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Monday, March 24, 2014

Low-sugar, Flour-free Almond Bars



I'm embarking on a new effort to reduce my intake of starch and sugar.  It's been a challenge, to say the least, and is severely cramping my baking habit.  But I found this recipe for almond bars that, while not necessarily sweet, fools my brain into thinking it is.

The first time I made them, I pretty closely followed the original recipe, which resulted in a very dense, fudgy bar.  The second time I made some adjustments that resulted in a more cakey bar.  They're both good.

Fudgey version:
1 cup natural raw almond butter (preferably organic)
1 tablespoon honey or molasses (optional)
1 whole egg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (if using unsalted almond butter)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 square unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

Cakey version:
1 cup natural raw almond butter (preferably organic)
1-2 teaspoons honey or molasses (optional)
2 whole eggs
1/4 cup (approximately) light coconut milk (recommended:  Trader Joe's brand)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (if using unsalted almond butter)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 square unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8″ square pan with butter or coconut oil. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients together until well combined, then fold in the chocolate.  (The fudgey version will be quite thick.  If using coconut milk, add enough to make a thick, brownie-like batter.)  Dollop the batter into the greased pan, and use a spatula to smooth the top.  Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown.  Let cool, then cut into squares.

Cakey version

Cakey version
Conclusion:  While not your typical dessert bar, this has the same mouth feel and all the same flavors of one.  It's moist and rich, and my brain says "Chocolate!"  The coconut milk adds a bit of sweetness as well.
Original recipe:  Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies via The Detoxinista


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