When I was in college, I used to work at a teeny-bopper clothing store. About once a week, on my lunch break I would buy a treat at one of the cookie stores. I would either buy a chocolate chip cookie or a brownie topped with buttercream frosting. That store is long gone, and with two kids in tow I don’t make it to mall often anyway.
I’ve been craving one of those tasty brownies for a while now, but with my new dietary restrictions I just wasn’t sure how that was going to happen.
I realize there are a couple really good boxed mixes for gluten free brownies, but you know me, I like to bake from scratch when I can. So, three attempts later, I finally had a brownie that was perfect for this recipe idea.
If you are making these, plan ahead! I found making the brownies the day before cutting to be easiest and then after cutting them and frosting them, they were perfect texture the following day. Can you do it all in one day…sure, but they are a bit gooey (more fudge-like and a bit sticky). Allowing them to dry out a bit really does help.
Get the look (these are my favs):
- ¾ cup rice flour
- ⅓ cup potato starch
- 3 tbls tapioca starch
- ⅔ tsp xantham gum
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 cup applesauce (room temp)
- 1½ tsp vanilla
- 1 cup butter-flavored shortening
- 2 tbls warm water (2-3)
- 1 tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 lb confectioners sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine flours, xanthum gum, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Mix well to combine.
- In large microwave safe bowl, melt coconut oil (if it's not already in a liquid state). Add in cocoa and sugar and mix well to combine. Stir in applesauce and vanilla.
- Blend in dry ingredients until incorporated. Pour into prepared pan and spread to edges of pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Using parchment paper pull the brownies out of the pan and place on a cutting board (I found doing this after brownies sit for one day to be easiest). Using a metal heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out brownies and gently move to serving platter with a spatula.
- Decorate with frosting (recipe below).
- Beat together shortening, 1 tbsp of warm water, vanilla, and almond until smooth and creamy. Beat in the sugar gradually on a low setting. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.
- Mixture will be very thick. After all sugar is incorporated, add 1-2 more tbsp. of warm water and beat at medium/medium-high speed for 1-2 more minutes. Adding more warm water will continue to thin the frosting consistency and bring down the sweetness even more. Add as much as you like to get the appropriate flavor and consistency. Be careful because a little goes a long way.
- The frosting can also be made several days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature, then mix well before using. Leftovers should be refrigerated.
- Get the look by using a couple drops of red dye and us Decorating Tube 1M fitted into a piping bag.