… Warning: These are Addicting!
These gluten-free, dairy-free Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chip Bars are chewy, nutty, and smacking of coconut-y goodness. I’m still trying to tame my insatiable desire for coconut … really don’t know where that’s coming from either. These bars might just take care of it, but if they don’t, I’ll get fat trying! (I better use that airtight container I suggest storing them in – and then have someone else hide it from me! Maybe they should hide the recipe too!) Enjoy! 😀
P.S. If you’re not on the coconut-craving ride that I’m on, you can certainly reduce the amount, or eliminate it altogether if coconut is an allergen-trigger for you. Likewise with the pecans. These are just plain delicious bars!
Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chip Bars
Baking time: 25-30 minutes
Oven temp: 375ºF 18-20 minutes, then 350ºF 8-12 minutes
1 1/2 cups (180g) ground oat flour – I use Bob’s Red Mill GF Oats (quick cooking or old fashioned, it doesn’t seem to make a difference)
1 1/3 cups (165g) gluten-free all-purpose flour – I use Authentic Foods Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend
1 teaspoon guar gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
10 ounces chocolate chips – I use Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mini Chips
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2/3 cup pecans – or use nuts of your choice
1/3 cup margarine – I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread – soy free
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs or 1/3 cup Egg Beaters or egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 Tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Toast pecans in a dry, cast iron skillet on the stove, over medium heat. Toss frequently to prevent burning. Alternatively, you can place pecans in a baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes. Pecans are toasted when they have a beautiful, warm, nutty fragrance. Set aside to cool, then chop.
Combine flours, guar gum, baking soda and salt in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to mix thoroughly. Add chocolate chips, 1/2 cup coconut, and pecans. Stir to distribute well. Set aside.
Add the margarine, oil, and sugars to stand mixer, or use a hand mixer. Mix on medium speed until well blended and sugars begin to dissolve. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium-high until smooth and air is slightly incorporated. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. On low, mix dough until thoroughly blended. Continue mixing on low to medium speed until chocolate chips are well distributed. Don’t over mix. Sometimes I even do this by hand, which seems to give the bars a good rise.
Rest dough in bowl for ten minutes before baking. This allows the guar gum and flours to further absorb the moisture and “bloom” to the right texture. If you don’t let the dough rest, the bars will bake up rather flat.
Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with a sheet of parchment paper large enough for a bit of it to overlap the 2 long sides of the pan. This makes it easy to remove the entire pan of bars, uncut, at one time.
Fill parchment with dough and push down gently until evenly distributed. Sprinkle 2-3 Tablespoons coconut over the top and gently press to stick to dough.
Bake at 375ºF, on center rack in oven, for 18 minutes. Loosely cover pan with a sheet of foil (simply drape over the top of pan without wrapping down sides), reduce heat to 350ºF and bake an additional 8-12 minutes. The bars should be golden on top and slightly resist pressure when pressed in center. They may even begin to slump just a tiny bit in the center when done. If they yield a fair amount but the top is golden brown, the inside center is not quite cooked yet.
Remove pan from oven, remove foil, and place on cooling rack. Allow to cool and “set” about 15 minutes. Using the overhang of the parchment paper, gently lift the block of bars onto a cooling rack and continue cooling. These bars can be cut while warm, but the cut much better when completely cooled. Store thoroughly cooled bars in an airtight container.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™
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