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A Life Interrupted and Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Fudge Brownie Recipe (The Recipe ReDux)

by Jeanette on June 21, 2012 · 33 Comments
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Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Have you ever felt as if your life gets interrupted at the most inconvenient times? I know I hate it when my life is interrupted. We all have grand plans for what we think we want to do and where our life should be at any given point in time. When I was in my early 20’s, I remember putting together a chronological timeline of where I wanted to be at different stages in my life. Well, I can guarantee you that I did not stick to that timeline for very long.

You see, life’s “interruptions” got in the way, and my life has veered in all different directions over the past 30+ years. However, through each of life’s “interruptions,” I have grown as a person and learned something new about myself and other people. When my mother and father-in-law moved in with my family unexpectedly over 9 years ago, right after I decided to stay home with my four boys, my life was hugely “interrupted.” I had plans of finally spending time with my kids after working for 17 years and hardly seeing them. Well, that didn’t work out the way I planned. However, through that experience, I learned to be more patient and empathetic towards the elderly, and how to cook soft foods for my father-in-law who had Parkinson’s disease.

Three years ago, I spent nearly every day for 6 months with a woman I met who had stage 4 stomach cancer. Through that experience, I learned that the little time that I could give meant a lot to this woman who would become my friend. It also gave me the courage to approach other people with cancer and reach out to help them.

When my older son suffered a severe concussion almost two years ago and then my youngest son sat home with me last year for a month with abdominal pains, I was forced to sit still each time and not leave the house. That experience taught me that so many things I had thought were important really weren’t, that a lot of the running around I had been doing really wasn’t necessary. I was forced to be still and be grateful for what I have.

Over the years, as I’ve experienced more “interruptions,” I have also learned to start looking at these interruptions as divine interventions instead, and discovered that by doing so, that I have grown so much as a person, and that my life has been redirected in a whole new way. Now when a divine intervention happens, I feel more peace and less stress. Now, when I learn about someone in our community that has cancer, I reach out and I am not afraid. I have learned to cook for people with cancer and am now hoping to teach others how to do this.

I know that there will be many more “asteroids” (my husband’s terminology) to dodge, but I also believe there is a reason for whatever is happening, and that will all make sense one day in the grand plan that God has laid out.

So, although I have no idea where my little blog is taking me, I feel that it has really blossomed in the past year, and is taking me to places I never dreamed of before. Just a few weeks ago, I came in first place in a contest for Top Foodie Mom, and a few days later, I was on a speaker panel on social media at BlogHer Food. A few days after that, I was asked to share my journey at a Ladies’ Night Out event with a group of women in our community about how I ended up where I am today, as well as some healthy eating tips.

A Beach Themed Girls Night Out Event with some fun Door Prizes and Giveaways

A Beach Themed Girls Night Out Event with some fun Door Prizes and Giveaways

Our Ladies Night Out was made even more fun as I was able to obtain some samples and door prizes from some generous sponsors (as well as some items I’ve won but decided others could use more than me). Thanks to my friend Cathy Westrum who was our photographer for this special evening.

For this Ladies Night Out event, I made my Firecracker Salsa and these Double Chocolate Fudgey Gluten-Free Brownies. I’m so glad I made these brownies as there were two ladies who have celiac disease and several others who are on a gluten-free diet.

Today, I am joining The Recipe ReDux’s “Small Bites to Celebrate a Big Event” – it’s their 1st birthday! The Recipe ReDux is a recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, which focuses on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you. Similar to my mindset, Dietitians Regan Jones, Serena Ball and Deanna Segrave-Daly founded the group on the belief that healthier eating should always taste delicious.  Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover.

I made these little brownie bites for this month’s event – they are the perfect mini-portion sweet treat. I made these gluten-free, dairy-free and healthier version of King Arthur’s Whole Wheat Brownies by using a whole grain gluten-free flour mix (I used King Arthur’s Whole Grain Flour Blend) and coconut flour, cutting the oil in the original recipe in half by using applesauce, substituting coconut oil for the butter, and reducing the number of eggs and the amount of sugar in the original recipe by using unsweetened applesauce and ground flax seeds.

Fudgey Double Chocolate Gluten-Free Brownies

5 from 1 reviews
Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Brownie Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These are fudgey brownies. I cut them into small pieces as they are pretty rich.
Serves: One 9"x13" pan brownies; 24-32 brownies, depending on the size you cut the brownies.
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1½ cups organic brown sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (I used Starbucks VIA)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds + 6 tablespoons water (mix together and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1¼ cup gluten-free whole grain flour mix
  • ¼ cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon xanthun gum
  • 2 cups dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9"x13" baking pan with parchment paper (this makes removing the brownies from the pan easier).
  2. In a medium microwavable glass bowl, heat coconut oil and sugar for 2 minutes and stir to combine. You want to dissolve some of the sugar, but do not want it to bubble.
  3. Stir in cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Add eggs, flax seed/water mixture and applesauce, stirring until well combined.
  4. Add whole grain flour mix, coconut flour and xanthum gum, and stir until well combined.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes so coconut flour can absorb moisture.
  6. Spread batter in parchment paper lined baking pan. Bake 30 minutes.
  7. Let cool before cutting.
I used Trader Joe's Virgin Coconut Oil and Organic Brown Sugar, King Arthur Gluten Free Whole Grain Flour Blend, and Bob's Red Mill Coconut Flour.

I’d like to thank Purity Foods, KitchenAid, Rebecca Katz (author of The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen cookbook), The HopeFULL Company, and Bob’s Red Mill for their generous donations to make this event so much fun!

This post has been linked up to Beyond the Peel’s Whole Food Wednesday’s Event.

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  1. You’re wise to recognize that the unexpected interruptions that force us to slow down are put there for a reason. I tend to do some of my best thinking during those quiet times, though witout some intervention, I probably wouldn’t make the quiet time myself.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Lydia – it is those quiet times when I’ve been forced to sit still that I’ve had time to just think. Sometimes that forced “time-out” is just what I need, although at the time, I might not want it.

  2. Great post Jeanette! I couldn’t agree more. I often say that everything happens for a reason and sometimes those reasons aren’t clear for a long time.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Alyssa, I say that all the time – in fact, I’m not sure I will ever have the full picture of why things happen, but like you, I believe everything happens for a reason, and that one day it will be revealed and a beautiful picture will be painted.

  3. Wow, this was such a beautiful post, Jeanette! LIfes interruptions, although challenging, seem to bring on so much beauty, love, understanding and lessons at the end of it… no matter how difficult. I’m so happy to hear that your blog is doing well and you’re enjoying the progress! Also, so great that you took that award! Yay!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks Leanne – yes, you say it so well. There is definitely a lot of beauty, love, understanding and lessons that come after the interruptions are over.

  4. I love this post, and so true that life takes us on the path we are often not expecting (and usually there is a lesson there we might have missed otherwise, at least that’s how it seems to me.) When my dad had to go to assisted living, I never imagined how the experience of going there to cook for him twice a week would let me make the most of the last few years of his life, and now I’m so grateful for that experience (even though at the time it was definitely not always convenient!)

    Love the sound of these brownies and your photo is really making me drool!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Kalyn, so true what you said that we are do often lead down a different path than we ever imagined, but we are the richer for it. Just as you lovingly cooked for your dad even though it wasn’t convenient, we cared for my husband’s parents who lived with us. At the time, it was really hard and we had to put our life on hold for a long time, but what a blessing it was for our family in hindsight. It’s always a lot harder when you’re going through a difficult time to see through to the end what we will learn. However, each time, I have learned so much.

  5. Love the gluten-free version of these brownies. I think I have all but one ingredient to make these appear.

  6. Such wisdom here and such love for others, you are a very special person, you make people’s lives better and that’s a special gift.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Sylvie – you’re sweet. I’m none the wiser than anyone else, just older ;). As I was preparing for my talk for this event, I reflected on all the things that have happened to me since I left home. It was quite an eye-opening exercise to see what I learned at each “interruption” and when I started to see things differently, not as an interruption but as a divine intervention.

  7. great post, jeanette… thanks for sharing your gorgeous, fudgey brownies recipe and especially your wise words of life. learning to rest and trust in the midst of challenge is a lesson we all need!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks Gretchen. We all face challenges, big and small. I’ve been forced to be still so many times now that it has taught me to rest and trust.

  8. I love the idea of looking at life’s interruptions and divine intervention. So true. I really enjoyed reading this post Jeanette – you are full of light. (Oh, and those brownies rock! ;-)).

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Now that I try to look at life’s interruptions as divine interventions, I have a different perspective on a lot of situations. It’s not any easier necessarily when something is going on, but I know in the end I will have learned something worthwhile for the future.

  9. I’m learning to deal with interruptions also…sometimes the good kind and sometimes the bad. It’s hard to put things in perspective at times, but in the bigger picture does that blip REALLY matter? Probably not. Even though it may not feel that way at the time. Love this post! And those brownies! SO fudgy delicious.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Joanne – life is full of interruptions and as I get older, I’ve learned to try to put the smaller ones aside. The bigger ones are so much more challenging, but each time I’ve learned so much about myself and others.

  10. Such a lovely post Jeanette and what you say about life being so different than what you thought it would be in your 20s rings true for me too. Not only is my life different than what I thought it would be, but it’s much better too! Your family the people you care for are so fortunate to have you in their corner…and, especially when you make brownies as yummy looking as these :-)

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks EA – we all have ideals and dreams of how our life should be and rarely do I hear of anyone’s life turning out exactly as planned. My life is far more rich (and complicated) than I ever envisioned, but it is all so much better as you say. Still learning something around every corner I turn and hurtle I face, but that’s what makes life challenging and interesting.

  11. A lovely, thoughtful post, Jeanette. Yes, the interruptions always are a gift. A few in my life came to mind while reading your post. I think the underlying message is that with all its challenges, life gives us such gifts. The more we slow down (forced or not), the more we can see them. When I get caught up in that busyness mode–that can often falsely make one feel that one is really getting somewhere 😉 –I often find myself stepping back and enjoying a very long dinner with hubby on our screened porch or turning off all the noise in my life to read or simply “be.” We retreat to our mountain/river property where the only distractions are the squawk of a blue heron, call of the screech owl, need to fix the next meal, etc. Both the minor interruptions and the major interruptions–forced or not–can provide such unexpected benefits.

    Thanks for the post and the beautiful brownies! Keep on keeping on with what you are doing, dear. Obviously, it’s resonating with many!


  12. Oy My… These look amazing!

  13. Still working on greeting “interruptions” with peace rather than stress, but I’m hopeful I’ll get there. Wonderful post and delicious-looking recipe!

  14. Hi! My name is Ashley and I’m interning with the Meal Makeover Moms. Thanks for sharing your life’s “asteroids” with us and it definitely is important to remember everything happens for a reason. Also, the brownies look delicious! Definitely a soft, properly portioned dessert that can be shared by the young and elderly alike.

  15. You had me at brownie, and again at fudge… these look so decadent I’d be willing to go and find some swaps for the coconut (allergies). Probably sorghum flour, maybe chickpea… hmmm

  16. Love this post. So true. Congrats for tuning interruptions into opportunities for learning and growth. Clearly, it took you in a wonderful direction. I can’t wait to try these brownies, well, without the eggs – I’m dairy-free. I wonder how that will work!

    Thanks for sharing,

  17. making other people happy is a special gift and seems like you’ve mastered it so well. You’re a true friend Jeanette, your friends are so lucky to have you around

  18. What a great post! It is especially pertinent for me (someone in her early 20’s) to read. I realize it is so important to keep life in perspective and not get too overwhelmed by life’s “interruptions” but it can be easy to forget. Reading your post helps me to better appreciate all of the gifts in life. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe and wisdom.

    Molly Jones
    Intern for ReganMillerJones, Inc.

  19. these brownies are sooooo fudgey!!! i haven’t found a quality GF recipe yet. but have seen good sone with black beans! going to try this one~ :)

  20. Lovely post and the recipe is fab! Haven’t had much success with gluten free brownies in the past so really looking forward to trying your recipe. Thanks

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks Kay – these brownies are very fudgey and don’t taste gluten-free. Hope you enjoy them.

  21. Nice recipe. I love a simple brownie recipe which is easy for the kids :)
    I also like the below brownie recipe.

    Thanks for sharing,

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