Gluten-free Coconut Blondies

BlondiesOkay, so James has never made these for a show, a Wine and Unwind, or even just as a simple dessert after a casual meal.  However, I have no doubt he WILL make them when faced with a gluten-intolerant cast in the future!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been experimenting in the world of gluten-free baking and this recipe is mostly my own design.  I’d had a remarkable gluten-free blondie at my local coffee shop and wanted to try and recreate it.  Oh, sure, I Googled “gluten-free blondies” and found many, many recipes.  And I bought a packet of Bob’s Red Mill fava & garbanzo flour  (I know, ick, right?) that had a recipe on the back for blondies, but there was just too much extra stuff in it (no coconut, though.)

So I made up this recipe, with a little from here and a little from there.  The kiddies can’t get enough of these bars!

Just a couple of notes:  I’ve found that it’s a great idea to weigh your gluten-free flours for absolute accuracy, so I have given you the exact weights to shoot for.  There is little room for error in gluten-free baking.  This sounds all sorts of off-putting but really it’s not (if you just happen to have a postage scale that likes the metric system.)

I also recommend bringing your eggs (and shortening) to room temperature before starting.  I know this is something you’re supposed to do with any type of baking, gluten-free or not, but I am a lazy, lazy baker and take tons of shortcuts.  I’ve never bothered with this niggly little step in regular baking.  No can do in the world without gluten.  Trust me on this.  You’ll be glad you did.

Last, I think this recipe lends itself to being veganized very easily.  I’ve indicated the substitutions at the end of the ingredients list.  I’ve never actually tried the vegan version though, so if anyone does, please let me know how it turns out.

And really last, don’t be intimidated by this series of notes and reminders and dictums (dicta?).  You can probably ignore them all and the blondies will still come out fine.  But then again, if you’re going to go to the trouble of whisking together 4 different kinds of flour, you don’t want to end up with a doorstop instead of a treat!

Gluten-free Coconut Blondies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (100 grams) coconut flour
3/4 cup (100 grams) brown rice flour
1/4 cup (25 grams) tapioca flour (aka tapioca starch)
1/4 cup (25 grams) garbanzo & fava bean flour mix
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
*1/3 cup butter
*2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
*1 cup chocolate chips
*Simple subs to make this vegan:
Use soy margarine instead of butter; use 2 tablespoons flax meal whisked with 6 tablespoons warm water for eggs;  use vegan chocolate chips.

Method:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Grease an 9 x9 inch baking pan with shortening. Set aside.

3.  Mix coconut powder, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, chickpea flour, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt together until blended.

4.  Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.  mix in eggs

5.  Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until blended. Add nuts and toasted coconut and mix just until blended. Spoon into prepared baking pan, top with reserved toasted coconut and pop in the oven for 30 minutes or until top looks dry and edges have separated from the pan.

6.  Cool in pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a rack — allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Makes approximately 16 blondies.

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