I know salted desserts are kind of overdone at this point. But, there's a reason for that. Salt and sweet taste great together! Duh. Since our kitchen went gluten-free over 7 years ago, I've kind of been searching for the best gluten-free brownie recipe. In the beginning, I tried boxed mixes... and many are great in a pinch. But, even though you'll always find a few boxed mixes in my pantry, I tend to still think of them as "cheating." I know it's not fair and I shouldn't be hard on myself. But, I do think that way.... hence my recipe for fancifying a boxed cake mix.
In any case, I though to myself, "Self, brownies really don't use that much traditional flour. This shouldn't be a hard GF recipe to get right." And, lo and behold with a few tweaks, I finally discovered my favorite GF Brownie.... in a mainstream cooking magazine, no less! Bon Appetit, believe it or not. Their recipe calls for pecans and King Arthur GF flour. My recipe omits the nuts because who needs them (amiright?), uses my GF flour blend, and adds the sea salt flakes at the end. It also allows you to use a wide variety of chocolate-- clean out your pantry! The end result is a brownie that is fudgy and thick with chunks of unmelted chocolate and a nice crispy crust. Don't eat too many of them or you'll be fudgy and thick, too. I speak from experience.
Gluten Free Salted Brownies (makes 20-24 brownies)
- 1.5 lbs semisweet chocolate, divided (or a mixture of semi and bittersweet... to your taste... use bars, chips, or a combination)
- 6 TBSPs unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup GF flour (be sure your blend includes xanthan gum)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1-1/3 cups sugar
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- Sprinkling of Maldon Fine Sea Salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is preheating, line a 13x9" baking dish with parchment paper. Use a little butter to help keep the parchment paper in place and leave a little extra paper hanging over the edges of the dish. This will help you remove the brownie slab for cutting once the brownies are fully baked.
Begin melting butter and 1lb of the chocolate in a double boiler on your stovetop. Quick double boiler tutorial: 1) grab a heatproof bowl and a pot, 2) fill the pot with enough water that it won't boil away, but not so much water that the water touches the heatproof bowl when it is set on top of the pot, 3) bring pot to a simmer over medium heat, 4) place heatproof bowl on top of pot.... ta-da, that's a double boiler.
Stir the melting chocolate and butter occasionally, until smooth and fully combined. Remove from heat to cool slightly. Meanwhile, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla on medium-high in your stand mixture. You're going to beat these ingredients together for a long time-- 6-8 minutes, until mixture is thick and pale.
While your stand mixer is doing all the work, combine flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. After 6-8 minutes, turn your stand mixer down to low and add in dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Scrape in melted butter and chocolate and continue mixing on low until just combined.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining 1/2lb chocolate. Be gentle with this step. Then, scrape batter into your parchment-lined baking dish. Bake about 20 minutes. Sprinkle partially-cooked brownies with Maldon Sea Salt Flakes to taste (we like a lot around here), rotate the baking dish and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes. Brownies are done when the top is cracked and looks dry and shiny.
Remove brownies from oven and let cool completely before pulling the parchment paper sling from the baking dish and cutting the brownies into squares.