Salted Caramel Blondies, a Gluten Free Delight

These little squares of peanutty goodness disappear fast!

I have a large and ever growing cookbook library, and try not to buy more now unless they are something really different.  But, browsing through Indigo one day I came across the cookbook Sweet well known Los Angeles baker and confectioner Valerie Gordon.  All the recipes looked very interesting, but in particular I was intrigued by the salted caramel blondie recipe. Sooo…, my library expanded again, and I have to confess this is not the first time I have bought a cookbook for just one recipe!

Despite buying this mainly for the one recipe, there are so many others I want to try, this is a delightful cookbook, well written, beautifully photographed, and with interesting technique and ingredient combinations.

I can't wait to try the Apricot Basil Cream Galettes.

The recipe below is a gluten free adaptation, a little less sweet than the original, and without the chocolate chips because I wanted the peanut flavour to shine through without competition.  I warn you, these are delicious, and I now freeze them so we won’t eat the whole pan at once. Unless someone told you they are GF you would not know; they are as delicious as any wheat flour recipe.

Chewy or a little crunchier, just vary the baking time.

Salted Peanut Blondies GF Recipe

The original recipe used the usual cream the butter, add the sugar, then eggs, etc.  But because my mixer resides under the counter and is heavy, instead I used the Cuisinart method and it worked fine.   So pick the method you prefer, this type of batter is pretty forgiving.

Ingredient Method
2 cups Riverlea GF Flour mix.  (see note below)

1 ½ tsp xanthum gum

2 tsp psyllium husk powder

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp kosher salt

Note: My 2 cups of the mix below weighed 240g

Mix all these dry ingredients in the food processor.

1 ½ sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter Add butter and pulse until the butter is in small pieces, but not so much the mix comes together like pie crust.  Dump this mix into a bowl.
1 ½ cups dark brown sugar Add brown sugar and mix all these dry ingredients until uniform.
2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

Add eggs and vanilla, and mix until this becomes a very thick batter.  It will take muscle power!
¾ cup peanuts (not dry roasted)

Salt for sprinkling

Squish batter into greased 9×13 pan.  I used a pyrex so the size was slightly smaller. Spread peanuts evenly over batter and push them into the batter a little.  Lightly sprinkle salt on top.
Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes or longer, but this depends on your oven.  They are done when the edges are starting to brown and a toothpick will test clean.  If you want them really chewy take them out at this stage.  If you want a little firmer wait until the edges are darker brown, but these burn easily so I check the bottom of the glass pan to make sure they are not browning too much on the bottom.

Riverlea “No Rice” Gluten Free Flour Mix

I keep tweaking this mix.  It works well in most recipes where a medium density is the desired result.   I use this blend because my husband can only eat small quantities of rice, the main ingredient in most blends.  This mix is more nutritious than many of the rice based blends.  Lately I have been varying the bean flour part and so far other beans work best if you use two types.  In the mix for these brownies I used ½ garbanzo flour and ½ navy bean flour, but routinely I just use Bob’s Red Mill Garfava flour. I use this for pies, cakes, and cookies, and find that I can substitute it in wheat flour recipes by using the same or slightly more by volume. I do mill most of my own flours, which ensures a fresh taste, but purchasing the less well known flours such as Amaranth at a store that has a good turnover will work fine.

Ingredient By Volume By Weight
Garfava Flour (or other mix using two bean flours) 1 cup 120g
Arrowroot Flour 1 ½ cups 160g
Corn Starch 1 cup 125g
Buckwheat Flour ½ cup 60g
Amaranth Flour ¼ cup 25g  Note: you can mix the proportions of quinoa and amaranth as needed.
Quinoa Flour ¼ cup 25g

I love old plates. This is by Johnson Brothers,

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