08 December 2012

Content, Conscious Celebrations Wrap-Up

Thank you to those of you who attended the “Content, Conscious Celebrations” class at the Lawrence Headquarters Branch on Friday!  I enjoyed the seminar-style class we had and I hope I sparked your curiosity about vegan- and gluten-free baking.

The piecrust was filled with filling described here.

The pie/tartlet crust my mom made from a recipe found here.

The gingerbread cookies are on this blog.

And the pumpkin caramel blondies are here.

Ownie Mom made the ones pictured above.  I present below my modification for sugar-free bars. When I saw 1 1/2 cups of sugar in the caramel, I said, “Holy s[ugar], that’s a lot of sugar.  I can remake that.”  So I arrived home from work one night and I did.  That much sugar in even a 13*9-inch-sized batch of sweets is too sweet for me; your limits may differ as you are you and I am me.  

Having made agave-based caramel-type filling for Chef Chloe’s Beach Cookies (aka: magic bars), I knew I could dial down sweetness without losing gooeyness.

Pumpkin Caramel Bars

1/4 cup almond slices
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup GF rolled oats
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup dates, soaked overnight and drained
1 cup sliced almonds, soaked overnight and drained
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup almond milk, divided into 1/4 and 1/4
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons tapioca starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a food processor or blender, whiz the topping ingredients together to make small chunks.  Scrape into a bowl and set aside.  Grease an 8*8-inch square pan and set aside.

In the food processor or blender, whiz the oats until they become fine flour.  Mix the flour, coconut, and salt together in a large bowl.  In the machine of your choice, whiz the dates and almonds until they form a moderately chunky goop (date chunks are smaller than 1/3 inch).  Mix the date-almond mixture and melted coconut oil into the flour-coconut mixture and mix well.  Press into the pan and bake for 13 minutes or until slightly browned.  Remove from the oven and raise the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the crust is baking, bring 1/4 cup of almond milk to a boil.  Stir in the agave and pumpkin and return to a boil.  In a small measuring cup whisk the tapioca and the remaining almond milk.  Add the tapioca mixture and the salt to the pumpkin mixture and cook until bubbling thickly.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. 

Pour the filling on top of the crust and top with the topping.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the filling doesn’t jiggle when you gently shake the pan.  Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating.  Chill for four hours or overnight before serving.

With the protein from the nuts and good fat from the coconut, these were a special pre-workout treat this weekend.

Stay tuned on the "Classes and Engagements” tab for my next speaking, demonstration, and tasting events!
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