Some love for my dairy free / gluten free peeps today! Yes, I totally just said peeps. But, seriously. I made some absolutely amazing decadent chocolate brownies for Valentine’s Day last week, and I couldn’t leave the people dealing with food allergies or intolerances out. As I mentioned a while back I have a lot of people in the family dealing with food allergies so it’s actually pretty important around my house to be have a good DF/GF version of as many dishes as possible. Having DF/GF dessert recipes are particularly important. I mean come on, seriously awesome chocolate brownies for everyone is kinda non-negotiable! I know your all totally with me on this one, right?
Ideally when you make something dairy free or gluten free you want it to taste so good, that:
a. People eating it can’t tell it’s dairy/gluten free unless you point it out to them.
b. Everyone, not just DF/GF people will eat and enjoy!
Let’s be honest, this is not always the case. Sometimes, DF/GF products and homemade dishes are absolutely horrible. Nobody, DF/GF people included want to eat them. Most fortunately there are much better products out there now so it’s not like it used to be; you can buy decent prepared foods, and it’s much easier to cook DF/GF at home. However, some things are still turn out better then others. The great thing about brownies, is that they are one of the easiest desserts to pull off an awesome dairy free and/or gluten free version of, that meets the afore mentioned rules.
First of all, you have the major advantage of chocolate. As we all know chocolate is insanely delish (yep, I said delish too), in… well…pretty much in every form; and there are some pretty good non-dairy versions out there. (I don’t think gluten is a common issue with chocolate.) I’m actually a huge fan of Enjoy Life’s dairy, soy, and nut free chocolate chips. They taste great, and are allergy free. Kathy actually found them for Tristan a while back and now I keep them on hand pretty much all the time to bake Tristan friendly stuff with.
(In case you were wondering, no, I’m not being sponsored by Enjoy Life. But if anyone from the company is reading drop me a line if your interested. Enjoy Life is a brand I could very happily represent!)
The other advantage in making brownies is that they don’t require yeast. If you’ve done any bread baking you know yeast reacts with the gluten in flour to give you that beautiful rising action; which means that recipes that require yeast get kinda complicated if you need to make them GF. Not an issue for brownies though, since baking powder works just fine with all purpose GF baking mixes. By the way I use either Pamela’s GF Baking and Pancake Mix or Arrowhead Mills All Purpose GF Baking Mix, when I’m baking. Pamela’s has a finer texture and milder flavor then the Arrowhead Mills, so I generally prefer that. But, in something like the brownies or chocolate chip cookies I like the way the coarser flour makes the final product turn out, and the flavor seems to be rather complimentary with chocolate.
The other great thing about dairy free / gluten free brownies is that they are no harder to make then the regular version. All you need for prep is a mixing bowl, a spoon, your ingredients, and some arm strength. Brownies even allergy friendly brownies, don’t require complicated to turn out amazing.
Speaking of which, today’s recipe is amazing and meets the rules we talked about before. Like my regular brownie recipe these are a cross between the fudge-y and cake-y style of brownie. What can I say, I’m a fan of both textures. The outer part of the brownie is flakey and cake like, but the interior is a bit denser and pretty fudge-y. If you let the brownies sit a few days (If they last that long!) the moisture distributes more and enhances the fudge-y quality. The chocolate flavor here is deep and intense both from from the coco, and the mini chips studded throughout the brownie. Speaking as a person who knows her dessert, I promise you can’t go wrong with these!
Decadent Dairy Free / Gluten Free Brownies – Yields one 8×8 inch pan.
- 3/4 cups of your favorite gluten free all purpose baking mix (I recommend or Arrowhead Mills)
- 1/2 cup (unsweetened) coco powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup Enjoy Life semi sweet mini chocolate chips (These are guaranteed dairy, soy, and nut free!)
1. Preheat the oven to 350* and line an 8×8 inch pan with foil. Spray with canola oil. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl add all dry ingredients: gluten free all purpose baking mix, coco, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use a spoon to mix so that all the ingredients, especially the baking powder, are evenly distributed.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl: vanilla, eggs, and canola oil. Mix all the wet ingredients have been completely incorporated and a thick batter has formed.
4. Add the mini chocolate chips to the batter, and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes, or a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes clean. Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting. For neatest results refrigerate the brownies for an hour before cutting.