This recipe takes gluten free salted caramel brownies to the next level. The salty-sweet, crunchy pretzel crust is the perfect counterpoint to the moist, tender brownie filling. Adding a drizzle of salted caramel sauce before serving makes these amazing brownies positively gourmet. This recipe can be made egg-free; see instructions.
TIP: If the pretzel crust isn’t sticky enough to press together, add an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons melted butter and an additional 1 teaspoon brown sugar before pressing it into
*Using an all-purpose flour blend? Check the ingredient label. If it doesn’t contain xanthan or guar gum, add 1 teaspoon gum to the dry ingredients. If it already contains gum, there’s no need to add more to the recipe.
For Egg-Free Salted Caramel Brownies, omit 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk. Reduce the butter in step 4 to 6 tablespoons. Combine 21/2 tablespoons golden flax meal with 7 tablespoons hot unsweetened applesauce. Let cool. Add 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and blend. Add this mixture in step 4 to replace the eggs. If using an all-purpose flour blend (not Jules’ Gluten-Free Homemade Flour Blend), add an additional 1/2 cup flour blend (total 13/4 cups flour blend) in step 5.
Associate editor Jules Shepard is author of Free for All Cooking (DaCapo Perseus), The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten-Free (DaCapo Perseus) and Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating (CreateSpace).Yields 12 brownies
- 1½ cups crushed gluten-free pretzels
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
- 5 tablespoons butter or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, melted
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup salted butter or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons milk of choice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups Jules’ Gluten-Free Homemade Flour Blend or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend of choice*
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup ginger ale
- ¼ cup butter or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, softened
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (at least 14g fat), shaken, or heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper so the paper extends up the sides of the pan.
2To make crust, place crushed pretzels in a medium bowl and add brown sugar, stirring to combine. Then stir in melted butter. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and firmly press to evenly line the bottom of the pan. Place in preheated oven and bake 7 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool.
3Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
4In a large mixing bowl, place granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter and beat well. Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating after each addition. Then add milk and vanilla, beating to combine.
5In a separate bowl, whisk together flour blend, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Slowly add sugar-egg mixture, mixing just until combined. Batter will be thick.
6Pour batter into prepared baking pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula.
7Place in preheated oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Using the edges of the parchment paper, lift the brownies from the pan and let them cool completely on wire rack.
8To make salted caramel sauce, combine sugar and ginger ale in a tall pot over high heat. (Mixture will increase in volume as it bubbles up when cooking, so the pot needs to be large enough to accommodate.) Using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, stir until sugar has melted (the sugar won’t sound crunchy against the pot as you stir), about 1 minute. Once sugar melts, stop stirring. Let mixture boil, without stirring, until caramel reaches a deep amber color, about 5 minutes. If using a candy thermometer, cook until mixture reaches 180°F. (It should not turn dark brown or smell burned. If so, it’s overcooked.)
9Once mixture is bubbly and has darkened somewhat, remove from heat and whisk in butter until completely melted and combined. Pour in coconut milk or heavy cream while whisking. When smooth, stir in molasses and salt. Transfer sauce to a heat-safe container and let cool to room temperature. If refrigerated overnight, cover the container when cooled; bring to room temperature to serve.
10To serve, cut brownies into pieces. Drizzle each piece with salted caramel sauce.