Tuesday, December 27, 2011

after Christmas photos and recipe

Hope you had a happy Christmas.  praise the Lord for a time to set aside work and focus on the gift of salvation.  

didn't get any gift opening on film (is that phrase acceptable since i have a digital camera?) but here's a shot of the boys watching "a bugs life" and using their new floor pillows.  i got them the same color thinking that would solve the problem of "i want that color!"  however they seem to think there is some kind of difference and thus, the one their brother has must be theirs.  sigh... i just can't win.  :)

made these for Christmas with the family.  they are gluten free Raspberry Coconut Almond Cream Cheese bars.  i based it on a recipe i found here that sounded so good, but after reading through it i felt i wanted to make a few changes to better suite my preferences.  because, while some people may prefer to cook vegan (as the original recipe is), i happen to love cream cheese and thought that it would fit happily in this recipe (along with a few other, non vegan tweeks)

Raspberry Coconut Almond Cream Cheese bars

1 c. ground hazelnut or almond flour*
1/2 c. sorghum or brown rice flour
1/4 c. coconut flour
1/4 c. tapioca starch/flour
1 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 t. xanthan gum
1/2 t. fine sea salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1/8 t. nutmeg

cut in...
3/4 c. shortening or coconut oil
1 t. vanilla 
2 eggs

*i priced almond flour and found it to be way beyond my budget, so i simply tossed a bunch of whole not-roasted almonds into my food processor (you can also use a clean coffee bean grinder) and let it run until it was a fine sandy consistency.  just be sure to watch it and stop while it's still powdery, otherwise the oils will start to come out and you will be left with homemade almond butter, not flour.

press your crust into a greased 9x13 pan and bake it at 350 for about 7 minutes, just to "set" it.  once crust is done, set aside and leave the oven on.  

about 10 oz. raspberry jam (i like using the unseeded kind)

cream cheese filling:
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 t. vanilla
1/3 c. powdered sugar

combine cream cheese filling ingredients and beat until smooth

crumble topping:
1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
4-5 T. butter 

cut in butter until mixture is crumbly

coconut topping:
1 c. coconut flakes 
2/3 c. sliced or chopped almonds 
4 t. coconut oil or butter
1/2 t. vanilla

melt coconut oil or butter, add other ingredients and stir to coat.

assemble bars:
while the crust is still warm, spoon on jam and spread around.  next, scoop cream cheese filling on top of jam and spread around as well.  

sprinkle with crumble topping and then coconut topping.  

bake at 350 for 27-30 minutes, until mostly set in the middle and lightly browned on top.  let rest in pan as it will continue to firm in the middle.  after cooled, cut into pieces and remove from pan. 

i think these bars would freeze well, though mine were gone before i could try.  :)  

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