Marshmallow Brownies

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Don’t these brownies look like they have a crispy bacon topping? Yeaaahhh. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on who you ask), those golden brown curls with the white edges aren’t crisp-roasted bacon strips. They are actually formed by marshmallows. Pretty neat, eh? I saw this recipe on Cookie Madness, and I was kind of surprised at how mine turned out. It doesn’t look nearly as neat as the one in the picture. It’s probably because I used cut-up pieces of large marshmallows instead of mini ones.

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I personally wasn’t very fond of the brownies, because I thought it had too eggy of a taste, and not enough chocolate. I don’t even like marshmallows all that much… I just had some around and I felt a need to use them. I didn’t use chocolate chips in my recipe because I thought the marshmallows would provide sufficient sweetness, but evidently I was wrong. I would highly recommend the use of chocolate chips and pecans as per the original recipe.

Marshmallow Brownies
Makes 1 8X8 inch pan
Adapted from Cookie Madness

Ingredients
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut up
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, slightly cold
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8 inch square metal pan with foil or parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a large (3 quart) heavy saucepan set over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, add chocolate and stir until smooth. If you are using a metal saucepan and butter is very hot, you can remove the saucepan from the heat and then add the chocolate, letting it melt over residual heat. Remove from heat when melted.
With a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir both sugars and salt into the chocolate mixture. Stir in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour and stir until well mixed.
Fold in the marshmallows.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.
Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out moist but clean.
Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator and chill for a few hours.
When brownies are very firm and cold, lift from the pan and cut into squares.

Soft Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies (Gluten-Free)

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As my foray into gluten-free baking continues, I have been pushing the boundaries slowly. I’m not going to be making gluten-free bread or cake anytime soon – basically anything that contains flour as its main component will be tricky to perfect with gluten-free flours. I thought that an oatmeal cookie would be a decent compromise, since the oats take up considerable bulk in the cookie. I took a popular oatmeal cookie from Allrecipes and used a homemade gluten-free flour blend from the Celiac Support Organization website, specifically Carol Fenster’s General Baking Mix #1. I picked that recipe for its simplicity, and because I already had tapoica starch lying around.

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Then came the actual baking. These cookies are actually my second attempt. My first attempt came out overly spread out and lacy, and all the cookies merged into a giant lattice of baked cookie dough. It was still tasty, but it was more of a crisp and thin variety than soft and thick. Gluten-free flours without any additives generally don’t create structurally sound baked goods because the gluten protein provides a great deal of stability to a finished product. My hack was to then freeze the cookies so that they are less inclined to spread out. I then freezed the dough after shaping it into balls, and baked it at a higher temperature at a shorter duration. That worked wonderfully, and gave me cookies with a soft, almost cakey texture with a crisp caramelized rim.

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Soft Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies (Gluten-Free)
Makes 3 dozen cookies
Adapted from Allrecipes

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup gluten-free flour (recipe follows)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup white chocolate chips (I eyeballed it – add to your heart’s desire!)

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a medium bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in egg, then stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats. Roll the dough into teaspoon sized balls, and freeze till hard.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Place cookie balls 1 inch apart on cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet until completely cool.

Gluten-Free Flour Mix
Makes 1 cup
From Carol Fenster

1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 tbsps tapioca starch/flour

Blend all flours till combined. These flours are very light, so take care to avoid coating your counter in white powder. Potato starch is also different from potato flour – be cautious in your purchase.