Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chocolate Chip Blondies (Gluten-Free!)

One of the last, delicious baked treats I remember eating before going gluten-free was chocolate-chip blondies (AKA butterscotch brownies) made by my neighbor. They were so darn good! And I knew I was about to phase out gluten, so I suppose I enjoyed them even more because of that.

Occasionally, I get a craving for these blondies, and I've looked for gluten-free recipes online, but they all seem kind of odd to me. For example, one recipe calls for almond flour, which is out at my house because of my son's nut allergy. Another a no-bake recipe calls for pre-made vanilla wafer cookies. Other recipes claim to be wonderfully cake-like, but I don't want cake-like. I want moist, a bit chewy, brownie-like. I finally found a fairly standard recipe (standard for gluten-free, that is), but my results were just OK, not great, and worst of all, they were dry and crumbly.

I decided to take the traditional blondies recipe from one of my cookbooks, a recipe I know to be excellent when made with regular wheat flour, and make the substitutions myself. I used a gluten-free brownies recipe as kind of a guide... Three eggs? No, too much that would make them cakey. I decided on two.

They real key, I think, is the bake time. Over-baking makes the bars too dry. Under-baking leaves you with gooey cookie dough. Check them often, as ovens vary; the changing weather seems to affect things; and other mystery factors do too. Mine were just right, this time, after 25 minutes.

Blondies with Chocolate Chips  PRINTABLE RECIPE

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter - melted
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup brown rice flour blend  PRINTABLE RECIPE
3/4 tsp xanthun gum
1 cup chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet - your choice)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Prepare an 8" square baking pan (mine is glass) with non-stick spray.

2. With an electric mixer, beat together the melted butter and sugar until smooth; then mix in the eggs and vanilla. Add the salt, flour, and xanthun gum and mix until well combined.

3. Stir in the chocolate chips; then pour the batter in to the prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until just set in the middle - do not over-bake!

4. Cool completely (be patient) before cutting.

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