GF Peanut Butter Bars

Last year I was inspired by The Gluten Free Ratio Rally (#gfreerally on Twitter), which is a monthly blogging carnival in which people create gluten free recipes just based on the ideal flour:fat:liquid:egg ratio as stated in Ruhlman’s book Ratio. The idea that gluten free baking is something that is understandable instead of some arcane set of rules that make no sense is very exciting for me.
Anyway, I’m slowly trying to invent my own recipes or convert our old family recipes to something I can eat. I want to avoid or reduce rice flour and starches as well, plus use some nutritious grains such as teff. I really love sorghum, and tend to use it a lot.
I made this recipe quick and messy with a random mix of flour and it turned out pretty well, but I wanted to make it again and improve it based on what I’ve learned about gluten free baking. And I did. The first batch suffered some that gritty sort of crumbly texture gluten free baking often has. The second one has no such trouble! It has a nice soft, lovely crumb, thanks to a full tsp of xanthan gum, sweet rice flour, and double the eggs. I’ve done it! I’ve improved a recipe!

It’s absolutely science, but you get to eat it.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Bars

This recipe makes 16 brownie-sized squares and comes together quickly with very few dishes, so it’s nice to whip up in a hurry.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup lt. brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
55 grams sweet rice flour
55 grams tapioca starch
100 grams sorghum flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
(optional) A handful or two of chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Melt butter (on stove or micromave) and remove from heat.
3. Add sugar and peanut butter and mix.
4. Blend in egg, milk, and vanilla.
5. Stir in dry ingredients until just mixed. *
6. (optional) Fold in chocolate chips.
7. Spread in a 9x9x2 square pan. (Sprinkle more chocolate chips on top if you want).
8. Bake for 25 mins or until you can insert a toothpick and remove it clean.
9. Let cool 5 mins, then cut and serve warm or let cool.

* For weighing flours, I usually tare the scale with a paper plate
on it and measure it all in one big pile. In this case 55 grams sweet
rice flour, then add tapioca starch until it reads 110 grams, and add
sorghum to 210 grams. The wheat flour equivalent is 1 1/2 cups. (The conversion is easy — each cup of wheat flour weighs approximately 140 grams, so replace with an equal weight of gf flours, making sure to use about 25% starch.) On top I add the xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt so I can pre-mix them together a little.

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