July 10, 2012 by Flora Dawn
Hazelnut Brownies Directions:
These brownies need chilled before cutting; don’t be tempted to serve warm or they will fall about and not taste nearly as good (trust me, we tried). They need stored in the refrigerator and stay moist and flavorful for several days.
- Preheat oven to 325. Line a 9×13 pan with foil, leaving enough overhang to remove the baked brownies from the pan.
- Place the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet or pie plate and bake in preheated oven until fragrant and skins brown, about 10-15 minutes. Watch closely, you don’t want to burn them. Allow to cool slightly, then place on a clean kitchen towel. Using the towel, rub off the skins (you want most of the skins to be removed, but I can never get all the skins off entirely).
- Place the hazelnuts, cocoa, salt, and 1/2 cup of sugar in a food processor (I actually used my vitamix dry grinder) and process until finely ground; it will look a lot like used coffee grounds.
- In a large saucepan cook the butter over medium-low heat (swirling the pan occasionally) until dark golden in color and the foam subsides, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let stand for a minute or two, and stir until smooth.
- While the chocolate mixture cools slightly, combine the eggs, coffee/water mixture, and remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and the ground hazelnut mixture and beat until combined, scraping the bottom and sides of bowl if necessary.
- Pour the batter into the foil-lined pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the top is shiny and a toothpick comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool on a rack and then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Remove the brownies from the pan by lifting the foil. Cut into 20 large pieces (or more depending on preferred size) and serve.
I saw a picture for these brownies on Food & Wine magazine’s facebook page and knew immediately that I had to make these. First of all, Food & Wine has some amazing recipes. In my experience, they always turn out great, so I felt confident these wouldn’t be a waste of expensive ingredients. Few things are more disappointing than buying special ingredients for a gluten-free dessert, following a recipe, and then having something inedible when all is said and done.
Personally, I am very drawn towards recipes that happen to be naturally gluten-free. You know, the ones without the weird flours. I am not sure why I can’t embrace some of the gluten-free flours. Maybe it’s because it is such a hassle and expense to have your kitchen taken over by those little plastic bags that leak their contents everywhere. And then there is the need for the gums. Before going gluten-free a typical dessert recipe might have 5-6 ingredients (all of which I had on hand), but now it’s not uncommon to have 5-6 specialty ingredients alone. I just want a great-tasting gluten-free dessert that doesn’t stress me out. Brownies, Hazelnut Brownies folks!
The flour in these brownies is basically hazelnut flour you create by toasting and grinding your own hazelnuts. Okay, so my kids both have tree nut allergies. I decided to make these for my husband for Father’s Day and he loved them. I am not sure if making these and eating them happily makes us bad parents, but if so, oh well. We really like these brownies. I keep the kids safely away from these and besides they are plenty old enough to understand they don’t want to eat nuts.
This recipe makes a 9×13 pan of brownies; which I suppose you could half, but I haven’t bothered to. And these are your dense, rich, fudge like brownies in case you were wondering. One full pan of these is a lot of chocolate, so be prepared to share them, freeze them, or do what we do and just really pig out. Okay, so the last option is probably not the healthiest choice, but sometimes the truth hurts…especially your waistline.
I’ve made these a couple times and I have to admit I didn’t adjust the recipe much, only really reducing the salt. And they are delicious with ice cream and additional syrup, but honestly they are quite a treat straight from the pan. The recipe is fantastic and I am sure your friends and family would be thrilled to have one of your not so weird gluten-free Hazelnut Brownies.
Happy Gluten-Free Baking!