Friday, March 16, 2012

Gluten-Free, Guilt-Free Brownies

During the Christmas break, my family and another family went skiing in Quebec for a couple days. For those who have the winter blues, this might not sound like a vacation, but I’m a winter baby who loves the snow.

As a present to C- and B-, the kids of the other family, I decided to make them a jar of brownie mix so they could make brownies for me we could make brownies together while we were staying at the house our families rented in Quebec. Of course, it turned out that we had forgotten to buy butter at the super market, so making brownies was out of the question.

But I was inspired by the cute presentation of the brownie mix and I realized that we could potentially sell brownie mix at school to fundraise for the baking/cooking club. Since the school board passed the new policy stating that only “healthy” baked goods could be sold at bakesales, our club had had to revert to baking brownies made with black soy beans and cinnamon streusel coffeecake made with applesauce.

But, technically, because brownie mix in a jar isn’t a baked good (yet, anyways), it would not have to comply with the sugar-cannot-be-the-first-ingredient and must-have-less-than-five-grams-of-fat-and-more-than-two-grams-of-fibre rules. The more I thought about it, the more appealing the idea of brownie mix became.

A couple days after we began our fundraising endeavour, I talked to the staff advisor of Food For Life, another club which holds bakesales to fundraise money for charities. She’s an avid baker and suggested that I check out the recipe for guilt-free brownies in the February issue of Chatelaine recipe.

As luck would have it, Chatelaine is one of the two magazines that my family actually subscribes to. I found the recipe and baked the brownies. Instead of using ground almonds (as I am mildly allergic), I used whole roasted cashews which I grounded myself. I also reduced the sugar by half a cup and added a teaspoon of instant coffee powder, which I add to all chocolate desserts, to amp up the chocolate flavour.

Guilt-free brownies? Yes, please.

Click below for the recipe.

Gluten-Free, Guilt-Free Brownies

Adapted from: Chatelaine Magazine, February 2012
Yield: 16 brownies

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, letting it hand over the sides of the pan. 

In a large bowl, whisk sugar, almonds, cocoa powder, instant coffee powder, and salt. Stir in egg whites and vanilla. The batter will be really, really thick. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth top. 

Bake in center of oven until top of brownie is shiny and crispy and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out almost clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the pan. Use parchment to list brownie out and let cool completely on a rack.


  1. I love brownies and would love to try these... however, I hate separating eggs. Do you think it would work if I just used 2 eggs instead of 4 egg whites?

  2. I keep seeing recipes for healthy brownies but I just can't seem to make them. I love the unhealthy brownies way too much.

  3. These look delicious and sound interesting to make. A guilt-free brownie? Intriguing...

  4. Sounds lovely. I'm not a huge fan of the black bean ones, so it's nice to see an alternative!

    You can keep your snow, winter baby. I'm ready for some sunshine!

  5. I am definitely up for guilt free brownies!

  6. these look great and I'm sure the coffee adds a great flavor!

  7. These sound so intriguing. My sister is gluten-free, so it's nice to see an option I could try for her. I love real brownies, so these might be a stretch. . . How do they compare to the real thing??

  8. These sound wonderful Kyleen - I can't believe something so delicious looking is completely devoid of flour... amazing! I think it's cool that the school passed such a rule as well - nice to see they care, even if it can be a bit spoil-fun sometimes.

  9. Guilt free brownies are definitely something I could get behind. Looks delicious!

  10. I have 3 egg whites on hand. I'm definitely bookmarking these to try this week!

  11. omg guilt-free brownies. YES PLEASE!!

  12. Count me in for these guilt free brownies! They look absolutely mouthwatering!

  13. These are both ridiculously healthy and ridiculously delicious - you are my hero :D

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Mini Berry Yoghurt Bundts + Lemon Polenta Raisin Cookies

  14. (a) this mix is totally the gift that keeps on giving.
    (b) I LOVE your ingenuity! These look awesome.
    (c) swoon.

  15. You've got me totally curious about this recipe! I need more gluten-free brownies in my life ;)


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