Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Smokin' Hot Fudge Brownies

The Saga of How I lost my cool Umbros and Susan Ashton T-shirt...

Smokin' Hot Brownie Preview...

So the week was going well. Until tonight. Yes. Tonight. Maybe after I laugh and eat the chocolate candy we are "supposed" to give out to the neighbor's kids tomorrow it will get better...

Fire must be attracted to me... like that character, Pyro, in the X-Men movies... I'm just not able to manipulate it at will like he can. One example of this attraction to fire happened when I was 18 or 19. I was cooking dinner at Nan's house back when I spent weekends with her during my college years. It was a quiet afternoon. I think it was Saturday. I was boiling water for pasta and I was reaching in the upper cabinet above the stove (what kind of architectural fool thought it was a good idea to put spice racks RIGHT above a gas stove... hmmm???) I remember I needed Old Bay seasoning, and I thought for sure Nan must have moved it or thrown it away because I couldn't find it up there... I kept searching around and then I happened to notice that the boiling water smelled rather funny. Hmmmm... I thought... I didn't know boiling water was supposed to.... WAIT... I looked down, and just happened to catch a glimpse of my nylon soccer shorts and my Susan Ashton T-shirt with flames gently coming up towards my face...

This is what my cool umbros looked like... boy do I miss these!

This was on my Susan Ashton T-shirt... why I remember wearing this particular T-shirt, I have no idea...

I remember standing there and nearly giggling at first... this couldn't be real... I couldn't really be on fire... Right??

I'm sure it happened much faster than I remember all of this, but suddenly once the realization hit, I was frantically searching my mind for those little words they taught us in kindergarten... what was it? OH... STOP DROP AND ROLL!!

I did just that and started yelling at Nan to come and help me!! Nan happened to have carpet in that kitchen (don't ask me why...) and she recently had been hoping to get those new pretty fake wooden floors... but she just didn't have the cash on hand...

All I remember was rolling back and forth on that carpet from side to side as fast as I could! Nan FINALLY came to see what was going on and I'm sure the sight was a surprise. There on her kitchen carpet was Carrie, her reasonably responsible granddaughter, rolling back and forth trying to put out the remaining flames that were whipping out from under her. SOOO...

Nan started praying.

I thought maybe throwing cold water would have been a little more helpful at the time, but the prayers must have worked! The flames finally subsided. I was pretty burned from the middle of my abdomen up to my chest... and my cool nylon soccer shorts were a goner... but I was okay. I actually started laughing after it was over, right there on the burned carpet. And crying. At the same time. That's how I handle stress...

Sorta like I did tonight.

See, tonight was the first night that I decided to use the heat. (Okay, Michael really would have enjoyed using it last night, but I refused since we still had air conditioning on LAST week!) But tonight it was chilly. This morning it was 54 degrees and my toes were a little bit frozen. Sure, it would be okay to turn on the heat.

So I turned it on... started reading a book... Michael was teaching tonight, so I was in no hurry to start dinner. Soon I noticed it seemed rather foggy in the room... but I thought maybe it was just me... nope... about 5 minutes later the smoke alarms started ringing... scared me out of my mind, not to mention the cats!

Frantically, I went to pull out the batteries of the smoke alarms... none-the-less they kept ringing... I knew neighbors would coming flying over any minute!! I took the batteries out, and then they just kept buzzing. I turned the furnace off. I called Michael. After some initial swearing on his part (this is our new house after all, with a new furnace -- it's not supposed to catch on fire!), he finally told me I should call the heating company.

SO, I did what any good girl would... I called my Dad first. Dad said call the heating company. Guess, I'll just stick with my husband's advice next time! So I called them. Heater Dude answered the emergency pager and told me to turn the furnace back on... was he NUTS? I didn't want my brand new house to catch on fire! So... reluctantly I turned the heat back on... 3 uneventful minutes later, Heater Dude told me the heater was fine, he was really tired and had been TOTALLY busy the last two days and he just wanted to lay down on his couch (I'm not kidding... he really said this!)... if the smoke alarms went off again to call him.

Boy, that was reassuring.

2 minutes after I hung up... yep... you guessed it... the smoke alarms went off AGAIN... I knew the neighbors were going to come running this time...

So I called Heater Dude again, and he reluctantly said he would be over soon. About 10 minutes later Heater Dude's Boss called. I told him that I already had help, Heater Dude was coming to see about the furnace... in the best southern accent, the Boss said, "No Ma'am he's not. He does NOT need to come out there. I want you to turn on your heat and LEAVE it on for 15 minutes, open all your windows, let the smoke out, and you'll be just fine. That happens with a new furnace. Sometimes dust and stuff gets stuck down there and has to burn off when it's first turned on. I promise you... just turn it back on and I'll call you in 15 minutes to make sure everything is okay."

Needless to say, I didn't believe Heater Dude's Boss.

15 minutes later, I'm freezing with literally every window and door open... Yes, the heat is on... Yes... there is no longer any more smoke....and, Yes... the smoke alarms are sleeping soundly.

The Boss called back and asked if everything was okay. It's fine, sir. "You're safe Ma'am. You'll be okay. Don't you worry now!" Does this guy know a new female homeowner when he hears one or what?

SO...after all that... I didn't want dinner... I wanted brownies... Here's what I came up with:

Smokin' Hot Fudge Brownies

  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup teff flour
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. shortening
  • 1 cup Hershey's chocolate syrup (or other gluten-free syrup)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag gluten-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flours, sugar and xanthan gum together. Cut in shortening until mix resembles course crumbs. In a large metal bowl, mix chocolate syrup, baking soda, and hot water together. Let cool. Once chocolate syrup mix has cooled add flour mixture. Add beaten egg and oil. Put gluten-free chocolate chips in a plastic bag. Add 2 Tbsp. rice flour to plastic bag and toss. Add coated chocolate chips to brownie batter and stir. Pour into greased 8x8 pan. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Eat immediately after dealing with frantic smoke alarms... hopefully these brownies won't set them off!

I got the idea for these brownies from two sources:
1) the technique used to create Shoofly Pie, and
2) Abby's Grandma's Hershey Cake.

This was the 2nd piece to go...

Going... Going...


PS...And just in case, you were biting your nails in anticipation...Nan got her new Pergo Laminate Floors, after the insurance company decided that I didn't set fire to myself on purpose...

Pin It!


  1. Hi - thank you for visiting my blog.
    You have some very interesting ingredients in those brownies. I am going to google them and find out more about those flours.

  2. Hi Margaret!
    Thanks for commenting! Yes, those do look like weird ingredients. They look weird because I can't eat wheat flour, so I have to substitute other flours. They actually are quite good! It's taken some practice and some help from fellow gluten-free bloggers to be able to eat well without wheat... but it's very do-able, and I feel so much better! Thanks again for commenting!

    PS... you can make these brownies by simply substituting wheat flour (all purpose flour) for the amount of flours used ( 1 1/4 cups I believe, and leave out the xanthan gum, and use regular chocolate chips!

  3. I once rushed someone to the hospital after she had grease blow up on her from the stove. She had had on Umbros, and they burned through in places. In the instant that I ran into their smoking apartment, I was sure her legs were bleeding profusely. When I got her to the hospital I realized the girl had on dark red boxers under her Umbros. Ha. Better that than a bad burn, of course.

    Her face, unfortunately, did end up with a bit of scarring.

  4. Those brownies look absolutely like the right thing to have after that kind of evening!

    Last year I had a gas boiler problem (it was clanking, very loudly, late at night, I didn't know what was wrong, I was on my own in the flat, meanwhile the noise was getting LOUDER) and no one would come out to fix it cos it was 'after hours'. Argh. Eventually, a lovely old guy trundled out at 11pm to sort it out. After that, I was kind of running on adrenaline and, even if it had been a reasonable hour, food would have been out of the question unless it was something gorgeous and comforting like brownies... No fire, thank goodness, but I can definitely relate to that 'on your own in the house and something goes wrong' feeling. Glad it all worked out ok.

  5. Oh my gosh I laughed till I cried. Heater dude....that is so funny. I'm glad everything was ok, but I've never heard of a new furnace doing that. I've got to ask my husband about as he is a heater dude! I would have eaten the whole pan after that!

    That's scarey what happened at you grandma's house though. You were so lucky you weren't seriously burned. Lucky for grandma to get a new floor though!

  6. I snorted when you said you GIGGLED when you noticed that you were on FIRE. I obviously don't REALLY know you, but from what I DO know that is so v. typical! You are so cute and sweet! Who else would giggle while on fire?

    And I know those brownies rocked if my grandma helped influence them. Woot.

  7. SALLY -- I'm so glad your friend was okay!! YES, I do not have another pair of NYLON Shorts... that was dangerous!! I'm so sorry she was scarred! I hope your friend is okay! Fire can be so dangerous!!

    JEN -- I'm so glad I'm not the only one whose had problems like this! I'm glad that older gentleman came out to help you! What a relief!! Thanks so much for commenting!!! You're not kidding about that adrenaline rush after that! It's scary!!

    GLUTI GIRL -- LOLOLOL YES,I would LOVE to know what your husband AKA, your personal HEATER DUDE thinks of this situation... tell him we have a gas pac... I don't know if that makes any difference or not! I loved your comment! You're a hoot!!!

    ABBY -- LOLOLOL YES giggling is my natural response to disaster.... I have a terrible tendency to want to do that at funerals. I can't deal with the real raw emotions at the time, so the only thing I know to do it giggle! LOLOL... OH you know the brownies rocked girl! Your grandma must have been something else!!

  8. I did ask my heater dude about that last night. He said he has heard of that. Something about when they paint the unit the spray over of the paint going on the coils and burn off or some other kind of techno jumbo that made my brain whirl! I was a little worried for you till I asked him that :) I would have freaked out myself! I would have called the fire department and made a fool of myself.

  9. Great story!! I unfortunately knew what was coming...because I did the same thing on the stove (I call it doing a Mrs Doubtfire) and my husband was a "heater dude". So in a way...the "torch" has been passed to you!
    Those are some great looking gluten free brownies. Gotta try that.

  10. Oh my- how frightening! You were good to remember Stop Drop and Roll. I'm not sure I would have had the awareness to do that. Yikes!

    I'm glad you're okay. And after all that excitement- your brownies look fab. ;)

  11. GLUTI GIRL -- LOLOL I'm so glad that your personal Heater Dude totally understood what happened with my gas pac! I feel so much better!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    A KELLY -- LOL YES!!!! A Mrs. Doubtfire moment, definitely!! I never thought about that, but that's exactly what it was!! You are too funny! Thank you SO much for commenting!!

    KARINA -- WOW!!! I feel like a real blogger now, the queen of gluten-free blogging, left a sweet comment on my blog! I feel so special! Thank you so much for reading my blog! I look up to you so much!! You are an amazing woman and I am so inspired at how you are able to live SO well, despite all the food allergies you have, AND now having to get better from a fall. You ROCK!! I love you tons!! Thank you EVER so much for commenting on my blog!!

  12. That is too funny. I'm glad you were ok but I'm sorry that you lost your favorit shorts and shirt. But hey at least Nan got her new floors. That must have really scared you with the smoking furnace and the new house. You would think they would've told you that in the first place. The brownies look devine, I will have to try them. Thanks.

  13. LEA RAY -- No kidding girl!! I thought the same thing! I thought for sure they would have told us about something like that happening with a new gas pac!! THanks for the sweet comment! Yes, Nan loved those pergo floors! LOL