Beyond Expectations

Passover is in full swing now, here to torture those observing for a full week.  Seder plates have been washed clean and the “festive meal” consumed, but the real observance has just begun.  Like I said earlier, I don’t keep kosher, and I had hoped to just suggest a few sweet recipes appropriate for the holiday, maybe give a few pointers to those confused about chametz, and then wash my hands clean of this whole thing.  Yep, that was the plan… But here you sweet people have guilted me into thinking about this more, and ultimately working to create something else to share for this time of year.

Really, it’s the challenge of meeting such strict dietary guidelines that gets me. Taking the opportunity to create something else to add to me repertoire of gluten-free recipes, it seemed only appropriate to go for a staple sweet, something that I know I would miss dearly if abstaining from wheat for any reason.

Brownies. Yes, plain, classic, standard brownies. But much to my surprise and delight, these chocolate morsels turned out even better than I could have expected; Quite possibly even better than my original recipe for gluten-ful brownies, too! Dense but not heavy, full-bodied and intensely chocolatey, these straddle that fine line between cakey and fudgey, these simple bars possess what I consider the ideal texture for this crowd-pleasing baked good.

No compromises here! In fact, forget about Passover, because this is one recipe you’ll want to whip out all year round!

Gluten-Free / Passover-Friendly Brownies

2/3 Cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
1/3 Cup Potato Starch
1/4 Cup Sweet White Rice Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Margarine
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Walnuts, Chopped

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, potato starch, rice flour, salt, and sugar. Melt the margarine and stir in the pumpkin puree and vanilla until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir well. No need to worry about over-mixing here, as there’s no gluten to make the brownies tough, so just make sure to get all of the lumps out. Add in the walnuts, and mix to evenly distribute them throughout the batter.

Smooth the batter into your prepared pan, and bake for approximately 20 – 24 minutes. The top should no longer look “wet,” and a toothpick should come out mostly clean, with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan before cutting.