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Gluten Free Almond Butter Brownies

by on April 11, 2012 · 33 comments

Prepare for deep, dark, chocolate decadence! Yes, these are gluten free, but I’d make them again and again for anyone. Read on for the recipe.

gluten free fudge brownie

Food & Wine Magazine arrived in the mail yesterday, and while I don’t usually start tearing recipes out of magazines until I’ve read the whole thing, I tore Hazelnut Brownies by Chef Stella Parks from Kentucky out immediately with no regard for what was on the following page. The recipe was a gluten free brownie made with ground hazelnuts, cocoa, chocolate, butter, eggs and coffee. I could not wait to make these, but since I didn’t have any hazelnuts, I went off on my own and swapped them for almond butter. The brownies were fantastic! I don’t know anyone on a gluten-free diet, but now I feel like I have to find someone just so I can introduce them to these brownies.

Just so you know, this recipe varies greatly from the original. Because packaged almond butter has sugar and salt added, I had to reduce the quantities of both in the original recipe. I also halved the recipe (lest my experiments didn’t work out!) and quick cooled the brownies in a water bath because I wanted to eat one SOON. I’ll let you know when I try Stella’s recipe from Food & Wine. Also, if you are lucky enough to find hazelnut butter (the type with salt and sugar added) in a jar, you could probably follow these directions verbatim and just swap the almond butter for hazelnut butter.


4.8 from 6 reviews
Almond Butter Brownies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Deep, dark, fudgy, gluten free brownies made with almond butter.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used half Hershey’s Dark, half Hershey’s Natural)
  • 1 packet Starbucks Via or ½ tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in ½ tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 1/4 ounces (1/2 cup plus a generous tablespoon) commercial almond butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with nonstick foil.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the butter over medium, swirling every couple of minutes, until the butter foams and eventually starts to turn brown around the edges. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Let the chocolate sit in the hot butter for about 2 minutes to melt, then stir until smooth. Stir in the cocoa powder, coffee/water mixture, salt and vanilla.
  3. In a mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the eggs. Gradually add the granulated sugar, beating constantly. Beat for about 5 minutes. Mixture should almost triple in volume (though I ‘m not sure mine did!). Beat in the almond butter until smooth.
  4. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until smooth. Pour the mixture in the pan. Bake on center rack for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, then chill for about 2 hours or until firm and cold. Lift from pan and cut. Alternatively, as soon as you take the brownies from the oven, plunge the pan into a roasting pan with ice water to quick cool. Put them in the refrigerator.
Notes
I didn't have 6 ounces of fancy chocolate around, so I used about 3 ounces of dark chocolate Dove candies and 3 ounces (1/2 cup) Guittard extra dark chocolate chips. I'm not sure how the brownies would be with 6 oz (1 cup) of extra dark chocolate chips, so if you try it, let me know.

Because of my big swap of almond butter for hazelnuts, I had to make other adjustments such as cutting some of the sugar and salt from the original to make up for the sugar and salt already present in the almond butter (I used Maranatha). My recipe is pretty different from Stella’s at this point, but it’s good, so try it! When I get my hands on some hazelnuts, I plan on trying the original.

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Published on April 11, 2012

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

j3nn April 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

It blows my mind that brownies can come out so well without flour! Almond butter is a really great flour alternative. Yum!

Jessica "Su Good Sweets" April 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Ooh, thank you! I’m going to try the original because hazelnuts + chocolate = Nutella.

Chewthefat April 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I have several gluten-free friends and I always feel bad bringing baked goods they can’t eat! I love your version with almond butter because I’m not a huge Nutella person. The almond butter I use doesn’t have sugar, but I like the idea of a rich, less sugary brownie.

Kathryn April 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm

These look so perfect. The whole hazelnut craze leaves me baffled but almonds are wonderful. I love baking with almond butter and almond meal. The combination of chocolates and the addition of the via sound ideal. Can’t wait to make them!

Gloria April 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Love the shiny top!!! Do you really use 2 sticks of butter in an 8″ pan? These must be wonderfully rich!!!

Anna April 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Jessica, I am really anxious to hear what you think of the original recipe and will be waiting for your post.

Mary, I wouldn’t recommend using sugar free almond butter oz for oz here. If you want to go that route, I’d recommend using 3.5 ounces of almond butter and adding an extra 1/4 cup sugar. That, or buying a jar of almond butter with sugar in it. Not that I’m the boss of you ;).

Kathryn, let me know when you make them. I take it you don’t care much for hazelnuts, eh?

Gloria, it is 2 sticks of butter. The original 13×9 inch version uses 4 sticks (1 pound). These are gluten-free, but they’re not light.

Meredith April 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm

How do you think that these would work with chocolate almond butter? I have some trader joes cocoa almond spread in my pantry……

Anna April 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Hi Meredith,
I’m not sure. I’ve never tried chocolate almond butter. It might be worth a shot, though!

karen April 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Wow! These look terrific and also perfect for Passover, which is this week. Thanks! I will definitely give them a try, I’m going to look for Hazelnut butter because I’m a little almonded out this week.

Katrina April 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Ooh, those DO look really good! Glad to have you back in the kitchen again sharing all the yum with us! I haven’t had almond butter in the house for a while, but just might have to get some!

Sue April 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Another fantastic recipe from you!! Chocolate and hazelnuts have always been one of my favorite flavor combinations.

Karen April 12, 2012 at 11:57 am

I shared this recipe with my cousin who has Celiac Disease. She misses out on lots of goodies at family events since she is the only one with celiac. I made sure at our wedding that the communion bread was gluten-free and she was very touched. Anyway, a relative is having an 80th birthday party coming up and I think I will make these brownies to take along.

thelittleloaf April 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm

OMG these look incredible! I’ve got a really good friend who’s a coeliac so this would be the perfect treat for her. And for me, you wouldn’t even miss the flour for a second!

Gloria April 13, 2012 at 11:53 am

I made these last night and I’m going to post them. They are fantastic!! Plus, the crispy edges are to die for!!! I did make a few changes, but nothing too significant. I had a happy accident and purchased crunchy almond butter. They still turned out great and I didn’t need to add any nuts for texture..they were already there!!!

Anna April 13, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Hi Gloria,
Thanks for trying them! I think my almond butter was crunchy as well. About the edges, I’m glad you’re an “edge person” because the 8 inch pan size does give you more edges.

Stella April 14, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Hi Anna! I’m so glad you liked the recipe and put your own twist on it with the ingredients you had on hand. They look fabulous, especially the paper-thin crinkle crust on top. I hope you give the hazelnut version a shot too, the ground hazelnuts give the brownies a bit of a fluffier quality (though by no means cakey!) that offsets the richness. Cheers!

Anna April 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Thanks for the comment, Stella! You are officially my new favorite pastry chef.
And I’ll definitely try the hazelnut version just as soon as I remember to pick some up at the store.

Gloria April 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Just making another pan of these!!! Going to serve them warm with vanilla ice cream…can’t wait!

Sarah April 15, 2012 at 6:55 am

I’d like to suggest these brownies are a miracle cure for insomnia… I made a batch before bed with cashew butter, half coconut oil, and other coconut/cashew substitutions and add-ins (I seem to be incapable of leaving a recipe alone). I virtuously/foolishly left them MOSTLY alone fresh out of the oven and went to sleep. After spending a very early morning hour inexplicably (or not — there were fresh brownies in the kitchen!) wide awake, I got up, ate one, and promptly fell asleep until the alarm went off. A miracle indeed…

Louise April 15, 2012 at 7:56 am

I flagged this in F&W too. I have some Bob’s Mill Hazelnut flour in the frig and plan to make these as soon as we’ve finished the rhubarb crumb pie that I baked yesterday.

Juju@getfitwithjuju April 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I cannot wait to make this! I bookmarked this for the weekend baking, and am so excited! Thank you for sharing this with us! =]

Katrina April 27, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Just bought some almond butter with making these in mind. I’ll let you know when I do.

Gloria July 29, 2012 at 9:42 am

I forgot to rate these! They won First Place at Anoka County Fair this year!!! I only made minor adjustments.

Anonymous July 31, 2012 at 9:45 am

Made these yesterday for a get together and they were a hit!

Anna July 31, 2012 at 9:47 am

Thanks for the review! I appreciate it.

Alplily October 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm

I am looking forward to making these, but only have glass/Pyrex baking pans (not metal). Any tips on getting them to come out properly? Thanks for the recipes!

Anna October 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I think the rule of thumb is that when using Pyrex, reduce the oven temp by 25 degrees. That should work.

Nout November 6, 2012 at 8:50 am

hi there, this recipe looks amazing. do you think it will be good with a sugar substitute such as Swerve (erythritol) instead of the regular sugar? I am on a low carb diet but still would love to make these!

thanks!!

Anna November 6, 2012 at 9:01 am

Hi Nout,

I wish you would try it and let me know. Sugar doesn’t just add flavor to this recipe, but provides structure. If you take it out, you take out a big chunk of mass. If you use an artificial sweetener with a weight of about 8 or 9 ounces, it might work (Fibrelle, for instance, has a similar weight and volume as sugar). Swerve measures cup for cup and can be used interchangeably for sweetness, but I’m not sure how much a cup of Swerve weighs or if it would actually provide enough structure for the brownies. But it might! This is a really good one to test with an artificial sweetener. I’ll make a note to do that in the near future.

Nout November 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Hi Anna,
I ended up making your recipe. here are the substitutions I used:

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
6 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used half Lindt 85% chocolate bar and half Lindt 90% bar, which is what I had on hand)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used Hershey’s regular – not dark)
1 packet Starbucks Via or ½ tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in ½ tablespoon water (I used the instant coffee in water)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (I used 1.25 cups Swerve and 15 drops liquid sucralose EZ Sweetz)
5 1/4 ounces (1/2 cup plus a generous tablespoon) commercial almond butter such as Maranatha (I didnt realize you couldnt use unsweetened almond butter but I ended up using it anyway.
2 heaping TBSP psyllium husk powder (I added this for additional ‘bulk’)

I baked them less, in a pyrex dish (so less heat), for about 35-40 minutes.

OK so I was really worried about this recipe. When I made the batter, it was gritty and weird. When I baked the brownies, I couldnt tell if they were done or not. And lastly, when I took them out after guestimating that they were finished, the batter had ‘seperated’ and left about 1/4 cup oil/butter just floating on top of the brownies. I panicked and poured off the grease. Then I put the brownie dish in a larger dish with ice. After much waiting, and nervousness, I made sure the brownies had cooled down considerably. I cut 2 pieces for Hubs and I to try. He LOVED it. I was still “meh”… the texture was still strange.

I stuck the rest of the brownie dish in the fridge, covered, overnight. The next day (today), I cut another piece to try and OH MY GOD. THEY ARE AMAZING COLD! NOT chemically or fake tasting at all. The Swerve is sooooo good here. Chocolatey, rich, amazing… almost like a fudge and a ganache had a baby. SO SOOOOO GOOD, but a tiny weee bit dry and crumbly.

Here’s what I’ll do different next time, LEAVE the ‘seperated’ oil, cool the brownies down, and refrigerate OVERNIGHT. I think they really are MUCH better the next day.

Thanks again, Anne, this is a WINNER in my book.

Anna November 7, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Thanks for documenting all your changes and giving a thorough report. I’ll bet a lot of people will be interested in trying these with Swerve or whatever sugar substitute is popular these days. I’m glad you chilled the brownies, too. I almost always chill brownies before cutting and serving because I like how it changes the texture.

Sue October 6, 2013 at 11:40 am

I made these yesterday. I didn’t love the crispy edges as much as Gloria did but they are very good brownies. I took them to a dinner party and served them with Coconut milk ice cream and chocolate sauce. I think the brownies are better today than they were yesterday. The texture is improved today.

differentbeautifully February 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Hey! Just made these today with skippy natural peanut butter and ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips. They came out fabulous! I upped the time to 55 minutes because I used a glass dish. Can’t believe these came out so well without any flour. Of course brownies use more butter and sugar than flour anyway:)

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