Sunday, April 28, 2013

Gluten Free Brownies

If you read my post for Cauliflower Pizza Crust then you read my rant about gluten free recipes. How they never deliver on their promises. How the finished product tastes awful and usually has a weird texture. How they use a bunch of totally obscure, expensive ingredients. How I don't generally like them. Well this recipe fails beautifully to fit that norm. It may be gluten free but that's all it's free of. The taste and texture are great. The ingredients are pretty simple. Except for the coconut flour, which is pretty affordable, you probably already have most of the ingredients. The best part is that you'll never be able to tell they're gluten free. I'm totes serious. I originally tried this recipe as a treat for my dear friend that needs a gluten free diet but I'll be making them again for sure.

I kind of cobbled this recipe together from a few I found on the web and then added the step to separate the eggs and beat the whites to lighten things up. (Gluten free baked goods always tend to be a bit heavy and I assumed this step would help.) Then I flipped over the bag of coconut flour which had a brownie recipe on the back and found my recipe to be pretty darn close to that one. Hmmmm? Funny coincidence. You can find that recipe here. I changed up the technique and temperature which I totally recommend you do. If you make then just like I have below, you'll love them.

Easy stuff to find: eggs (At room temperature with the yolks and whites separated.), cocoa powder, sugar, butter (melted and cooled slightly), vanilla, coconut flour* and chocolate chips. (you could also add nuts if you like.)
*I found this bag of coconut flour at Whole Foods and it was about 5 bucks.

Start by beating the egg whites until stiff peaks form. This means when you lift the beater out the peaks left behind stand up straight and don't flop over. Like this:

In a separate bowl whisk or stir together the sugar and cocoa powder.

Add the egg yolks, vanilla and melted butter and stir until smooth and combined.

Stir in the coconut flour. Batter will be thick at this point.

Take 1/3 of the egg whites and stir them into the batter. At this point you don't have to worry about folding in the whites or deflating them. You just want to lighten the batter up a bit. Now, gently fold in another 1/3 of the egg whites. Go gently, at this point you do want to be careful not to deflate the egg whites. Then gently fold in the last 1/3 of the egg whites. Lastly, gently (again GENTLY) stir in the chocolate chips (and nuts if you're using them) just until evenly distributed.

Pour the batter into a lightly greased 8in.x8in. pan and level if needed. This Pyrex one worked great for me. I would recommend using a dish like this if you have one.

Bake in a 325°F oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, they'll be done. Don't try testing with a toothpick because the finished brownies are fudgy and if you wait until a toothpick comes out clean your brownies will be dry and overcooked. Let cool completely. Cut into squares with a sharp knife and serve.

First let me say that I think the word "amazing" it totally overused. Like totally. But, these brownies were AMAZING. Let's just forget for a minute that they are gluten free because, you will. These are some of the best scratch brownies I've ever made. Half way between fudgy and "cake like", which is exactly how I like them. I had the fam taste them before I told them they were gluten free and they were too busy scarfing them down to care when I did. Remember, when it comes to gluten free recipes with grandiose claims, I'm totes skeptical. So, believe me when I tell you, "these ARE good." If you won't take my word for it then try them for yourself. . .

Gluten Free Brownies
Adapted from Alison's Wheat Free Brownies
6 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/2 C. cocoa powder
1 C. sugar
1/3 C. melted butter
1 t. vanilla
1/2 C. coconut flour
1 C. chocolate chips (or 1/2 C. chocolate chips, 1/2 cup chopped nuts)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease an 8x8 pan.
Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form, set aside.
Whisk together the cocoa powder and sugar. Stir in the melted butter, egg yolks and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Stir in the coconut flour. Add 1/3 of the whipped egg whites and stir well to lighten the batter. Add another 1/3 of the egg whites and fold in gently. Repeat with the remaining egg whites. Quickly and gently stir in the chocolate chips (and nuts if using.)
Pour batter into greased 8x8 pan and bake for 45 minutes. 
Let cool before serving.

NOTE: While these are gluten free, they aren't sugar free or fat free. They do pack a bit of a punch. Here's the nutritional breakdown for 1/16th of the recipe: 200 cal., 11 g. fat, 2.4 g. fiber and 3.6g. protein. Not super bad, but not super good. But, after all, we're talking brownies here. Just enjoy!

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