… Kissed With Amaretto and Chocolate Ganache!
Gluten-free, dairy-free shortbread creates a buttery crust, then is topped with strawberry jam, a drizzle of Disaronno Amaretto and chocolate ganache, and dressed with a shortbread almond oatmeal crumble topping. Melt in your mouth Valentine’s Day bars full of seductive flavors. What’s not to love?
This recipe was inspired by an episode of Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network Channel … then completely revamped to fit a gluten-free, dairy-free diet … with a couple extra embellishments. I wonder if Ina Garten could tell the difference. I know it works perfectly well for me … too well … I’m addicted!
These bars are delicious at room temperature, but I especially love them chilled. I wrap them loosely in wax paper inside a resealable container, then keep them in the fridge. I pretend to tell myself that this way they will last longer, you know – out of sight, out of mind – but I think I’m just kidding myself! They’re delicious, oh so delicious, with a latte that’s been kissed with unsweetened cocoa powder and cinnamon. “Bar the doors, Alice! She’s going in for more!”
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Strawberry Shortbread Crumble Bars
Bake time: 40-45 minutes
Oven temp: 350ºF
Rest time: about an hour
1 2/3 cups (200g) gluten-free all-purpose flour – I use Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend
2/3 cup blanched almond flour – I use Honeyville Farms
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dairy-free margarine – I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread – soy free
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 10-ounce jar all-fruit strawberry jam (any red-berry jam is delicious) – I use Polaner’s All Fruit with Fiber
1-2 teaspoons Disaronno Amaretto (optional)
1/3 cup chocolate ganache (see below for recipe)
2/3 cup gluten-free quick oats – I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Quick Cooking Oats
1/3 cup sliced almonds
P.S. This recipe does not include guar gum or xanthan gum intentionally. Not needed.
Preheat oven to 375ºF (you’ll reduce the heat to 350ºF when you place the bars in the oven.)
Line a 9×9 inch baking dish with parchment paper, allowing for the paper to extend over the edges a bit so the entire batch of bars (pre-slicing) can be lifted out at one time.
Combine a-p flour and almond flour in a small bowl. Set aside.
Beat margarine and sugar with an electric mixer until well combined. Add almond extract.
Stir in flour mixture gradually on low speed of mixer, until just combined.
Remove 2/3 portion of the shortbread dough and press it into the parchment-lined baking dish. Bake for five minutes at 375ºF.
Stir strawberry jam and amaretto together.
Spread the baked shortbread with jam/amaretto mixture. Drizzle about 3 Tablespoons chocolate ganache over the jam.
Stir oats and almonds into the remaining shortbread dough. Crumble with fingertips and drop loosely over the jam and chocolate ganache. It doesn’t have to cover it completely. Gently pat down (no need to press) the crumble mixture just to ensure it is touching the jam, but not to create a smooth layer. The crumbled texture really adds to the eye appeal of these bars.
Drizzle what’s remaining from your 1/3 cup chocolate ganache over the top of the crumble.
Bake at 350ºF (remember to reduce oven temp now) for 40-45 minutes (ovens vary), or until crumble is lightly browned.
Cool bars in baking dish on cooling rack for about 10 minutes, just long enough for them to set up and not be too soft when transferring parchment paper. When ready, remove from pan by pulling up on the parchment paper, place on cooling rack another 30 minutes or so. Slice and remove from parchment to continue cooling completely.
Store in an airtight container either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
1 10-ounce bag Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
Combine whipping cream and chocolate chips over a double boiler. Allow chocolate to melt slowly. Stir occasionally to combine chocolate and cream, until the ganache is smooth and creamy. Don’t over stir or too much air will be incorporated and make the mixture fluffy. Remove from double boiler and allow to cool slightly. Use in the recipe above when the ganache is still pourable but not a thin liquid.
Store, when cooled, in a resealable jar or container. Keep in fridge until ready for use. Easily melted in the microwave for just a few seconds.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™