Cherry Coconut Bars

5 Sep

title IMG_7065s

With a divine shortbread-esque crust, cherry filling, crumble topper, and toasted coconut there is a scrumptious depth of flavor!

Ingredients (9 x 9 baking pan, makes 9 bars):

  • Crust (PLEASE NOTE: You may make these full ‘o gluten by replacing the sorghum flour, coconut flour, and potato starch with 2 Cups WHEAT flour and OMIT the xanthan gum!):
    • 1 1/2 Cups sorghum flour
    • 1 Cup light brown sugar
    • 3/4 Cup virgin coconut oil, solid
    • 1/4 Cup coconut flour
    • 1/4 Cup potato starch
    • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum OR ground chia seeds (OMIT if you are using wheat flour)
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Filling:
    • 1 1/2 Cups cherries (fresh or frozen), washed and mixed
    • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 Tablespoon arrowroot starch (may replace w corn / potato starch) OPTIONAL 1/4 Cup sugar if your fruit is tart (PLEASE NOTE the crust and toppers are plenty sweet as it is, so you may choose to opt out of the sugar even if the fruit is on the tart side!)
      • Don’t have cherries?  Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, apples are all divine substitutions!
  • Crumble:
    • 1/2 Cup sorghum flour (or wheat flour)
    • 1/2 Cup light brown sugar
    • 5 Tablespoons coconut oil, solid
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Coconut Topper with Optional Nuts:
    • 1 Cup flaked unsweetened coconut
    • 2 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil, solid (PLEASE NOTE: if you’re using the optional nuts below, increase to a total of 4 Tablespoons)
    • OPTIONAL: 2/3 Cup slivered almonds or walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large mixing bowl, add your sorghum flour, brown sugar, coconut flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, sea salt, baking powder, and whisk until fully combined.  This is where it gets messy!  I like to mix this by hand as I feel it incorporates the coconut oil more evenly (feel free to use a spatula!) – let’s roll up our sleeves and add the coconut oil.  Work your coconut oil into your dry mix until it’s combined.  Prepare your 9 x 9 baking pan with parchment paper draping over both ends and spray with nonstick spray. Add your crust mix (it will seem “dry”) to your pan and evenly spread out, FIRMLY pressing down into your baking pan.  Pop that in the oven for about 7-10 minutes, until the top just starts to golden. Let cool.
  2. While the crust is baking, let’s make the simple cherry filling.  Add your cherries and lemon juice (sugar, if needed) to a medium-large saucepan on medium heat.  Stir your cherries occasionally.  You’ll notice after about 5 minutes of cooking cherry juice will start to appear. 10 minutes later your cherries will be cooked down.  Whisk in your arrowroot starch and turn off the heat; set aside.
  3. To prepare your crumble topper, add all ingredients to mixing bowl and either use your hands or a spatula to fully incorporate (you’ll want to make sure most of the coconut oil is broken up and not in chunks!); set aside.
  4. To prepare the coconut topper, add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and either use your hands or a spatula to fully incorporate; set aside.
  5. Time to make these cookie bars!  Once your crust is prepared, carefully pour your cooked cherry mix and evenly distribute over the crust; be sure not to press down too firmly.  Try to leave 1/4 – 1/2 inch bare around each edge of the crust; the filling sometimes has a tendency to bubble up and over the pan and make a mess of the oven!  Nobody wants to be spending their afternoon scrubbing an oven 😦 . Sprinkle your crumble topper evenly over the cherries and top everything off with the coconut topper.  Pop that in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, when the coconut starts to golden and the cherry filling is bubbling.  Remove from oven and let cool.  I’ve found it’s easier to cut after the bars have been chilled (then leave out at room temperature for 10 minutes before you cut into them).  Store in an air-tight container in your refrigerator.
  6. Enjoy eating whole!IMG_7065s IMG_7067s IMG_7068s IMG_7069s

One Response to “Cherry Coconut Bars”

  1. bscartabello September 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    Well, these just look incredible. I need to try them asap!

    Thx for sharing the recipe! xx Bianca

    http://thefriendlyfig.com/

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