Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate-Dipped Coconut-Almond Bars
I am a self-confessed snacker. Some may even call me an all-day grazer. Ever since I first laid my eyes on a KIND bar at Starbucks, it became my afternoon addiction along with coffee. Eventually, I ordered them online by the box. I’d toss them in my canvas bag just in case I got hungry on the subway or lying on the grass in the park. My kids gradually caught on, tasted the bars and there we were fighting for the last bar in the 12-count box. That’s when I knew I needed to make them myself.
Plus, I like a good recipe challenge! After all, that’s how I started re-building Isaiah’s repertoire of pancakes, cookies, pasta, bread and so much more—all gluten-free and dairy-free. My technique is straightforward: First, I study the ingredients on the label (for this recipe, I looked at the coconut-almond bars, which are Isaiah’s favorite flavor). Then, comes the often painstaking trial-and-error process—the only way to truly achieve the desired taste and texture.
At one point I thought I nailed the recipe only to be disappointed when the bars cooled completely and they were still gooey on the bottom—a fatal recipe flaw. Luckily, my professional baking experiences brought me my solution: I cut the bars into rectangles and just like you would double-bake biscotti, I placed the cut bars gooey-side up on a wire rack set on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and baked them in a low temperature oven. It was a nut bar miracle made in the oven and I’m forever hooked.
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For ingredient substitutions, please see the detailed chart at GLUTEN-FREE 101.
Let’s get cooking,
Makes: Eight 1½-inch bars
¾ cup sliced raw almonds
¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup coarsely chopped raw whole almonds
1/3 cup gluten-free rice cereal, such as Erewhon
¼ cup brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons honey
Dairy-free semisweet chocolate, tempered (learn how to temper)
1. Preheat the oven to 325º and grease a 10-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with gluten-free cooking spray. Line the pan with overhanging parchment paper to easily remove the bars.
2. Add the sliced almonds, shredded coconut, chopped almonds, rice cereal, brown rice syrup and honey to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine and evenly coat.
3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and using a greased piece of parchment paper, press down firmly to spread evenly. Bake for 12 minutes; let completely cool.
4. Preheat the oven to 250º. Remove from the pan and cut evenly into
8 bars. Place, gooey-side up, on a wire rack set over a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake until almost dry to the touch, about 15 minutes.
5. Slightly dip each bar bottom into the tempered chocolate, letting any excess drip off. Place on parchment paper, chocolate-side down; let set, at least 1 hour.
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- 3 days ago by silvananardone