By The Spoonful

*Market*Deli*Wine*

If you don’t let anyone know these are gluten free, they won’t know!

I gave this recipe to someone who had recently had been diagnosed with Celiacs Disease. I ran into that person about 6 months later and they were still raving how much this brownie recipe tasted like regular brownies. This person also passed along a great idea. This person told me that they package up this recipe into a ‘brownies in a jar’ (well this person said they packaged all the dry goods into Ziploc bags) and gave them to the relatives they visit most. This way the relatives just needed to add butter and eggs and they could have a baked good that was gluten free and didn’t need to worry about purchasing all the gluten free flours.

Ever wonder why you need so many different gluten free flours to replace just the one wheat flour? Well it is best to alternate flours to balance out flavors, textures and structures that each flour brings to the bowl.

Rice flour– Rice flour is one of the most used of the gluten free flours. You can find White Rice Flour and Brown Rice flour. The only difference between the two would be taste. Brown Rice Flour has a nuttier flavor, just like brown rice does when compared to white rice. It is heavy dense flour and should be used when combined with other flours. Rice flour is low in protein and so needs to be mixed with flour that is rich in protein to form a great baked good. Too much rice flour can yield a grainy and crumbly baked good.

Potato starch-Don’t confuse Potato Starch with Potato Flour. Potato Starch is made from dehydrated potatoes minus the skin. Potato Flour is made from the whole potato, including the skin. Potato Starch is not cooked before dehydrated so it’s won’t absorb much water until heated, much like cornstarch. Thus, it can be a substitute for cornstarch in most recipes. Potato Flour is cooked before it is dehydrated so it can absorb a large amount of water. Potato Starch does not contain protein, so you would still need to add a protein rich flour to build structure.

Tapioca Flour-Tapioca Flour and Tapioca Starch are the same thing. Tapioca Flour helps a baked good brown while baking. It also gives the baked good a nice texture, an area where some gluten free baked goods fail.

Xantham Gum-This is added to place back some chewiness to the baked good. It helps thicken the overall product and is the most important ingredient of all gluten free baking. Xantahm Gum can be interchangeable with Guar Gum, though in my search Xantham Gum is always a lot cheaper.

Cornstarch-Cornstarch helps add more structure to the final gluten free baked good. When you are baking gluten free you need all the structural help you can get. Cornstarch also helps tenderize the finished baked good so you don’t end up with a ‘too chewy’ of a gluten free product.

Glutinous Rice Flour– Don’t let its name confuse you; this is a gluten free flour! It is called glutinous rice because when cooked the rice gets sticky or glue like and it sort of mimics gluten. Thus, Glutinous Rice will help build structure and hold the baked good together. Glutinous Rice Flour can also be found as Sweet Rice Flour. Rice Flour and Glutinous Rice Flour are two separate types of flours and cannot be interchangeable.

Gluten Free Brownies

by By The Spoonful

Makes 8-12 Servings

  • 3/4 cup rice flour
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • 2 Tbsp. tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp. xantham gum
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • ¼ cup glutinous rice flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs

In a small bowl sift together cocoa powder, rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, xantham gum, corn starch, glutinous rice flour and salt. Set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter. Stir in sugar until combined. Whisk in vanilla and eggs one at a time, beat well. Slowly add flour mixture, sir until combined.

Pour batter into a prepared 9×13-inch baking pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes in a 350F preheated oven.

Let cool completely before cutting into bars.

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