I’m sitting in a nice room with lots of books and snacks, waiting to see if I still have skin cancer (melanoma.) Eric and I are watching a huge pride of lions take down an elephant on Planet Earth. (If you have never seen Planet Earth, you are missing out. Lions. Taking down an elephant. It’s awesome.)

An elderly lady with a giant bandage on her nose is waiting with us, along with her daughter. It’s kind of hilarious watching two of the sweetest, most innocent-looking ladies in the world sit on the edge of their seats in fascination to see an elephant get torn to shreds (meanwhile not missing a stitch in their crocheting).

Look, they’re even chewing the nose! The daughter starts to laugh and says Mom, you kind of look like an elephant. They both burst into gales of laughter. The mom asks me if I’m laughing at her. (I wasn’t, I swear) She says What, you don’t like my nose job?

Which is of course ridiculous because her “nose job” is actually cancer-removal. It’s kind of nice having two pudgy ladies giggling like crazy while I wait on pins and needles to hear whether or not my own cancer-removal was successful. (It’s later now. They were able to remove all the melanoma, so I’m cancer-free. It’s a pretty awesome feeling. Besides the wooziness from the drugs I mean.)

Now, about these dark chocolate brownies. To say that they have changed my life is a ridiculous understatement. I already had a favorite brownie recipe (that I actually have a half-written post for in my archives) but this one beats it. By like a thousand brownie points. (har har) The trick is the real dark chocolate, and the fact that it’s not cocoa powder, I think. And hello people, it’s gluten-free. Usually when I eat gluten-free desserts, I expect to give up either some amount of flavor or texture, but you aren’t giving up anything with this recipe. They are real-deal fudgey, rich, decadent brownies. How awesome is that? Have your gluten-free brownie and eat it too.

Dark Chocolate Brownies {Gluten Free}

Source: adapted from Gluten-Free Goddess

6 ounces high quality 60-70% dark chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1 cup + 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup white rice flour (I’m sure there are many other gluten free blends or flours that would work)*
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate chips, divided

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil and grease lightly. (or grease lightning!)

Melt the butter in a saucepan (the microwave would work too). Remove butter from heat and add the 6 ounces of 60-70% dark chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is combined.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the brown sugar, white rice flour, fine sea salt and baking soda.

In another bowl or stand mixer, beat the 2 eggs with the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Check to make sure your chocolate mixture is cooled enough to mix with the eggs. Slowly add the chocolate mixture in. Beat on medium-low for two minutes, until the batter begins to come together. At first it will seem thin, like cake batter, but keep beating until it thickens and becomes smooth and glossy. Add 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips and gently stir them in.

Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Even out the batter with a silicone spatula. Stud the top with the remaining 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips and press in slightly.

Bake in the center of a preheated 350ºF oven for 32 to 35 minutes, or until the brownies are set. The top will crack.

Cool on a wire rack; remove the cooled brownies from the pan by gripping the foil edges and lifting the brownies out as a whole.

Yield: 16 servings (I totally laughed when I read that. 16 servings from an 8×8 pan? Yeah right. Try 9, maybe. Or heck even just 4. I’m all about moderation.)

*If you are not gluten-free and don’t have any special flours on hand, I am quite confident that you could use regular flour. I don’t think it would change anything at all.