Tag Archives: best brownies in the world

Gluten-Free Brownie Bites and a Food Blogger Potluck

There is never enough chocolate in the world.

So I made these.

Well, actually, I had more excuses than just that. Along with a Beet and Orange Salad with Basil Vinaigrette (which I will share with you later this week), I brought these babies along to a Food Bloggers Pot Luck, hosted by the very lovely Natalie of Natalie’s Killer Cuisine.

This was the first pot luck of the Dallas area bloggers, but we all committed to each other that it certainly won’t be the last! BUNCHES of good food, good company, and lots of picture-taking!

Top row, left to right: Emily and Natalie from The City Sisters, Natalie from Natalie’s Killer Cuisine,  Joy from Joylicious, Jose from Left Field Lengua

Bottom row, left to right: Heather from Heather Bakes, Me, and Kelly from Evil Shenanigans

The food? Oh my, the food! One thing that’s great about getting a bunch of food bloggers together is that there is never a shortage of great cuisine. For some random reason, I was too busy running my mouth (surprise, surprise!) to take as many photos as everyone else, but here was the spread:

Emily brought Corn Fritters with Avocado Crema (should be posted soon on The City Sisters) – I LOVE corn fritters!

Natalie brought a Mediterranean Lentil Salad (posted on The City Sisters) – this was amazing, and reinforced my love for French lentils.

The other Natalie (the hostess) made a delicious fruit salad filled with berries and kiwi with a coconut dipping sauce, an old-school pea salad, and hummingbird cupcakes. The pea salad is on Natalie’s Killer Cuisine, and she’s promised those cupcakes for later this week.

Kelly brought the most gorgeous cake I’d ever seen (check out the photos on Natalie’s Killer Cuisine) and some baked crab cakes that looked amazing. Kelly posted the recipe at Evil Shenanigans. I want to figure out a gluten-free version!

Jose brought some slow-cooked pork shoulder, which was tender, moist, and flavorful. He even brought the crunchy skin to munch on! (Yum)

Heather brought a Tex-Mex style couscous dish. Couldn’t have it, but wow, it looked great!

I brought the aforementioned beet salad. And these.

The recipe for these brownie bites originated from my gluten-filled Best Brownies in the World recipe. I do have to confess, though, that I’ve been making these brownies gluten-free for a while now. Yet I have neglected to share with you. I apologize. No one should be without brownie goodness. So here it is, in all its glory. I present to you: Gluten-Free Brownie Bites.

 

Gluten-Free Brownie Bites

8 T unsalted butter

2 oz unsweetened chocolate

1 c coconut sugar (or you can substitute regular granulated sugar)

2 eggs, beaten

½ t vanilla extract

¼ c sweet white rice flour

½ t xanthan gum

1 t cocoa powder (not dutch-process)

1/2 t cinnamon

pinch cayenne

¼ t kosher salt

1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

powdered sugar, for dusting

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a mini-muffin pan or a petit fours pan with oil or butter, or line with papers. Set aside.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan, stirring with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir to make a smooth batter. Add the rice flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cayenne and salt and mix until well incorporated. Fill mini-muffin pan or petit fours pan with batter, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes (this will vary depending on how big your “bites” will be). Let cool on a rack and remove from pan.

When brownie bites are cooled, melt the chocolate chips in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring. Turn off heat and dip the bottoms of each brownie bite into the chocolate. Set on a parchment-lined baking sheet or a Silpat. Place in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes or until chocolate has hardened. Sift powdered sugar over the tops of the brownie bites. Try not to eat all at once.

(For regular brownies, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, and pour batter into a 8X8 inch pan (greased). Bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Omit the chocolate chips and powdered sugar, unless you just feel the need to add them. Of course, you could stir in chocolate chips if making regular brownies – I’ve been known to do that before!)

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Filed under Baked goods, Desserts, Gluten-Free

The Best Brownies in the World

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Yes, I realize that I am sounding quite complacent, announcing to you that these brownies are “The Best Brownies in the World.” After all, how many brownies have you enjoyed in your lifetime? If you are like me, likely you cannot recall each brownie, and likely, you couldn’t even begin to rank them from worst to best. I doubt I could list my top 5 brownies ever. So, you ask, how can I be sure that this is the best brownie? Well, my best, most well-thought-out answer?

Because I say so.

But I will explain more about that in a moment.

Of course, we as a society cannot even agree on what makes a brownie “the best brownie.” It’s definitely a subject for debate. Some insist cakey brownies are king. Some love fudgy. Some are purists and insist chocolate-only, some enjoy nuts. And let’s not even get started on whether frosting, cream cheese, or fruit belongs in or on a brownie. For a dessert that is so universally loved, it’s hard to define exactly what makes that dessert so great.

What makes a brownie the “best brownie in the world”, for me? I’m a bit of a purist. Nuts are acceptable (not preferred), but a real brownie does not have frosting, cream cheese, or any creative, extravagant ingredients. I enjoy those things at times, but when I think of a brownie, this is the criteria: The brownie must be chewy and fudgy. No cakey brownies for me – I like cakes that are brownie-like, but not brownies that are cake-like. And they must be intensely chocolatey, so I very much prefer those made with a high-quality melted chocolate. Cocoa powder just cannot deliver that chocolate flavor that makes your knees go weak and your eyes roll back in your head. In order for a brownie to be the “best”, it must consume me with its chocolatey-ness.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have delayed in sharing this recipe with you. Not because I don’t care. I do. I want you to enjoy the pleasures that this brownie has to give. It’s just…well…I made the recipe the first time, and was so impressed with it, that we ate all of the brownies before a picture was taken! And the second time? You would think I would have learned my lesson, especially with children around, but I didn’t get a picture taken that time either! So, third time is a charm. If it is any consolation, they are well worth the wait.

This recipe originally came from Saveur magazine, and were named Katherine Hepburn’s Brownies. I modified them to include the addition of miniature chocolate chips, and I cut the quantity of nuts back (or omitted them entirely, as I did with the most recent batch). These brownies are dense, with perfectly chewy edges (my favorite part) that almost remind you of a chocolate biscotti, only moister and chewier. They are just sweet enough, with enough salt to really allow the chocolate flavor to sing. And that delicate, glossy, crackly crust! Of course, they taste amazing on their own, with a glass of milk, or as my husband requests, still warm, with ice cream on top.

After this most recent batch, I announced to my husband that I had just made the best brownies in the world. My rationale, besides “Because I say so”, was that I could not think of a thing to do to improve them. They were perfect. I’m sure I’m biased, but I hope you agree!

8 T unsalted butter, plus more for greasing

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate

1 c sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional – I did not include them in this batch)

1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used the mini ones)

1/4 c flour

1/4 t kosher salt

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8″ X 8″ baking pan with butter. Line the pan with parchment paper, grease the paper. Set aside.

Melt the butter and the chocolate together in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir to make a smooth batter. Add the nuts, if using, the chocolate chips, flour, and salt, stir until incorporated. Pour the batter into the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Cut and serve.

Hint – letting brownies cool is the hardest part. The smell will be amazing and overpowering, and it will require all of your willpower to resist. But if you wish to cut neat, square brownies, then wait you must. The brownies will cut (instead of crumble) with a sharp knife once they are mostly cool. Of course, if you don’t care how crumbly your brownies are, then dig right in!

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Filed under Baked goods, Desserts