I recently had a Pampered Chef party and provided all gluten free food for 16 guests! The absolute hit of the party were my German Chocolate Brownies. The brand I *CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT* is: OX Baking’s Gluten Free Fudge Gourmet Brownie Mix @ oxbakingco.com .
They have a base of Casava, potato and coconut flours, and make a huge 9″X11″ pan. These brownies are the most delicious, moist, chocolaty, fudgy, awesome tasting brownies EVER! Not a single person even guessed that there was no wheat flour involved, and almost everyone had seconds, took some home, and/or asked for the recipe! I normally am a ‘from scratch’ baker, but I hesitate to say that these beat any scratch recipe I have ever tried. These brownies are $8.99 per box plus shipping, which, for a gluten free brownie is not terribly out of the price range. They are available locally at 376 stores around the country, which can be accessed through the website using your zip code.
I added my own Coconut Pecan Frosting to the top of these brownies, which I did make from scratch.
COCONUT PECAN FROSTING
1 Can evaporated milk
1 1/2 Cups white sugar
3/4 Cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten (in a separate bowl)
1 1/2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
10 ounces of shredded sweetened coconut (approximately 3 cups)
1 1/2 Cups chopped Pecans
Mix the milk, sugar, butter and vanilla in a large saucepan. Cook on medium heat for about 12 minutes or until almost boiling. Slowly add 1/3 Cup of the hot mixture to the egg yolks stirring constantly. Add the egg mixture to the pan with the rest of the hot mixture and heat until boiling, Stirring constantly and being careful to not burn the mixture. It should thicken and turn light golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in coconut and pecans. Cool to room temperature and spread on cooled cake or brownies.
** A word about Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownies…
These brownies fall under the category *Meh, or *I LIKE*. If you are not planning anything special, or these are just for the kids or someone who can’t tell a brownie from a clod of dirt (Ok,ok, they ARE better than that… Lol!), then make these. This brownie mix is smaller, making only an 8″X8″ or 9″X9″ pan, and they are pretty good, not outstanding, but good.They will satisfy that chocolate brownie craving you have for less money, are widely available, and if you are worried that you will eat the entire pan… this pan is smaller so you will gain less weight. Lol
I would like to insert here what I consider very important principals for cooking, whether it is gluten free or not:
- Always purchase and use the very best ingredients you can afford. This will ensure that you have the best tasting end product, which can be very important in gluten free cooking.
- Buy organic if at all possible. I know it is more expensive, but think about it this way… medications are given topically (on your skin), and are distributed throughout your entire body…so are pesticides with plants. Pesticides are sprayed on plants, and they go throughout the entire plant, including the roots. Think of a potato… The farmer sprays the plant to kill the bugs, the leaves absorb the pesticides and transfer the chemicals to the root which is the potato, and you eat the potato with all of the stored pesticides. Do you REALLY want that?? I know it may not always be easy to buy organic, but buying some is better than none.
- Purchase locally when possible. Local farmer’s markets, dairy farms, and farms that raise their own livestock for beef, pork, chicken, lamb, etc. are more closely controlled than mainstream brands like Perdue, and less likely to carry bacteria like salmonella from mass production. Buying locally also stimulates the local economy, and frankly, the stuff just tastes better!
- Buy Fresh and buy often. Because cooking gluten free takes a little more time and effort (not being able to just open a box or use a mix), it is important to buy fresh meats and vegetables often and use them as soon as possible. Clean out your crispers! You don’t want to find something slimy in there!!