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Spice up your life! (A recipe for gluten-free spiced brownies)

It is really easy to get stuck in a routine.

Wake up. Get coffee. Get on the train. Read 30 pages in a novel. Walk a few blocks. Finish coffee. Get to the office. Pour another cup of coffee. Answer emails. Do design-y stuff. Walk a few blocks. Get on the train. Catch up on twitter. Go home. Eat dinner. Do blog-y stuff. Go to bed.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Routine is comfortable, familiar. Known.

I have to say, I like my little routine. I read 9 novels this summer and I only read while on the train. Ok, I might have developed an unhealthy dependence on coffee. (Blame Mammacakes. I started sneaking sips of her coffee when I was 4 and she would leave a mug on the table). But the routine is mine.

But it is just that. A routine. Like a treadmill (the world’s most torturous piece of gym equipment).

Sometimes, you just have to do this:

(Yes. Really. A Spice Girls video.)

Maybe that means ordering a latte when you normally order a chai.

Maybe that means just going for it , whatever it happens to be. A new job. A date . A new cooking technique. Ordering something other than the usual.

A good friend told me that I need to just take a day and go for it. Do something I normally wouldn’t. Have fun just because I can. Shake things up to see where the pieces fall. Not a calculated risk. No weighing pros and cons. Just making things happen.

So, here’s to spicing things up.

Let’s start by spicing up some chocolate decadance.

gluten free mexican spiced brownies

At my super fabulous day job (yes, I am going to keep rubbing in how much I love it), we do fun things. Like brewing (gluten-free) beer and taco potlucks.

Last week, we had one of those potlucks. And I forgot to sign up. Because, really, would you expect me to bring anything other than dessert?

A concerned coworker asked if I was going to participate. Of course I was going to. I asked him what he wanted. His answer? Mexican Spiced Brownies.

It was the perfect excuse to make a new variation on one of my favorite treats (I even have my go-to gluten-free brownie recipe memorized) .

Fudgy bits of chocolate heaven, with a kick. They were such a hit at the potluck, all I got was that little corner of a brownie. I blame [my coworker] Shellie. (She swears that ice cream eaten with the brownies makes them even better).

gluten free mexican spice brownies being eaten

Gluten-Free Mexican Spiced Brownies
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 16
Oh baby. Decadent, fudgy brownies with a kick. Please and thank you.
  • 310 grams (11 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 230 grams (8 ounces/ 2 sticks) butter, chopped in 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 grams (2 tablespoons) cocoa powder
  • 300 grams (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 110 grams (1/2 cup) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 grams (1 1/4 cups) gluten-free all-purpose flour like Cup4Cup*
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (spicy if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 grams (1/2 teaspoon) fresh, finely grated ginger
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium pot over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate and salt.
  3. Once melted, remove the pot from the stove and stir in the vanilla, cocoa powder and sugars.
  4. In a sperate bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, cinnamon, ginger, chipotle and paprika.
  5. Add the eggs to the melted chocolate mixture in 2 groups, stirring to incorporate. As soon as the eggs are mixed in, add the flour in 2 groups.
  6. Be careful not to over-mix the batter. You want to incorporate as little air as possible into the batter or else you will end up with a brownie that is less chewy and more cake like.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. They are better a little under done than to be over cooked.

I use Cup4Cup flour or Jules’ Nearly Normal Flour when I use all-purpose flour. If you want to make your own bend for this recipe, use 10 grams ground flax meal, 40 grams sorghum flour, 20 grams brown rice flour, 20 grams white rice flour, 30 grams tapioca starch, 30 grams sweet white rice flour


This post is linked to: Slightly Indulgent Tuesday


gluten free brownies with nutella

Ratio Rally : Hazelnut Brownies

The Gluten-Free Ratio Rally is a gluten-free blog event started by Shauna of Gluten-Free Girl. Each month a group of food bloggers gets together and bakes a gluten-free treat by starting with a basic ratio (that stands in traditional baking) and using that ratio as a starting point to create their own baked masterpieces. All of my contributions to the rally can be found here. You can follow the rally on twitter with the hashtag #gfreerally.

Welcome to The Gluten Free Ratio Rally, Brownie Edition.  Read more

Strawberry Chocolate Brownies

Strawberry Brownies

Strawberry Chocolate BrowniesI have been dreaming of this recipe all day. My birthday was Sunday and 2 coworkers had birthdays (and days off) today. And I promised a treat.  This morning, I had a thought: chocolate and strawberries. Ooey, gooey, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. These are some darn good brownies. The are one bite and you are sold on being my friend forever in hopes of getting these brownies again good.

I found out that brownies were invented in Chicago in 1893 for the Columbian Exposition. They had apricot glaze and walnuts. The grocery store had strawberries on sale. Strawberries + chocolate = bliss. (You think I like those together?)

I couldn’t just chop up strawberries and toss them in my mom’s brownie recipe. She would probably be pretty mad at me if she knew that I even had that thought. Her recipe is top secret, and I like to share.

I had to come up with something different. I had to come up with something better. Sorry mom. I win this one.

Let this be the end to brownies from a box. The strawberry jam that you make melts into the chocolate and creates an intense chocolate and strawberry flavor. It is like warm, baked fudge. You can’t get this kind of flavor from a box. I know gluten free baking is scary, but you can do it. And, brownies are forgiving – chocolate, butter and sugar make anything delicious.

Strawberry Brownies
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Serves: 16
This brownie recipe is based on a recipe that appeared in Baked Explorations for Salted Caramel Brownies, but these are gluten free and strawberry filled. And thus, they are better.
  • 250 grams (1 quart) strawberries, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup strawberry liquor (or 1 t vanilla plus a scant 1/4 cup water)
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 310 grams (11 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 230 grams (8 ounces/ 2 sticks) butter, chopped in 1 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 grams ground flax meal
  • 40 grams sorghum flour
  • 20 grams brown rice flour
  • 20 grams white rice flour
  • 30 grams tapioca starch
  • 30 grams sweet white rice flour
  • 10 grams (2 tablespoons) cocoa powder
  • 300 grams (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 110 grams (1/2 cup) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  1. Combine strawberries, sugar, water & strawberry liquor in a medium size sauce pan. Heat over meadium – high heat, stirring frequently until the jam starts to thicken, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 pan with parchment paper, and then grease the parchment paper. On a low burner, melt together chocolate & butter. While chocolate is melting, whisk together flours, cocoa and salt.
  3. Once chocolate & butter have melted, turn off the burner but leave the pot in place. Stir in both the granulated sugar and the brown sugar. Remove pot from burner and stir in 3 eggs. DO NOT BEAT. Once eggs are combined, add in remaining eggs, stirring until just combined. Sprinkle flour over the bowl and stir in slowly. Make sure most lumps are out – but it is ok if there are still a few, they should disappear when baking.
  4. Pour half of batter into prepared pan & smooth with a spatula. Spread in the warm jam, being careful to keep it away from the edges so that it does not burn. Pour the remaining batter on top to cover the jam.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes.

If you prefer to bake by volume, use 1 1/4 cups all-purpose gluten free flour (such as Jules Nearly Normal Flour).

If you don’t want to make your own strawberry jam, warm up 1 cup of good quality strawberry jam or jelly so that it has the consistency of thick syrup after the batter is ready.

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