Gluten Free · Holidays · New Traditions

Patriotic Brownie Fruit Dessert…Gluten Free or Not

Krusteaz’s Double Chocolate Gluten-Free Brownie mix is an absolute favorite of mine, first discovered at Costco many moons ago.  It’s delicious and even lovers of gluten will love them.

This mix was the perfect base for a patriot, 4th of July dessert with fresh berries and a cream cheese base.  This recipe can easily be cut in half and baked in a round or square pan.

The dessert is best served the day it is made but leftovers brownies can be good for 1-2 days.

PATRIOTIC BROWNIE FRUIT DESSERT

2 packages Double Chocolate Krusteaz gluten-free brownie mix (I bought a large box at Costco) and ingredients stated on the box (water, vegetable oil, egg)
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh red raspberries
1 cup apple jelly

  • Make brownies according to package directions and bake in greased jelly roll or sheet pan as directed. Let cool completely.
  • Beat together softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  • Spread mixture over cooled, baked brownies.
  • Top with berries.
  • Still jelly until smooth and brush over berries
  • Refrigerate dessert until ready to serve.
Losers!

Slow Cooker Brownie … a Disaster!

A few days ago I was watching the Rachael Ray show with Emeril Lagasse as her guest. He shared a recipe for a slow cooker/crockpot brownie. With a busy day coming up and the need for a birthday dessert, I decided to give it a shot.

I followed the instructions, shown below, to a ‘T’ and anxiously awaited the yummy results, enjoying the smell of chocolate in my home all afternoon.

After the allotted baking time of 3 1/2 hours, the brownies were still liquid in the middle. I have a fairly large crockpot so the brownies were probably thinner than in many smaller crockpots.  Time was running out, so what to do?  I tried baking a little while longer on low with no improvement.  Finally I resorted to turning the crockpot on ‘high’ and you can imagine the burned edges and still uncooked center.

I was NOT a happy camper and kicked myself for not making the recipe shown below but baking, old-style, in the oven.  I think this modification for traditionally baked brownies topped warm, with the chocolate hazelnut spread would be amazing. Skip the slow cooker method.

NOTE TO SELF:  Never try to ‘bake’ a cake or brownie in the crockpot EVER!

SLOW COOKER BROWNIES (NOT!)

1 box of brownie mix
1 cup chocolate chunks, a mix of milk and dark (and I used some white chocolate)
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread

  • Line the bottom of the slow cooker with some aluminum foil and spray it with a little non-stick spray.
  • Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and add chocolate chunks.
  • Pour the batter into the slow cooker, set at a low temperature and cook for 3 hours.
  • Remove lid and cook for an extra 30 minutes to create a crunchy top. When cool, spread hazelnut spread on top and enjoy!

Recipe from Rachael Ray Show with Emeril Lagasse

Family Favorites · My Roots · Vegetarian

Pumpkin Bars…taste of autumn

Pumpkin Bars are a big hit at our house and a crowd pleaser. Forget the ordinary brownie…these are so moist and yummy. If you are more of an apple fan, substitute applesauce for the pumpkin. Either way, you have a winning dessert!

PUMPKIN BARS

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups sugar
4 eggs (or use 1 cup unsweetened applesauce for Vegan bars)
2 cups pumpkin (applesauce works great too)
1 cup cooking oil
chopped nuts (optional)

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 stick margarine
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar

  • Sift dry ingredients, including sugar, into mixing bowl. Add slightly beaten eggs, pumpkin and oil. Mix; blend in nuts (optional).
  • Bake in 2 greased and floured cake pans (9×13″) at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until done. If baked in one larger plan it may take 40-45 minutes to bake.

  • Serve plain or sprinkle with powdered sugar or spread cooled cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. Cut into squares.

Frosting: Blend all together until smooth and spread on cake. Can double to assure thicker frosting.