Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Chewy Brownies (Crackly Tops)

"The key to chewy brownies is the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fat. I use lard in this recipe to make them dairy free. Lard is also cheaper than butter in my area. The key to the crackly tops is creaming the lard & powdered sugar, and then beating thoroughly after the eggs and oil are added. The powdered sugar is to ensure that the sugar fully melts in the oven and it being creamed and whipped makes the top bake like a meringue and end up shiny and crackly. I also keep them simple with really basic gluten free flours, so you don't have to buy any expensive blends. You can use whatever plain gluten free flour your have on hand (white rice flour, brown rice flour, sorghum flour, etc). You can also use whatever starch you have on hand (corn starch, tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, etc), and whatever neutral tasting oil you have on hand. This recipe also uses cocoa powder to save cost."
photo by Sarah P. photo by Sarah P.
photo by Sarah P.
Ready In:
24 brownies




  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x12 pan, or 24 muffin tins, or 48 mini muffin tins.
  • Sift together the dry ingredients: rice flour, starch, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, cream the lard, 2 tbsp water, powdered sugar, and ONE egg together for 5-6 minutes until looks like a soft, shiny, whipped frosting. I use a KitchenAid Stand Mixer setting it to around 6.
  • Add the rest of the eggs (there will be three of them), one at a time until each is blended in, and the vanilla extract. Then turn up the mixer (KitchenAid on about speed 8), or use some serious elbow grease with a whisk, slowly pour the oil into the mixture (kind of like you're making mayonnaise; though it won't look or feel like mayo). At first, after you add all the eggs, it will look kind of worrisome, like tiny curdles and you've ruined it. Don't worry! Keep mixing! The purpose of this stage is to introduce as many bubbles as possible, whipping it so that it will have the glossy, shiny, crackly top. Mix for about 5 minutes.
  • Finally, BY HAND (no mixer), add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until combined. Be careful not to over mix after you add the flour. This is to ensure that your brownies will be chewy and not cake-like.
  • Add the mixture to your pan of choice. If using a 9x12 pan, bake for 25 to 30 minutes. If using muffin tins, about 20 minutes, and mini muffin tins, about 15 minutes. Always check at an early time to ensure they don't overbake. Overbaked brownies are more cake-like. If you want chewy brownies, be sure not to bake too long.
  • Let cool, and then serve.

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