Brownies, like most baked goods, seem to inspire lively debate. Cakey or fudgy? Iced or plain? With nuts or without? My feelings? As long as it's a brownie, please pass it to me! I love them all.* I even love the pale cousin of the brownie, the blondie. But today I want to talk about fudgy brownies.
My recipe makes a 9-by-13-inch pan of fudgy, gluten-free brownies with a thin, crackled top. (This crisp layer comes from the granulated sugar.) Since no baking soda or baking powder is present, the brownies get a slight lift from creaming the butter and sugar. However, this lift is really slight, and although the brownies will puff up in the oven, they sink down to a dense, fudgy texture as they cool.
For this recipe, I use cocoa powder and not melted chocolate. After many tests, I found that the added step of having to melt chocolate just didn't add enough of a "chocolate wow!" to the baked brownies to warrant using it.
Either natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder works well in this recipe. The brownie in the photo was made using Dutch-process cocoa. This cocoa makes for a really dark brownie with a smooth, rich chocolate flavor. Honestly, each time I make this recipe with Dutch-process cocoa powder, I am reminded a little of boxed gluten-filled brownie mixes. The texture and color are very similar. (I think the flavor is better, but that might just be my homemade-bias.) When made with natural cocoa powder, the color of the brownies will be lighter—they almost resemble milk chocolate—and the flavor will be a bit less intense. Since both cocoa powders work and produce really great results, I just use whatever I have on hand.
* Well, I love all the ones I can eat. I'm nut allergic and gluten-free. As long as I can eat the brownie safely, please pass it along!
- Dry Ingredients
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder (either Dutch-process or natural)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- Wet Ingredients
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Gluten-free cooking spray
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with gluten-free cooking spray.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. (Use
medium-high speed with a handheld mixer or medium speed with a stand
Add eggs. Mix until combined.
Reduce mixer speed to medium. Add dry ingredients and vanilla
extract. Mix until a batter forms.
Spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When cool, cut into squares.