CASHEW LIME (NOT-SO-BLONDIE) BARS

November 5, 2016

We’re going on a road trip! To get the best IPA’s in the world according to B. Brian makes frequent trips to Treehouse with his friends but I’ve never been so you could imagine how excited I was when he asked me!!

These cashew bars are inspired by Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s recipe from her new cookbook, Alternative Baker. Her book of sweets is based on alternative gluten-free flours I don’t normally bake with so I adapted her recipe a bit to use what I had on hand. However chestnut, sweet white rice, and buckwheat flour is just an Amazon-Prime-2-day-shipping-click-away and I can’t wait to experiment!

I may have saved myself a meltdown (or 2) if I had read Alanna’s gluten-free cookie making tips prior to jumping the gun and swapping oat flour 1:1. I would have learned that most gluten-free flours are delicate and need something ‘sticky’ to hold them together. If I followed the recipe, I would have beautiful blondies the first time, and not 2 pans of (delicious) oat crumbs.

The third and final time I attempted these bars I decided I was NOT messing around and used my trusty gluten-free all purpose mix from Trader Joe’s in place of the delicate oat flour. I’ve used this blend of rice flours 1:1 in place of traditional APF many times in the past with success so I was confident my bars would hold up this time.

Things I learned from Alanna’s book + this god awful baking experiment:
1. Oat flour is sensitive. It needs a friend to keep it together. Try tapioca flour, ground flax or chia seed.
2. Do not replace maple syrup 1:1 with sugar, it is wet, you idiot.
3. 2 eggs = cake.
4. Coconut sugar makes your blondies look like brownies. So…bars.
5. The cooling stage is (almost) as important as the baking phase. Hands off.

CASHEW LIME BARS

1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz. white chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup cashew pieces
Zest of 2 limes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil and line with parchment paper. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl, set aside. Cream oil and sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix again until combined. Reduce speed and add dry ingredients in batches until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in chocolate pieces, cashews, and lime zest. Spread mixture into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out with few crumbs. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before lifting from pan and cutting into 16 squares.

Makes 16 bars

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