mexican brownies (gluten free)

by hungryrabbit on August 12, 2011

Gluten-free Mexican Brownies

What can I possibly say about the Big Summer Potluck 2 that hasn’t been said already? Many attendees have expressed their thoughts and opened their hearts in various blog posts. Though it has been two weeks, I’m still processing the inspiration and encouragement that Shauna Ahern (@glutenfreegirl), Penny De Los Santos (@pennydelosantos), Pam Anderson (@threemanycooks) and Justin Schwartz (@justcooknyc) instilled in us.

For people who weren’t at the Potluck, it’s hard to explain the bigger, lasting impact of that weekend. Yes, we had great food. Yes, we had awesome sponsors. Yes, we most certainly had enlightening speakers. The Potluck, though, wasn’t just about the tangible aspects of food blogging where you collect tips that you can later sprinkle on your blog. The heart of those three days had more to do with personal connections and the shared experience of knowing others so passionate in the same pursuit.  Interestingly, that blogging endeavor may never have any more reward than as a platform for expressing a love for food, cooking, writing, and/or photography.

So, I tried to capture the essence of that brief but powerful time with these photos.

One tangible item from BSP2 that I can offer is Gluten-Free Mexican Brownies. I brought these chocolaty bites to offer at the Welcome Potluck on July 29. I don’t have any gluten-free baking experience, but I wanted to make something that represents me, my blog, and the spirit of the weekend. Even the reserves disappeared quickly, and many attendees asked for the recipe.

So to all my old and new friends from Big Summer Potluck 2, to all my readers who week after week support my blog, I offer you these brownies with much gratitude.

Here is a list of other attendees’ thoughts on BSP2

990 Square
Adryon’s Kitchen
Bread and Putter
Diva That Ate New York
Duck And Cake
Healthy Green Kitchen
Tastes Better with Friends
Karma’s When I Feel Like It Blog
Kimchi Mom
My Kitchen Addiction
One Tough Cookie
Simple BitesSavory Sweet Living
Souffle Bombay
Three Many Cooks

Author’s Note

Soon after BSP2, all of the feeling of special community was forced out of the colonial stone barn into the harsh light of mortality. We had just spent the weekend with the wonderful Jennifer Perillo and a week later, we received the devastating news about of the untimely passing of her husband. We all felt her pain. Besides the Potluck participants, the whole food-blogging community experienced the gloom that rippled through the Twitterverse. I had only met Jennie a few times, but her warmth, charm, and enthusiasm was infectious. Our community will support her at this difficult time and do what we can to lessen the pain.

She asked everyone to make peanut butter pies—her husband’s favorite dessert–as a tribute to his memory. That’s what the community is doing.

Gluten-free Mexican Brownies

yield about 30 1-1/4 inch squares


1-1/2 stick unsalted butter (12 tablespoons, 6 ounces)
1/2 pound plus 1 cup bittersweet/semisweet chocolate chips
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1-1/2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
3 large eggs
1 tablespoons real vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar (5-1/4 ounces)
1/2 cup Red Mill’s gluten-free all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
1/8 teaspoon xantham gum
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper


1. Position baking rack in center position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lined a 9×13 baking pan with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long side.Butter lining; set aside.

2. Combined butter, 1/2 pound chocolate chips, bittersweet chocolate and instant coffee in heatproof bowl set over saucepan of simmering water, stirring frequently, until completely smooth. Remove bowl from pan and set aside to cool slightly. Add eggs, vanilla and sugar to warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.

3. Stir together the flour, xantham gum, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss chocolate chips with remaining 2 tablespoons of flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not overbake. Cool thoroughly, refrigerate for at least 4 hours and cut into squares.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Meeta August 12, 2011 at 8:07 am

A few awesome pictures Ken and those brownies look incredible. Sorry to learn about Jennifer’s loss.

Wenderly August 12, 2011 at 8:08 am

*Gorgeous* photos. Simply gorgeous.

Loved meeting you. {{{{hugs}}}}

Laurie August 12, 2011 at 8:16 am

Ken, thanks for sharing your community. I especially love the photo of all of the different chairs and all of their personalities. And the brownie recipe will be tried!

sweetsugarbelle August 12, 2011 at 8:40 am

I love seeing the pics! It’s like the faces behind the blog. I really love the hint of cinnamon and cayenne mixed with chocolate. My husband’s grandma ALWAYS does that. Nothing is quite like it.

I was heartbroken by Jennie’s loss. I’m beyond touched at the love and support that her community has shown.

Ethan August 12, 2011 at 9:57 am

Ken, incredible pics, especially the one of Jen laughing in the background with Chris and Karen.
Your brownies were great, you may have a career as a gf baker:)

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction August 12, 2011 at 10:45 am

Love all of your photos, Ken. You captured the event beautifully, both with your photos and your words. It was wonderful to see you again, and I’m hoping our paths will cross again soon.

Also, thank you for sharing the recipe for these brownies. GF or not, they were absolutely fabulous, and I can’t wait to make them!!

Tracy August 12, 2011 at 11:44 am

Your photos are wonderful, and they absolutely captured the heart of the weekend. It was so great to meet you at BSP this year, and I really enjoyed these brownies! Can’t wait to make them!

foodwanderings August 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Hi Ken, This is such a nice tribute. A nice recap of your time BSP. Love the pics. Seems like an epic weekend and speaking of epic, the Mexican brownies look stupendous. I don’t know if stupendous is an appropriate adjective but it was Sagie’s (gie like in geese) favorite word at one of the stages when he was younger and I felt like saying it:) Love you Wabbit!

Tres Delicious August 13, 2011 at 1:40 am

Splendid photography. Those are healthy giving favorite stuff of our family, ‘will understand how to do that for an upcoming family affair.

Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit August 13, 2011 at 9:03 am

Yum! They look so fudgy and delicious. Beautiful photos of what looked like a great time!

Gail August 13, 2011 at 9:35 am

Having eaten one of those brownies, I can attest to their fudgey, Mexicany goodness. I know I can make the brownies, but capturing those moments on the camera belongs to you, Ken. xoxoxo

The Green Beet August 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and say it: I love the photo of the chicken tush. When can you say you’ve ever seen a cute chicken tush picture? :)

Jamie August 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm

What fabulously gorgeous photos, Ken! Wow! And the brownies are amazing! Yummy, dense and moist. Oh how I wish I could have been there! Sounds awesome indeed!

Barbara | Creative Culinary August 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm

You showed us through images what many have expressed in different ways. Love them.

Brian @ A Thought For Food August 14, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Wish we could go back to that weekend. :-)

Margaret August 15, 2011 at 11:13 am

So glad to spend that weekend with you and looking at these pictures bring back those wonderful moments. Of course one of the moments includes eating these amazing brownies!

Olive August 25, 2011 at 12:55 am

WOW, fabulous photos..gorgeous! I almost forgot that it’s the brownie recipe that I came here for..the brownies! I’m saving the recipe..thanks for sharing! :)

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