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Paleo-ish Delish Dishes, Meal Prep Tips, and Lifestyle Ish.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cookie Bar

Check out those flavor layers!  (Image by Katie)

Check out those flavor layers!  (Image by Katie)

It's been a while since I've spent some time on this little blog. It always happens like this. Just when you get into the routine of writing and posting and creating, life likes to pull you away to handle more pressing tasks like work and vacations and chores and soon you're forgetting all about your little blog in the corner of the internet. And it's difficult to return to a project that asks for so much of your time and begs for your attention. And the further away you veer, the harder it is to return. And then you begin to feel sorry for yourself and your little blog as you remember a time when you had time to pay attention and create. You begin to mourn the loss of your creative self as it plunges deeper into obscurity, buried under work and vacation and chores. But sometimes all it takes to fire up the creative engines again is a text from a wonderful friend that reads, "Still on for later today baking and hangin?"

I met the woman on the other side of this course-correcting, permission-for-creativity granting text at some time in some place that seems so inconsequential now. She is the kind of friend that appears out of nowhere, fully armed to provide the right kind of friendship and the right time. She has so much exuberance for baking and sharing and community, and it fully manifests in the treats she makes. She cares so deeply and believes in your potential so fully that it's enough to kick your self-doubts in the face.

Her name is Katie, and she made this recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Cookie Bar that will BLOW YOUR FREAKING MIND. She also has this wonderful site called The Fancy Duckling where you can get to know her other fantastic gluten-free creations.

I encourage you to invite the Katie in your life to come over and bake these with you this weekend. And give yourself permission to get creative again.

Ingredients:

For the Cookie Layer:

  • 1 Cup Earth Balance (or butter)
  • 2 Cups Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Tsp. Butterscotch Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 ½ Cups Gluten Free Flour (see earlier post)
  • 2 ¾ Tsp. Xanthan Gum
  • 1 Tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ Tsp. Salt

For the Jam Layer:

  • 1 20oz Jar of Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

For the Crumb Topping:

  • ¼ Cup Gluten Free Flour 
  • ¾ Cup Nut Flour (almond, coconut, or a blend will work ~ if you don’t have or like nut flour simply use 1 total Cup of Gluten Free Flour)
  • ½ Cup Earth Balance (or butter)
  • ½ Cup Coconut Sugar
  • ½ Tsp. Salt
  • ½ Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1Tsp. Almond Extract
  • 1 ½  Tsp. Ground Ginger

For the Drizzle:

  • ¼ Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tblsp. Cashew Milk (or any kind of milk)
  • ¼ Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¾ Tsp Almond Extract

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9x13 pan with shortening or butter or Earth Balance.
  3. To make the cookie layer, in a medium-size mixing bowl combine the Flour, Xanthan Gum, Baking Soda, and Salt. Set aside.
  4. Cream together the Earth Balance, Coconut Sugar, Vanilla extract, and Butterscotch extract in your stand mixer, a hand mixer or by hand.
  5. Once combined and slightly fluffy, add the eggs one at a time. Make sure to blend completely before adding the next egg. 
  6. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  7. Pour the mixture evenly into the pan.
  8. Scoop the jam onto the mixture and gently cover the entire top.
  9. To make the crumb topping, in a medium-size mixing bowl combine all the ingredients. Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your hands to mix all the ingredients. The topping should be slightly wet and sandy once combined.
  10. Crumble on top of the jam layer.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes.
  12. Once removed, the bars will look undercooked and wobbly. This is ok!
  13. Allow the pan to cool to room temperature.
  14. Once cooled to room temperature, put in fridge for at least an hour.
  15. While the bars are in the fridge, make the drizzle by combining the Powdered Sugar, Milk, Vanilla extract and Almond extract. The result should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If too thin, add a little more Powdered Sugar. If too thick, add a touch more milk.
  16. Once the bars are cool, drizzle the mixture on in any pattern your heart desires!
  17. Eat and enjoy!

Note: These are not-so-Paleo. They're Paleo-ish, if you will! But I bet you can swap out some of the ingredients to make them more suitable for a Paleo diet.