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs with the remaining 1 cup sugar until the eggs have doubled in volume.  Stir half of the egg mixture into the melted chocolate mixture, then stir in half of the dry ingredients.  Repeat this process and stir until the batter looks like chocolate pudding.  Fold in the vanilla.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the brownies are cracked around the edges.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.  Lift the brownies out by grasping the two sides of the parchment paper.  Transfer to a cutting board and remove the paper.  Cut into 16 bars.

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