When I first committed myself to gluten free baking and cooking I spent a lot of time searching for recipes online. Most of them contained ingredients that I’d never heard of. I spent more time looking for them, without success, at my local grocer. I did order some online and made a trip to Whole Foods (the nearest one to me being a good fifty miles) and spent a lot of money on stuff like sorghum flour and xanthan gum (see link). My son turned his nose up at most of the stuff I made with these ingredients.
Such is the nature of autism.
I decided then and there to stick to basic recipes, thing I knew my son would eat, and modify them to be gluten free recipes. Thus, recipes like the one below.
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The first time I made these I so impressed myself that I actually put five warm servings on one of my very best plates, went out in the rain to ring my neighbor’s doorbell. The next day, when she returned my plate, and I told her that it was one of my gluten free recipes I’d made for my autistic son, she was amazed.
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Although it is good, it is easy to make. It really isn’t much more than an old fashioned recipe with a few changes. Maybe it was the blueberry sauce that amazed her. That, however, is simple too. Maybe me standing in the rain, dripping on her doorstep offering her a warm dessert at 5:30 on a Sunday afternoon is what did it. Then again, it could have been the plate, it was one of my very best.
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Gluten Free Apple Spice Brownies
- 1 cup soy flour*
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oat (blended in food processor until consistency of flour)
- 2 cups sugar (or sugar substitute**)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter (melted)
- 1 tbls butter (room temperature) for baking pan
- 2 eggs
(you can also add raisins or chopped dried fruit (1 cup) and/or nuts of your choice (1/2 cup) but I prefer not to)
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter. Blend 1 1/2 cup rolled oats in food processor until the consistency of flour. Blend all ingredients in large bowl. Use an electric mixer at high speed for about three minutes. Using a folded paper napkin or paper towel coat 9 x 13 pan with room temperature butter. Pour in cake batter and spread evenly. Bake in 350° oven for 35 minutes. Remove from oven at let cool before cutting into approximately 2 inch squares.
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries***
- pinch ground cloves
- pinch allspice
- pinch cinnamon
- 3 oz cream cheese (softened)
In small sauce pan bring maple syrup and blueberries to boil over medium low heat stirring occasionally. Lower heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add cloves, allspice and cinnamon. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Add cream cheese and mix with hand mixer or an immersion blender**** until smooth. Drizzle sauce over brownies just before serving.
*Of the flour substitutes available (rice flour, potato starch, etc.) I have found that soy flour is the most versatile
**I usually make this recipe with a sugar substitute, although, with the butter, cream cheese, maple syrup etc this is hardly a diet dessert. It is up to you.
***Blueberries are one of the perks of living in Southern New Jersey. When they are in season I always buy a couple of flats, wash them and freeze them in quart size zip lock bags. They hold up well if frozen fresh. They are perfect over ice cream, in pancakes or muffins, and of course, in this sauce. You can of course use blueberry preserves. If you do use 1 cup of the preserves, reduce the amount of maple syrup to 1/4 cup and skip the simmer.
****I pride myself on NOT having a lot of specialty equipment (only because I can’t afford them) but one thing I recommend is an immersion blender.
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