Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gluten-Free Blondies

Sorry for the unintentional hiatus–it’s been a crazy week for the Foodie family.  Rather than detail the craziness, I’ll just assume you all know how it goes sometimes and get back to the business of making good food to share with the people I love.

One great thing about this week:  we saw a little bit of rain in South Texas.  Just the tiniest bit in my neighborhood, but others around the area saw greater amounts–and personally, at this point I’m just grateful for a cloudy day.  Even the hope of rain is enough to buoy my spirits, given the catastrophic drought we’re facing (and the forecast of its continuation through next year.  That was not the news anyone in this area wanted to hear.)  Still, in the Foodie family we pray for what we need and work with what we’ve got.  Which meant that yesterday, while the sky turned dark and threatened to spill its content, I took advantage of the opportunity to bake these:

Blondies.  Otherwise known as Blonde Brownies, but that’s always sounded ridiculous to me, so I just call them Blondies.   The recipe I’m offering here was adapted from this one I found on eGullet many years ago.  This was my first attempt to use an old familiar recipe, but take out regular wheat flour and substitute the gluten-free blend I made from this recipe from Kate at Gluten Free Gobsmacked. According to Kate, it can be substituted 1:1 for wheat flour in pretty much any recipe, with the exception of recipes for yeast breads.  And in this case, it worked beautifully.  (If you’re a gluten eater, of course, just use whatever type of flour you would normally.)

What’s the difference between a blondie and the pan cookie recipe on the back of your favorite bag of chocolate chips?  I’m glad you asked.  For one thing, this recipe uses only brown sugar, rather than a mixture of brown and white sugars.  The molasses–which is what makes brown sugar brown–keeps things soft and sticky, rather than allowing the crispy texture that white sugar creates.  Also, there’s a lot of butter in these blondies; that makes the texture very soft and dense, much more similar to a brownie than a cookie.

Ordinarily, I use white chocolate chips in this recipe.  I didn’t happen to have any white chocolate on hand yesterday, so I went with what I had:  semi-sweet chocolate chips.   (You can use either variety of chocolate, or a mixture of both, or even dark chocolate chips.)  The Boy is a great devotee of chocolate chip cookies, so he was delighted with my decision.   I really like the soft texture of these blondies, but of course you could add a handful of nuts if you wanted to add some texture.  Chopped almonds would be an excellent choice.

The Boy and I enjoyed our blondies while sitting in the family room and watching the rain, when it finally began to fall.  “I have to say, these are pretty good,” he told me.  “Even if they are gluten-free.”

If The Boy can be swayed, it seems possible–nay, entirely likely–that I might be able to convert the rest of the Foodie family as well.

 

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Gluten-Free Blondies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (or flour blend
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 sticks salted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. almond extract
6 oz. white chocolate chips (or semi-sweet, or dark, or a mixture of your choice)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 pan with aluminum foil, making sure to leave enough foil hanging over the ends to create "handles". Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Stir with a fork to combine and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs and extracts; mix well. Slowly add the dry ingredients, a little at a time. Stir in the chocolate chips, then turn the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is shiny and golden. (Take care not to over-bake your blondies; they're meant to be soft and squishy.) Let them cool completely before using the foil "handles" to remove them from the pan and cut into squares.

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