So there was a baby shower a few weeks ago! My brother and his wife, Megs, are expecting their first baby. What is really exciting is we don’t know if its a boy or girl. This makes waiting all that much harder. Baby’s due date is still still a few weeks away.
The baby shower was decidedly girly and frilly. Pretty tables, flowers, pastries and cupcakes … and as I watched my daughter bounce around the room gathering entries for door prizes, it occurred to me if little baby K is a boy, this very well may be the last chance Megs has to have a girly party. Traditional baby showers are girly and frilly. Perhaps to give the mom-to-be that last girly send-off.
Not saying there will or won’t be future children, it’s just that you never know what life will bring you. And life very well can bring boys. And I am certainly not saying that there is anything wrong with boys. I love every grubby inch of my guy. But early motherhood is anything but frilly. Even with girl babies. Still, in the event that a boy is in the future, there will be no need for pastries. Parties for boys are decidedly not frilly. Boy parties involve action figures and bulldozers. Dinosaurs and legos. Boy parties would not have raspberry crumb bars. Mud pies maybe. But pretty little pastries filled with raspberry preserves, not likely.
(Despite saying this, you will be hard pressed to find a boy who will not try to sneak one of these when no one is looking. With dusty, dirty little fingers too. Likely right out of the freezer.)
So without further ado, here is the recipe for these pretty, frilly baby-shower treats.
If you were to look in my pantry you might be surprised to know that gluten-free baking is really not my thing. I don’t usually worry about gluten and have no real reason to be worried about it. But in my pantry I have all the weird and unusual ingredients that usually go with gluten-free things – coconut flour, sorghum flour, xantham gum, brown rice flour. I just love the feeling that I can make anything on a whim. I like being well stocked. So I tend to grab things when I’m out shopping that I might have seen in a recipe once, somewhere because you-never-know-when-you-might-need-it.
This recipe comes from Gulten-Free Goddess, with few modifications, you can find her original recipe here. For those of you who are concerned with gluten-free and are looking for more recipes, I whole heartily recommend her site. If if full. FULL. of amazing recipes – many of which are vegan too.
Yields 24-30 squares
These treats are vegan and gluten-free. Very sweet and rich, cut them small.
- 1 cup ground almond flour
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 cup Earth Balance stick
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 500 ml jar of raspberry preserves (you will use about 3/4 of it, or 400 ml)
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 tablespoons Earth Balance
- 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2/3 cup sliced almonds
- 4 tablespoons Earth Balance
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.
- Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Leave a bit of overhang on at least two sides to make it easy for pull the bars out later.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine the flours, sugar, xanthan gum, salt and spices. Cut in the Earth balance and vanilla (GFG's technique to use the whisk attachment of a standmixer really does work well here). Dough should be crumbly but will stick together when you press it between your fingers.
- Dump the dough into the prepared baking pan and press it out evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for about 7 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack to cool a bit. Keep the oven heated.
- In a bowl, combine the sorghum flour and brown sugar. Add the vanilla and cut in the Earth Balance. Rub together with your hands to create crumbs. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pan, melt the vegan butter and white sugar. Add the flaked coconut, sliced almonds and vanilla and stir to coat. Remove from heat and set aside.
- While the crust is still a bit warm, spoon on the raspberry jam and spread evenly using the back of a spoon, up to the edges- leaving about 1/4-inch bare crust on all sides.
- Sprinkle on the crumb topping, then sprinkle on the coconut-almond topping and spread it evenly over the top.
- Bake at 350 for 22-24 minutes. The raspberry jam will bubble and the crumble topping will turn golden brown. The bars will continue to set as they cool.
- Allow the bars to cool completely before removing from the pan to cut into squares. I allowed the bars to cool completely and then put the whole pan in the freezer. To cut from frozen allow the bars to sit for about 10 minutes then slice with a heavy and sharp knife. Leftovers freeze well for several weeks.