My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Gluten Free Brownies with Nutella Buttercream Frosting

Brownies! Brownies are great but then when you add Nutella Buttercream Frosting...well it takes it to a whole new level of sinful deliciousness! I have several recipes for gluten free brownies and I think they are all good...but I continue to try to tweak recipes. I have to say that this is one of the BEST brownies ever! I made these for my husband's birthday in early June. I thought that since we only had a few people over that I would have at least half a pan left to take to work the next day. We didn't have many left and everyone wanted to take a brownie home!

Hubby loved them so much that he requested them again for father's day! He isn't even on a gluten free diet and he said these were the best brownies ever! :)

These brownies are rich and chewy. They have a nice texture. They are good without the frosting but the frosting does add to the melt in your mouth flavor! My grand-daughter isn't much of a sweet eater and we don't encourage her to eat junk food but since it was my husband's birthday....we let her try a brownie and she loved it!

If you don't have a gluten allergy then you can just substitute regular flour in this recipe.

Brownie Recipe:
  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend (You can use my recipe below or use a pre-made gluten free flour blend like Trader Joes or Cup for Cup). I personally don't care for any flour blend that contains sorghum flour in my sweets - gives it a weird after taste. I also recommend using a flour blend that contains some brown rice flour or else you will get a gritty powdery texture that is just weird. 
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (unless your flour blend already contains it or guar gum, then omit this! Or if you don't have a gluten allergy and are substituting regular flour then omit this.)
  • 1 cup real butter, soft but not completely melted. (If using margarine then make sure it contains at least 65% fat or it contains too much water for baking!) You can also substitute Crisco (slightly melted but not runny) if you have a dairy allergy.
  • 2 cups sugar (I used raw sugar and put it in my blender to get it really fine) but you can use regular sugar if you prefer.
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 eggs 
  • 3 tsp. butter vanilla baking emulsion or vanilla extract
Mix the flour, xanthan gum (only if you are using a gluten free flour blend that does not already contain xanthan gum or guar gum!), butter, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, eggs and baking emulsion or vanilla extract with a spoon or spatula until well blended but not over-mixed. (About 50 strokes by hand). Batter will be much thicker than cake batter! Spread into a greased 9x13 pan and bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for approximately 20-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs. (Every oven is different and different altitudes bake differently so check it after 20 minutes and then every 4-5 minutes until set). Cool before frosting. You can also add 1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts to the batter before baking if desired. We just prefer our brownies without nuts. 

Nutella Frosting Recipe:
  • 1/4 cup Crisco shortening
  • 1/4 cup Butter, softened (I used real butter but if you use margarine then make sure it is 65% fat or it contains too much water). In a pinch, you can just use all Crisco.
  • 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs. corn starch or tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup Nutella
Beat all the ingredients together until smooth and fluffy. If you are finding the texture too "runny" then add another tablespoon of cornstarch or a little more powdered sugar. If it is a little too stiff then add either vanilla extract or baking emulsion or just a few drops of water. You may need to tweak it a little bit to get the right consistency. Different brands and different altitudes can vary the texture!

My Homemade Gluten Free Flour Blend Recipe:
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 cup white rice flour 
  • 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour (made from sticky rice, gluten free)
  • 1 cup potato starch (not flour)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk, make sure it is very fine in texture
  • 1 cup corn starch or tapioca starch (I used tapioca starch for this batch)
  • 3 tbs. xanthan gum
Combine all ingredients together well. You can put it in the blender for an extra smooth texture if desired. I store mine in a glass container and use it in place of regular flour in all my recipes. This particular blend I really like for baked sweet goods. 

Taste testing the gluten free brownies

Eating another bite for quality assurance!

Approved to be tasty by this little gluten free diva!

Nutella Buttercream Frosting prior to putting on the brownies

Gluten Free brownies fresh from the oven!

These are the batch without frosting. They were delicious just plain too!
But who are we kidding?
Everything tastes better with anything Nutella on it! :)

Brownies that I decorated with Nutella Buttercream Frosting. Scrumptious! I used a frosting
decorating bag & tip to decorate the top of my brownies but you can just spread with a knife.

I hope you enjoy this sinfully delicious but very casual brownie recipe. I enjoy making them and my family enjoys eating them! I have also made these brownies without the frosting and have added either toffee bits or mini chocolate chips to the recipe for some extra deluxe flavor! I love recipes when you can tweak them for different events or to use what you have in your cupboard! :)

Happy Father's Day!
Gluten Free Casually

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