Easy Gluten-Free Brownies

The other day, I mentioned to Becky that I was always up for suggestions regarding blog posts.  She immediately said, "Gluten free!".  Duh, of course she did!  She's pretty much removed gluten from her diet, and was the mastermind behind me trying this recipe.  There's a lot of confusion surrounding gluten.  It's actually the protein in wheat, so all regular flours and whole wheat flours will have gluten.  Gluten also provides the structure to your baked good.  You know that amazing chewiness you get in bakery bread?  Gluten!  You know how when you make brownies and they tell you to "stir the flour in until just combined"?  You're being told to not over-develop the gluten and end up with dense brownies (not fudgey and crackly on top).
This protein keeps your baked goods together, too, like from literally flattening out into a pancake.  When going gluten-free, a lot of recipes involve xanthum gum, which prevents your baked good from spreading all over the place before it actually bakes.  Making cookies without gluten and want them to not turn into crepes on the cookie sheet?  You need to replace that gluten with something.
And even with knowing all of this, I still shudder at the idea of buying 6 types of flour to keep in my pantry, and xanthum gum.  Rice flour, brown rice flour, oat flour, almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour... the list goes on and on.  I'm not against buying a special ingredient for a recipe, but I really didn't want to be drowning in flour that I wouldn't end up using up.  I began a mission to find recipes that wouldn't involve special flours and equipment.  I found a ton actually, once I started looking!  Don't get me wrong, occasionally I found one involving just oat flour, where I thought I'd be ok just grinding up oats in a food processor, but generally I was looking for recipes that didn't mean 20 measuring cups, 4 new flours, and many mixing bowls.  I also stumbled upon an amazing blog with a lot of these simple recipes, Yammie's Glutenfreedom.  Check it out, I heart it!

And that's where this brownie recipe comes in.  Do you see any flours?  Nope!  All that happened was the cocoa powder took over the structure of these guys.  And the baking pan prevents anything from spreading out before cooking.  I didn't need any special ingredients, and my foray into gluten-free baking would be an easy one.  And, they're delicious.  I wouldn't even notice that these were gluten free if I was picking them out of a lineup. Thank you, Yammie, wherever you are!
Ingredients:
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil (or butter if you aren't doing dairy free)
4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
(optional, I ended up just doubling the amount of chocolate chips)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Combine the sugars and oil and beat until well combined.
Add in the eggs and whisk together.
Mix the vanilla and instant coffee together until the coffee powder is dissolved and add to the egg/sugar/oil mixture.
Beat for about two minutes. Stir together the cocoa and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and blend until smooth.
Fold in the chips and nuts (if using). Pour into prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes.
25 minutes later, I totally had legit brownies.  With no gluten!  Amazing.
While I'm not concerned about gluten in my life, some of you are.  And I hope this will help you out and alleviate your need to buy 10 different flours :-)  These are so fudgey, so chocolatey, so delicious!  I was sorry I made them Sunday night and had to pop them right into the freezer (no sweets during the work week, you know).  But I can't wait for the weekend!!
Recipe:
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil (or butter if you aren't doing dairy free)
4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Combine the sugars and oil and beat until well combined. Add in the eggs and whisk together. Mix the vanilla and instant coffee together until the coffee powder is dissolved and add to the egg/sugar/oil mixture. Beat for about two minutes. Stir together the cocoa and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and blend until smooth. Fold in the chips and nuts. Pour into prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes.
Enjoy!

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