gluten free mint brownies

I nabbed this recipe a few weeks ago and I’m sure glad I tried it!  You should know that I’m not a huge brownie fan. I’m more of a big Chocolate Chunk Cookie kind of gal. Anyone one have a GF recipe for those? So when I stumbled upon this recipe one Saturday afternoon I wouldn’t have made it if I didn’t have all of the ingredients already in my pantry . First attempt… Brownie explosion in my oven.  Dang.  But I still finished up the recipe and though it was UGLY they tasted so good!  We even shaped them up enough to bring them to a Super Bowl party and they disappeared!  So I decided to try again.  This time, brownies stayed in the baking dish, the mint frosting hardened on top and I guess they looked slightly more appetizing.  I’ll admit, I don’t know much about brownies. They were hard to scoop out of the dish if not refrigerated first. They are more fudgie than fluffy, so I don’t know if this qualifies as good brownie texture?! Bottom line.  They were easy to make.  Gluten Free.  Yummy on their own.  And even better under a scoop of Blue Bell.

Gluten Free Fudge Mint Brownies

adapted from William-Sonoma Kitchen Library Chocolate Cookbook

1/4 c. almond flour
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. Earth balance butter, room temperature
2 oz. chocolate, about 1/3 cup (I used Trader Joe’s chocolate chips)
1 tbsp light corn syrup
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 package Andes mints (4.67 oz)

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease and use gluten free flour to coat an 8 inch square baking pan.

Sift almond flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and baking powder into a bowl. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine sugars, butter, chocolate, and corn syrup. Continually stir until smooth. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Allow to cool until barely warm.

Add eggs and vanilla to cooled chocolate mixture. Then add dry mixture, stirring until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 35 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately place Andes mints on surface, slightly pressing them into brownies. After about 30 seconds or when you can see mints beginning to melt, begin smoothing with a spatula or an icing knife, covering the entire surface of the brownies. Transfer pan to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. Initially, icing will appear wet. But as the brownies cool, the icing will harden.

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THE dessert of 2011

We had a really fun New Year’s Eve at Kurt’s parents house this year!  Along with fun games, plenty of Wii- ing and a delicious appetizer buffet I scored the recipe for my new favorite dessert (thanks so much for introducing me to this deliciousness Lucy- and thanks even more than that for sharing the recipe!)!  No sooner did she offer to share the recipe I whipped out my email address and as soon as she sent if over I sent Kurt to the grocery store for ingredients!  I couldn’t wait to eat it again and so for my first attempt I halved the recipe for a yummy treat for just four of us!  There is a little bit left and I have to say, it won’t last another night 😉  We have some family coming into town from Cali at the end of the month and I think this is just the ticket to keep them coming back!

Dark Chocolate Cream Tart
Crust:
1/2 C. sliced almonds ground (coffee grinder works well)
1/3 C. sugar
2/3 C. whole wheat flour (I used some Gluten Free baking flour)
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tb. butter
1 tsp. almond flavoring (I used vanilla-it’s what I had on hand)
Mix well and push into a 9-10 inch tart pan with removable rim that you have lined with parchment paper (I just flattened it out with my fingers onto a piece of parchement paper in a baking dish) .  Bake 15 min. at 350 degrees.  Set aside to cool.
Chocolate Layer To be melted in double boiler over just barely hot water:  6 oz. of dark chocolate
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream                                                                                                     Melt, mix gently (for my ‘half-recipe’ version I used a 4oz. bar of Ghirardelli dark chocolate.  I heated the heavy cream in the microwave until hot (not boiling) and then added the chocolate and stirred until fully melted!)and spread on top of partly cooled crust.  Set in fridge to cool.
Top layer:
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream, whipped – set aside
8 oz. Mascarpone cheese
3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix all but whipped cream till well blended, then add whipped cream and blend gently.  Spread on top of choc. layer and place in fridge to keep cool.  Take out of fridge about 30 min. before serving. Top with fresh raspberries (or in our case blackberries).  ENJOY! Serves about 8-12 depending on size.