Ginger-Jazzed Brownies

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If you like brownies and ginger, then you should try this recipe!  Like most dense, chocolate-y recipes, it converts well to gluten-free-ness, and the little ginger bits add an interesting, spicy kick.

Baking Note:

  • If you don’t have enough unsweetened chocolate, you can use 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate plus 4 ounces dark (72%) chocolate, and cut the sugar to 3/4 cup.

 

Ginger-Jazzed Brownies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 16 brownies

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup OR agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F.  Line a 9-inch square pan with foil, butter the foil, and place the pan on a baking sheet.
  2. Whisk the flour, salt, and ground ginger together.
  3. Put the minced fresh ginger and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar in a small bowl, stir, and set aside.  (If you do this a day ahead, cover the bowl with plastic wrap; if you do it several days ahead, cover and refrigerate.)
  4. Melt the chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, or melt them in a microwave oven; keep the heat low so the chocolates do not get very hot.  Set aside to cool.
  5. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until it is smooth and creamy.
  6. Beat in the corn syrup OR agave nectar, then the remaining 1 cup sugar, and continue to beat for another 2 minutes or so, until the butter is smooth again and the sugar is incorporated.
  7. Add the vanilla.
  8. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each one goes in and scraping the bowl down as needed.
  9. Beat for 1 minute more, then reduce the mixer speed to low and add the macerated ginger (and any liquid), then the dry ingredients (mixing only until the flour disappears if you’re using all-purpose flour).
  10. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, gently and thoroughly stir in the melted chocolate.
  11. Scrape the batter into the pan.
  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes; a thin knife inserted into the center of the brownies should have streaks of moist, fudgy chocolate on it.
  13. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature.
  14. When the brownies are completely cool, turn out onto a rack, peel away the foil and invert onto a cutting board.  Cut into 16 squares, each roughly 2 1/4 inches on a side.
  15. Wrapped well, the brownies will keep for 2 days at room temperature (during which time the ginger flavor will become a little more pronounced) or for up to 2 months in the freezer.
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Honey Nut Brownies

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Like most brownies, this recipe works well gluten free.  It has an unusually bouncy texture when you bite into it.  If you’re using pecans, the ones on top caramelize a little and remind me of pecan pie.

 

Honey Nut Brownies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my Home to Yours
Yield: 16 brownies
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2-2/3 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, or toasted almonds

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325ºF.  Line a 9 x 9 inch pan with foil, butter the foil, and place on a baking sheet.
  2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter until just smooth. Set aside.
  3. Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and salt together on medium-high speed until light and foamy.
  4. Add the honey, sugar, and vanilla and continue to beat for two minutes, or until well blended and smooth.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the chocolate-butter mixture, mixing only until just incorporated.
  6. On low speed, add flour and mix until it just disappears into the batter. You don’t need to worry about over-mixing if you’re using gluten-free flour.
  7. Using a spatula fold in the nuts.
  8. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
  9.  Bake for 60 minutes if gluten free OR 45-50 minutes if not, or until the brownies have risen and are beautifully brown, and a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack, peel away foil and invert onto another cooling rack.
  11. Cool to room temperature right side up, then cut brownie bar into 16 squares.

Cheesecake Brownies

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These triple-layer brownies have an interesting blend of flavors and textures, from the soft, sour topping, to the creamy cheesecake layer, to the chewy brownie on the bottom.  As usual for brownies and cheesecake, the recipe works well gluten free.

 

Cheesecake Brownies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 16 brownies

For the brownies:
 
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cheesecake:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream OR plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
For the topping:
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2-4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar (adjust according to taste)
 
Make the brownies:
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan or spray the pan with baking spray.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Melt the butter and chocolate together over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan, stirring with a rubber spatula until the two have melted into each other. Take care not to heat the mixture too much – you don’t want the butter to separate. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove.
  4. Whisk in the sugar.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.
  6. Whisk in the vanilla extract and whisk vigorously for just a few seconds.
  7. With a rubber spatula, gently stir in the dry ingredients, taking care to scrape the bottom of the pan.  (If using all-purpose flour, stop mixing when the dry ingredients have only barely disappeared into the batter.)
  8. Set the pan aside while you make the cheesecake batter.

Make the cheesecake:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer and large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium until it is smooth.
  2. Beat in the sugar and continue beating for 3 minutes.
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat each for 1 minute before adding the next.
  5. Reduce the mixer to low and add the sour cream, followed by the flour. The batter should be smooth.
  6. Stir up the brownie batter a couple of times and spread 3/4 of the batter in the prepared baking pan – the batter should cover the entire bottom.
  7. Pour all of the cheesecake batter over the brownie batter and using a spoon or offset spatula, cover the brownie batter entirely.
  8. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cheesecake batter by the tablespoonful and using a knife, just barely swirl the brownie batter around, taking care not to dip the knife into the bottom layer of brownies.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The brownies should just pull away from the sides of the pan and the cheesecake layer should be beige in the center, slightly browned on the edges, and puffed all over.
  10. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
  11. Transfer the brownies to the refrigerator and chill for 2 hours.

Make the topping:

  1. In a small sauce pan over low heat, warm the sour cream OR yogurt and sugar together, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Pour the topping over the chilled brownies and using an offset spatula, push the topping just out to within ¼-inch of the edges – don’t let the topping spill down the sides.
  3. Chill the brownies for another 1 hour.
  4. To cut the brownies, run a long sharp knife under hot water and dry with a towel. Cut the brownies into quarters with the hot knife, cleaning and reheating before you make each cut. Remove the quarters from the pan and cut each into quarters. Keep the cut brownies chilled and bring to room temperature before serving.

Chocolate Chip Brownies

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These chocolate chip brownies come from a friend with extensive gluten-free baking experience and are delicious.  If, for some reason, you want fewer brownies, you can halve the recipe, use an 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ pan, and bake for about 25 minutes.

 

Chocolate Chip Brownies
Recipe courtesy of a friend

Yield: 9″ x 13″ pan of brownies

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ~2/3 of a 12-oz bag of semisweet chocolate chips

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with parchment paper.  (This is important, otherwise the brownies will stick to everything.)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together butter and sugar.  Then mix in vanilla and eggs.
  3. Add brown rice flour, tapioca starch, cocoa powder, baking power, and salt.  Mix well.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.