Friday, July 6, 2012
Gluten-Free Pecan Fudge Brownies
It's July. This means that it's the middle of the summer. Um, what? Seriously? Already!? Sigh. It's so incredibly hard to believe. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was packing up my room back at school to move back home, yet that was over a month and a half ago. I've just completed my fifth week at my internship, and it just seems crazy to think that it's just about halfway over. Where does the time go!? Time seems to be moving way too fast. Too fast for my taste anyway. In order to make myself feel a bit better about the fact that summer is half finished (meaning that it's almost time for school to start again...not that that's a bad thing of course!), I'm going to eat a brownie. Brownies are one of those foods that just automatically make you feel good, and I love them.
These brownies are super special (no, not that kind of special, sheesh). They are super fudgy, have toasted pecans mixed throughout, anddddd...they're gluten-free. Don't believe me? You'll just have to make them for yourself then, and I'm sure that, like me, you'll be amazed at the results. Seriously. You can't even tell that these brownies are gluten-free! I don't have a problem with gluten, but I definitely am intrigued by gluten-free cooking, baking in particular. I find it crazy that baked goods can manage to have structure and hold up well without the use of any flour, so I like to experiment from time to time with gluten-free baking. The only thing is that, as you know by now, I'm too lazy to go out of my way to buy all sorts of specialty flours, and arrowroot powder, and all that other stuff. I like simple gluten-free recipes that can be prepared with regular old ingredients that I have inside my kitchen. These brownies, for instance, use cornstarch instead of flour, so this is my kind of gluten-free baking! The fact that these brownies taste amazingly delicious only makes them even better!
This brownie recipe is incredibly simple to make- you only need a maximum of 2 bowls and a rubber spatula to make them...seriously, they're that easy to make! Any dessert or recipe that requires less clean-up effort when you finish making it is definitely a winner in my mind, and these brownies certainly fall into that category. They take only a couple of minutes to make, and you have more than enough time to clean up your kitchen while they bake...the only problem with this super efficient clean up scheme is that you'll have nothing to do while you wait for the brownies to cool enough to eat. This was a serious problem for me. I had this incredibly delicious chocolate-brownie-nutty smell throughout my house, yet there was no way I was about to attempt to take brownies out of a hot pan. Even I'm not that crazy. Waiting for them to cool down so I could dig in was without a doubt the hardest part of this recipe.
The wait was damn well worth it though. These gluten-free pecan fudge brownies are simply amazing. You'd never be able to tell that these brownies are gluten-free; I certainly couldn't taste a difference, and my friends weren't able to either...they were actually in shock when I told them! That kind of reaction is what lets you know that you have a truly good gluten-free recipe. I will definitely be making these brownies again...who cares if they're gluten-free and you don't have a problem with gluten. They're too good to pass up!
Gluten-Free Pecan Fudge Brownies
recipe from Everyday Food, June 2012
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
In a bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. In a large microwave safe bowl, or in a double boiler set over the stove, melt together the butter and chocolate, stirring together until melted and smooth. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Stir the eggs in, one at a time, until combined. Add the cornstarch mixture to the chocolate mixture, and stir vigorously until the mixture becomes smooth, and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Evenly stir in the pecans.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and with a rubber spatula, gently smooth the top. Bake the brownies until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes.
Be sure to rotate the pan halfway through the baking time. Place the brownies on a wire rack, and let the brownies cool completely in the pan. Once they have cooled completely, use the paper overhang to lift the brownies out of the pan, and cut into sqaures. Enjoy!
Makes 16 brownies