Gluten Free Brownies

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Gluten Free Brownies

Gluten Free Brownie

Sometimes in life you meet someone, who through unforeseen circumstances, life throws a curve ball.


I know a young woman at school who is having such an experience. Angela is the daughter of one of my staff at school, she is in her Senior year of High School and has been ill for much of that time. She has gone through a lot this year and has managed to do so with grace and a sense of humor, that I am not sure I would have had at her age…….she is beautiful inside and out. Although she is getting better, she has learned that a gluten free diet may help. As anyone who is trying gluten free knows substitutes,  especially for sweets can be a challenge.

I talk about my blog at work, and my staff has listened to me go on and on about whatever it is that I am doing for my blog.  They have been my guinea pigs, official taste testers, and sounding boards. I was talking about a request from a friend of mine for gluten free recipes and Angela made a comment that she had tried gluten free brownies and they were awful.

Perusing Pinterest one day, I came across a recipe for a gluten free brownie using of all things, black beans. The original recipe is from Skinnytaste, a food blog that I follow. I wondered if they would taste like a real brownie and how they would turn out. With Angela in mind I made them.

Now, I must admit I was a little scared to taste them, as I have never had much luck with substitutions in baking. I was sooooo very surprised! They were gooey, chocolatey, fudgy, and quite frankly, I don’t know anyone who would be able to tell that they were not regular brownies.

But the real test would be having Angela taste them. Now, I am sure that she was just as leery as I was to eat them, but she did and the look on her face was priceless. She loved them!!!

So, this recipe is for Angela and all of those who are looking for a yummy gluten free brownie 🙂

They are so good you may have to hide them………..

Gluten Free Brownies Collage

Gluten Free Brownies
Author: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (14 oz) canned low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • • 2 large eggs
  • • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • • ¾ cup sugar
  • • ½ teaspoon oil
  • • 1 tablespoon unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • • ½ teaspoon of freshly ground coffee or instant coffee
  • • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Grease a nonstick 9 x 9-inch square baking pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
  2. Blend the black beans, eggs, cocoa powder, sugar, oil, almond milk, balsamic, baking soda, baking powder and coffee in the blender until smooth and pour into a bowl. Fold in ½ cup chocolate chips until combined.  Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly over the top of the brownies.
  3. Bake the brownies until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 to 32 minutes.  Allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing them into squares.

 

 

 

 

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Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

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Gluten Free Strawberry ShortcakeGluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Now that we are getting some folks following our adventure, we are starting to receive requests for recipes. Tim and I were grocery shopping, and a gal we know stopped us in the parking lot. After exchanging pleasantries, she ask us about Gluten Free recipes. She has a gluten intolerance, so we said we would see what we could do. I have never made anything gluten free in my life………yikes! What did I say we would do????

I decide that dessert would be the best place to start, and strawberries are just making their spring appearance in the grocery store. So Strawberry Shortcake seemed like a good choice.


I know several people who have gluten intolerances and although products have come a long way, I know they have struggled finding replacement for some of their favorite foods. So, in an effort to try and make some thing gluten free and still tasty, and to live up to my word, I searched……… I came across several sites that had a variety of ways to make gluten free products, but to be honest some of them sounded like science experiments.

I was really looking for something easy that would not require a beaker and bunsen burner. As I was looking at all the gluten free items at the grocery store, my eye caught Almond Flour, now we like almonds, so I figured it should be a good replacement for flour. The rest was just basic baking items, butter, eggs, vanilla, and baking soda. I was a little worried after I mixed the dough, as it was really sticky and still wet, but I remembered reading in one recipe I saw that they chilled the dough, so in the frig it went. After about 10-15 minutes it was a nice dough. I scooped mine with an ice cream scoop but I think you could roll them out if you wanted too. I topped mine with Turbinado sugar for an extra little crunch and shine (old trick from my bakery days). I let them cool and could not help myself and tasted one……….I was sooooo surprised, they were really tasty. More dense than a traditional shortcake biscuit, but if I could not tolerate gluten these would be a perfect substitution.

Now about those strawberries, I know what you’re thinking………Balsamic Vinegar has she gone mad!!!! I truthfully thought that the first time I saw a recipe using vinegar with strawberries, but do your self a favor…….TRY IT………I make strawberries this way all the time and it is awesome. The brown sugar and the balsamic makes almost like a syrup for those beautiful red berries. The berries and the syrup they make soaks into that shortcake beautifully and topped with a dollop of whipped cream………..a little piece of heaven…..I don’t think anyone would be able to tell it was gluten free.

So, if you or your family, or a friend has an intolerance to gluten, try this recipe as a replacement for that traditional Strawberry Shortcake that is a summer dessert favorite.

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake Collage

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
Author: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • Shortcake Biscuits:
  • 2½ cups blanched almond flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Turbinado Sugar ( if you do not have Turbinado regular sugar
  • will work also )
  • Strawberry Topping:
  • 3½ cups fresh, ripe organic strawberries, sliced
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Shortcakes:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the almond flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter and honey until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla, whisking together until well combined.
  5. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until thoroughly combined.
  6. Chill dough in the refrigerator 10-15 minutes.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and gently flatten to about one-inch thick. I got 8 biscuit out of the dough.
  8. Bake approximately 15 minutes, until top is golden brown.
  9. Allow biscuits to cool completely before splitting and filling.
  10. Strawberries:
  11. In a large bowl, combine sliced strawberries, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Allow to set for an hour or two.
  12. Do not let set more than an hour or two as the berries will get mushy. They will still fast good but they will not look as pretty.
  13. To Assemble:
  14. Split biscuits in half and top with a couple of heaping spoonfuls of strawberry topping and a dollop of whipped cream

 

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Caramel Cookie Dough Bars

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Caramel Cookie Dough Bars

I am not usually a fan of a cookie bar………until I made these Caramel Cookie Dough Bars. All I can say is yum!!!

Caramel Cookie Dough Bars


Shortbread is one of my favorite tastes, a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, and little bit crispy……just an all around tasty treat. Every year for Christmas,once we reached a certain age,my Grandma would buy us a tin of shortbread cookies and wrap them in a dish towel. I loved those tins and the cookies.To this day shortbread always reminds me of my Grandma.

Since this is a layered bar I guess I will need to speak of each layer. Shortbread……check!

Caramel…..it can make anything taste great. Now, I have made homemade caramel many times, but I discovered a little secret…….Dulce de Leche. It’s caramel, in a can, already to go! It’s in the same section as the sweetened condensed milk at the grocery store. If I can save a step,and it tastes great, I say why not! But feel free to make your own for this recipe.

Cookie Dough……I have never made cookie dough without eggs before and since you do not bake these bars, except for the shortbread layer, you need an egg free cookie dough. This one is really good and you don’t have to worry about getting sick from eating it.

Chocolate Ganache…….what can I say about dark chocolate and cream that hasn’t already been said……….it’s a slice of heaven.

Combine all these layers and you get a sinfully rich and delicious bar. Speaking of which, I think there are two still left…………yeah!

Caramel Cookie Dough Bars Collage

Caramel Cookie Dough Bars
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • For Shortbread:
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • For Caramel:
  • 1 can dulce de leche (by the sweetened condensed milk)
  • For Cookie Dough:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • For Chocolate Ganache:
  • 1½ cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on two sides.

To make the shortbread, beat butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in flour and salt and mix on low until just combined. Press the dough into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until edges are slightly browned.
  2. For the caramel layer: Spread caramel evenly over the shortbread crust. Place in freezer for about 15 minutes.
  3. To prepare cookie dough, beat butter and sugars on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add heavy cream and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and salt and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the mini chocolate chips. Spread cookie dough on top of caramel layer using a spatula to smooth dough into an even layer. Refrigerate the dough while you prepare the chocolate ganache.
  4. Chocolate Ganache Layer: Place 1 cup chocolate chips and heavy cream in a glass bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals until chocolate is melted. Remove from microwave and add remaining chocolate chips and vanilla and stir until smooth and silky. Pour the ganache over the cookie dough layer and chill until set, about 30 minutes.
  5. To remove bars from pan, grasp the edges of the parchment paper and lift out the entire block. Place on a cutting board and use a large sharp knife to cut into 2-inch squares. Refrigerated in an airtight container, bars will keep for up to 3 days.

This recipe was adapted from http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dessert/cookie-dough-billionaire-bars

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