Saturday, January 28, 2012

Gluten-Free Kahlua Almond Brownies

So I'm not really into the whole gluten-free-living thing.  I love bread and cake.  As in LOVE.  And anyone who has Celiac will tell you that the GF alternatives to the real thing are just...not the same.

That being said.

This recipe is now my go-to for brownies.

I baked up a pan of these for a gluten intolerant friend's birthday.  The first sign of success: the batter was un-freakin-believable.  They made the kitchen smell like chocolate heaven as they baked and cooled (the cooling part took WAY too long for me.  I'm impatient).  After cutting the brownies, I gave scraps to my roommates and I shared another scrap with Jon.

The roommates declared them the best things I've ever baked.  Jon made deeply satisfied yummy noises.

I declared them too dangerous to keep in the house - never have I been more grateful that something I baked was a birthday treat!

So of course, I baked another pan to photograph and blog.  Really, everything I do is for you.

These brownies are fudge with flour.  For real.  They are fall-apart tender and gooey all at once.  The Kahlua and sea salt add little surprise top notes to the deep dark chocolate base, with the almonds (or any nut really - I want to try hazelnuts as the original recipe suggested) adding a mild crunch.  They're so rich that a small square, enjoyed slowly, doesn't make you feel deprived at all.

That doesn't, of course, stop you from wanting to eat the.whole.pan.  All at once.

I think these could easily be made with regular all-purpose flour instead of almond or brown rice without sacrificing the awesomeness of the recipe, so if you don't want to spend the money on the fancy flours, don't - give them a try and tell me how it goes!  I still have the remains of a bag of brown rice flour on my shelf, so I'll be content with this one gluten free treat for a while :)

Gluten Free Kahlua Almond Brownies
Source: lightly adapted from She's Becoming Doughmesstic

10 tbsp salted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup high quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp Kahlua
1 tbsp vanilla (preferably Mexican - it pairs beautifully with chocolate)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup almond or brown rice flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used semisweet)
1/3 cup slivered almonds (or nut of choice - give hazelnuts a shot!)

Preheat the oven to 325˚F (I had more success at 350˚).  Line an 8x8" pan with foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on two sides, and spray the lining well with nonstick spray.

Melt the butter in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove. As the butter melts, mix the sugars, cocoa powder, sea salt, Kahlua, and vanilla together in the bowl of a mixer.  Add the hot melted butter immediately and mix well to combine.  Allow the mixture to cool for approximately 5 minutes - you don't want the eggs to cook when you add them!

After 5 minutes, add the eggs one at a time, beating well to combine after each addition.  Add the flour and beat the mixture vigorously for 2 minutes - the batter should be thick and fluffy.  Stir in the chocolate chips and almonds.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-32 minutes - they'll still be a bit gooey, but they'll firm up as they cool.  Leave them in the pan on a rack to cool for about 30-60 minutes, then place in the refrigerator for another 30-60 minutes - this will facilitate cutting.  Lift the brownies out of the pan using the foil or parchment overhang, cut into squares, and enjoy!

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