Monday, January 9, 2012

new year's brownies

The decorations are finally put away and another holiday season is over. I love Christmas, I really do, but gosh it feels wonderful to get back to the usual routine. And the New Year always brings a fresh start (though I'm getting sick of hearing about how many people fail at their resolutions).

Do you make resolutions? I always have some sort of goal and I like to set my resolutions in December, on my birthday. Of course, then the holidays come and I fall off track, then I have to reset my resolutions on New Year's. It's perfect. I get more than one chance to make it right. Often I need more than two chances to get it right but when you fall away from your goals, it's really no big deal. Just pick yourself up and try it again. I think that's part of the secret to keeping resolutions.

One of my goals for this year is to spend more time in the kitchen.

Over the holidays Todd and I enjoyed some great holiday treats, most of which were gluten free! However, there was one treat Todd's aunt made that had me drooling--a chocolate cupcake. Not just any chocolate cupcake. It was a chocolate cupcake with . . . coffee. This cupcake was not gluten free, so I sat drooling in the corner knowing that as soon as we made it back to California I had to find a way to merge coffee and chocolate into some sort of baked goodie.

I had some ingredients left over from my holiday baking and had just picked up some random gluten free flours to add to my pantry, including coconut flour. Determined to use it, I scoured the web for recipes but everyone said that coconut flour, loaded with good-for-you fiber, unfortunately turned everything into a brick. That wouldn't work for cupcakes. But what if I only used a little? And made brownies instead?

Well they were delicious. And I think you need to make a batch, pronto.

Gluten-Free Coconut Brownies
(inspired by Cocoa Brownies on EveryWoman Fitness)

35 grams Coconut Flour
25 grams Teff Flour
25 grams Gluten-free All-Purpose Flour (such as Bob's Red Mill)
60 grams Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
150 grams Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Gluten-free Baking Powder
1/4 cup Extra-virgin Coconut Oil (slightly warmed to liquefy),
      plus more for greasing the pan
1 large Egg
2 Egg Whites
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Brewed Strong Coffee (cooled to room temp)
1/2 cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup Chopped Walnuts
1/4 cup Shredded Coconut, Unsweetened

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with the coconut oil. (Or you could use a 9-inch square tart pan, as I did.) Sift together the dry ingredients--the flours, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and baking powder--in a medium bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk the egg, egg whites, vanilla, and cooled coffee. In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil over low heat until it is just melted. Make sure the oil is not too hot and slowly add it to the egg mixture, stirring constantly. (If the oil is too warm, you could end up with scrambled eggs. You don't want that.) Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to incorporate. Then add in the yogurt, walnuts, and coconut and stir until everything is combined. Pour the batter into your greased pan and spread it evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

You can also cut up the brownies and store them in a freezer bag in the icebox. Have a small brownie bite every day for a little treat. :)