Aldi’s Brownie Mix vs Scratch GF Brownies

Box mixes are generally not my favorites for baking as they can be full of stuff I don’t want to ingest like excess salt, sugar and fats. So I rarely buy them. But recently I bought a gf brownie mix from Aldi’s for less than two bucks. It can be used for chocolate chocolate chip cookies but I made the classic brownies with my box. They came out very tasty. The flavor is that of very dark chocolate and the texture is extra fudgy. They were easy to make and even non celiacs enjoyed their fudgy goodness. brownie mix I tried something different and had my last brownie with flakes of pink Himalayan sea salt on top. The fat ones are the best for this. I do have a big jar of fine grind pink salt from Aldi’s which is great for most uses but not for this; go big and flaky.  I happen to like chocolate with sea salt so I reasoned this could work too and it did. Very nice contrast; try it sometime!

Still, I personally like the scratch brownies I usually make much more as they have the perfect balance between cakey and fudgy. I use top end baking chocolate which gives a superior result. So they rein supreme as the best gluten free brownies I have tasted. Frankly they are even better than my old wheat flour brownies.  Here is the link to my brownie recipe made with the gf flour blend I prefer; King Arthur’s All Purpose GF flour blend:  If you want a great Valentine’s Day treat I suggest this recipe; super easy, super fast and super yummy. They also stay fresh longer than any gf cake I have made.  Tomorrow will be snowy here in eastern PA. Perfect day for baking a sweet treat! Enjoy!

Musikfest Update Friday 8.14.15 GF Brownie Alert!

Eating gluten free at the Musikfest is sure challenging and when you are volunteering with only 30 minutes for a meal break it can be tough.  Snacks might be easier.  Last year I had some great kettle corn and some super Creamery ice cream up by the Hotel Bethlehem.  I am guessing you can still get those treats this Fest.


I did find some incredible brownies, up on the edge of Leiderplatz; right at the back of the Sun Inn.  Hempzel Pretzels has a small stand there.

hempzel signI used to eat their tasty soft pretzels years ago at the fest, when I could still eat wheat and gluten.  They still have many great pretzel products for sale but there are also some certified gluten free brownies.  I didn’t get a picture of them but the stand has a big basket of them.  The flavor is outstanding, creamy and very chocolaty.  Well worth the trip up to Leiderplatz.  They also sell a garlic jam, didn’t get a taste of it but it is gf and looks like it might be great on a sandwich.

garlic jam  I didn’t find anything else at Leiderplatz that was gf and safe for me other than ice tea. I like the one that is half lemonade. Thirst quenching…

Saturday I plan to trek down to Voltzplatz on my break for their crazy good baked potato with pulled pork topping.  It was incredible at last year’s fest, lots of tender meat topping a creamy baked spud. Can’t wait!

Brownie Meets Cheesecake and Love Ensues!

I never thought I would want another brownie recipe after I made the gluten free version that is so easy to make and so tasty.  Then I met this recipe.  It is from a book of Gluten Free Christmas cookies, by Ellen Brown that my best friend gave me for Christmas.  I made some very minor changes.  It is like a brownie and a cheesecake meet, fall in love and this is their baby!  A bit more work than my other brownies but just totally nummy good! And I am not a big cheesecake lover.  This is an exception to that rule.


Marble Brownies


4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1 stick unsalted butter

3 large eggs

1 cup sugar, split

½ c brown rice flour

¼ tsp. xanthan gum

Pinch of salt

1 8 oz pkg light cream cheese, softened

½ tsp. vanilla extract


Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature.  Do not use fat free cream – it is dreadful in baking!  I get the best quality chocolate I can find. Frankly I often use regular salted butter in my baking. It is what I normally have in my kitchen so I tend to just use it.

Melt chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan, stirring frequently.  Take off heat, cool for 5 minutes.

Grease an 8×8 pan and dust with rice flour.

Combine 2 eggs and ¾ c. sugar in mixing bowl, beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add cooled chocolate mixture and beat one minute.  Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed just til mixed.

In a separate bowl combine cream cheese, remaining ¼ c sugar, other egg and vanilla.  Beat with electric beater for 2 minutes.

Spread chocolate mixture into pan, Top with cream cheese mixture, swirl together with spatula.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, until top is springy. Cool in pan on wire rack until completely cooled before cutting into 16 to 20 squares.

Store in airtight container between wax paper sheets for up to 5 days, room temp.  Can freeze for up to a month.

Mine weren’t too swirly but the cream cheese mixture mellowed the chocolate into a creamy dreamy delight.  There were very few leftover squares. I took this photo of the last brownie square the next morning!  I know this recipe is a lot more work than the other one I had blogged some time ago but if you like cheesecake you will love it and it makes a nice change of pace or a great snack to take to a party.