Monday, January 28, 2013

Desserted Island Bars

aka Gluten Free Magic Cookie Bars

 Jinkies!  I feel like I've been gone for a million years!  Your not going to believe this but Veronica and I were ship wrecked on a desserted island and we had to survive for months with nothing to eat but coconuts and pecans and chocolate chips! 

What?  You don't believe that?  OK, your right, I made that up.  But I like the idea of a dessert island! 

So anyway...

Ma was cleaning the pantry and came upon a can of sweetened condensed milk. The expiration date was a couple months ago but mere numbers on a can don't frighten me! I decided to throw caution to the wind and use that expired can of sweetened condensed milk and make some bars!  Desserted Island Bars, with coconuts and pecans and chocolate chips.  See, my story is kind of true!

A word of warning:  Sweetened condensed milk has a very high lactose content, so if your lactose intolerant like me, you may want to avoid these or make sure you take a lactase pill or 6 before eating them!  Or even better, make your own lactose free sweetened condensed milk out of coconut milk.  It's really easy to make. The recipe is at the bottom of the page.

Desserted Island Bars
aka Gluten Free Magic Cookie Bars
For the crust:
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (more or less, I didn't measure accurately)
  • 1 1/2 cup almond meal (or ground nuts of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal (or add an additional 1/4 cup nut meal)
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Truvia (or add an additional 3 tablespoons sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour (optional)
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put the coconut oil in a 9x13 pan and heat in the oven until melted.  Swirl the melted oil around the pan until the pan is coated.  In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.  Add it to the oil in the pan and mix until it looks like crumbs.  Pat it down in the pan and bake 10-15 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown around the edges and smells wonderfully toasty nutty.  Remove from oven and cool completely.

For the topping:
  • 1 can or recipe (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk 
  • 2 cups (12 oz package) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk all over the cooled crust.  Evenly sprinkle the remaining ingredients over the top and gently pat it down.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until it starts to turn golden brown around the edges.  Cool completely and cut into bars.  Enjoy!  Store at room temperature.

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
  •  2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk (full fat!)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or sweetener of your choice; honey, maple syrup, palm sugar...)
Bring the coconut milk to a simmer in a heavy pot.  Stir in the sugar and mix well.  Continue simmering and stirring until it is reduced by half.  This will take about an hour.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  You can store this in the fridge, covered tightly, for about a week.

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