I’ve always had a big fear of making homemade brownies…from scratch. Mainly because every single time I’ve tried in the past, they inevitably end up super dry and tough and gross. They’re so tough that they can double as a weapon. I’m not even joking. It’s a sorry sight to see. I’ve since given up, however, and resorted to just baking brownies from a box, which surprisingly enough are actually really good brownies from a box. I came to the conclusion recently though, that I needed to overcome this fear. The result of which are these Gluten-Free Hazelnut brownies. Now, I’m not usually one for gluten-free anything, because I happen to really love gluten, but here’s the deal. Gluten or overworking gluten, to be precise, is what causes baked goods to become dry and tough rather quickly. I realized that in order to get perfectly fudgey brownies I needed to lose the gluten, aka the flour. In losing the flour, it ensured that I wouldn’t overwork the batter. That solved the issue I had always encountered in my brownie baking adventures. I could literally stir for hours and the batter would still turn out great. And to make matters even better, for those of you who are like me, and aren’t gluten-free aficionados, you’ll never be able to guess that there isn’t any flour in these here brownies. It’s a win-win.
The great thing about this recipe is that not only do the ground up hazelnuts work as a flour to the batter, it also gives it so much flavor. And as we all know, through our obsession with Nutella, chocolate and hazelnut go so well together. Like two peas in a pod, or peanut butter and jelly, or salt and pepper. The browned butter, instant espresso and tiny bit of cinnamon also give the brownies an intense level of flavor that can’t be beat. Intense in a good way. After all, the biggest goal in any brownie making situation is to maximize the taste and minimize the hassle so that it increases the number of brownies you’ll eat. It’s also the perfect Friday recipe to embark on while you get ready for the weekend. Brownies are a total weekend food. Brownie breakfast sundae anyone? I’m not saying yes and I’m not saying no. Let’s make this happen.