Hello friends, new and old! Boy do I have some awesome gluten-free things in the works for you! I've been a busy little queen bee today cooking and baking, chopping and shopping! I'm in love with the gluten-free lifestyle right now. Well, to an extent. I like that much of my food is free of synthetic stuff and is largely not pumped full of crud during processing. However, a gluten – free lifestyle seems to become trickier the farther away from home you get. I mean, do we really know what is in all of the menu items at restaurants and those fast food places? I know I have no clue. I pretend to be naïve and hope that I’m really eating chicken when I order a spicy chicken sandwich, but the processing phase of my beloved [yes, I said beloved] spicy chicken sandwich now scares me. Not to worry, I will likely continue eating it… but, that’s because I can. I do not have Celiac Disease [CD] and I am not gluten intolerant. My friends who suffer from these things will likely never know the joy of a spicy chicken sandwich, but in reality it would probably be better if I never knew the joy of those sandwiches either.
This week has been a real eye opener; I have become more vigilant about gluten-free products in the grocery store. Quite frankly I feel my blood start to boil when I do not see the gluten-free equivalent to basic pantry staples. Usually I wander around for a while and find it, but the ease of finding brown rice flour, for instance, does not compare to the ease of finding all purpose, gluten filled flour. I suppose I’m a dreamer, but I want all the products – gluten free and gluten – filled – to be in the same area. These products should be able to coexist together, seriously!
Okay, okay, so what do I have for you right now? I baked the most insanely moist and creamy gluten – free double chocolate brownies this morning. Oh yes, I’m in heaven. Let’s get down to business.
- 5 to 6 ounces dark chocolate – I’m talking at least 80%
- 1 cup white chocolate drops*
- ½ cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup brown rice flour
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract*
- Preheat oven to 350*
- Line a baking pan with foil and oil the bottom, lightly [this helps later]
- In a medium saucepan, add the dark chocolate and butter over medium – low heat, stirring occasionally until melted completely
- In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs on medium – high until light and frothy
- Add the brown sugar to the egg mixture and beat until it is smooth
- Turn in the melted chocolate to the egg/sugar mixture a small amount at a time
- Once incorporated, beat the mixture well for a minute
- In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add these ingredients to the chocolate mixture and beat for an additional minute
- Add the vanilla, beat for another 30 seconds
- Stir in ½ of the white chocolate chips
- Spread brownie batter into the pan and layer the remaining chips on top, gently pressing them into the batter
- Bake in the center of the oven for 33 to 35 minutes
- Cool. If you have time and some self control, I would recommend chilling these bad boys before cutting them; however, I lack the requisite self control and tore right into them after they cooled. It turned out fine so do not worry if you MUST have one as soon as they cool.
I don’t know if you noticed the [*] noted after two of the ingredients above. Let us discuss these two important ingredients. First let’s talk about the white chocolate chips or drops. You must be very careful and vigilant with these little guys. While I did not notice that the product contained gluten or a gluten byproduct as an ingredient, I did notice on Ghirardelli’s packaging that the chips are processed in the same place that wheat and gluten based products are processed, so there is a slight concern about cross-contamination. I would air on the side of caution and go with another brand. I love Ghirardelli, so I was saddened by this. For people who follow a strict gluten free lifestyle, I think it is best to check each package and make your own judgment call.
The second item is the vanilla extract. I was slightly concerned, but, fear not, McCormick’s vanilla extract is free from gluten! Yippee! Now I am not plugging any particular brand, but for those people who need a gluten free vanilla extract, McCormick has it for you!
I have a lot in store for you in the next couple of days – food, products, and experiences so please stay tuned. If you do not hear from me later today, make sure to check back tomorrow for the amazing dinner I’ve got cooking!
Until Next Time,
Pippy was sick of me not paying attention to him - so he sat with a princely stature in his crate and ignored me for some time afterwards. He eventually came around! :)