Tips for Making Delicious Gluten-Free Brownies and Bar Cookies - dummies

Tips for Making Delicious Gluten-Free Brownies and Bar Cookies

By Jean McFadden Layton, Linda Larsen

Brownies and bar cookies are some of the easiest gluten-free treats to make. You don’t have to form individual cookies; you just put the gluten-free batter or dough into a pan and bake. And they’re perfect for any occasion.

The most important part of making brownies and bar cookies is doneness. Overbaked brownies are tough and dry, no matter how perfectly you measure the ingredients. And underbaked bar cookies don’t hold together, so you can’t cut and serve them.

Here are some tips for making the best gluten-free brownies and bar cookies:

  • Always grease the pan well, using unsalted butter, solid shortening, or nonstick cooking spray. Salted butter makes the cookies stick to the pan, and oil doesn’t work very well for greasing.

  • Measure, measure. If you don’t use a scale to measure flours and mixes, always measure by spooning the flour or mix lightly into a measuring cup and leveling off the top with the back of a knife.

  • Line your pans. You may want to line the cake pan or baking pan with foil or parchment paper and then grease the foil if the recipe calls for it. Use enough foil to extend past the pan’s edges. Smooth the foil down so it fits closely inside the pan. When you bake the brownies or bar cookies, cool them completely in the pan and then lift them out of the pan using the foil edges. Peel off the foil and cut into bars.

  • Bake crusts until done. If a recipe calls for baking a crust before adding a filling, be sure to bake it until it’s done. Crusts get soggy and fall apart if you don’t thoroughly bake them before you add a soft or creamy filling.

  • Use clean knives to make clean cuts. To cut brownies and bar cookies, use a sharp knife. Dip the knife in hot water and wipe it off before each cut for smooth edges and well-defined squares.

Store brownies and bar cookies well covered at room temperature unless the recipes specify otherwise. The cut edges of these foods can dry out if they aren’t well covered.

If you need to serve a crowd or make goodies for a bake sale, brownies and bar cookies are the way to go. A 13-x-9-inch pan of treats serves 24 to 36 people, depending on how small you cut the bars. You should cut some bar cookies small simply because they’re so rich. You can cut granola bars larger because they’re a healthier treat.

You can substitute different ingredients in your gluten-free brownies and bar cookies, such as cashews instead of walnuts or dried cherries instead of chocolate chips. Layer a couple of gluten-free frostings for a really decadent dessert.