Sunday, March 22, 2015

Grain Free Pecan Bars Made with Honey and Palm Sugar (An Updated Version)








Happy spring, happy full moon, happy time of energy and change. I need it, I want it, I'm ready for it. I want to be smothered in opportunities and choice and have freak-outs because the things that I want and see for myself are at my finger tips! 

Having James has been tough at times and of course has been an adjustment in big and small ways, but it also just feels right. I have less time and much less gets done, but I love that I'm a mom now and I love being his Mom. I love changing his diaper, kissing his neck, holding him sideways, sitting on the front steps in the new spring sun, listening to the birdies. Really I like that I'm here to just take care of him and help him to be healthy and to grow. There are so many unknowns and it's kind of insane that we're parents now, it's easy for me to sort of take a back seat and just hop on for the ride. But I realized that I shouldn't let any of that hold me back from diving in, loving this whole thing and letting myself be obsessed with him. 

I'm excited to finally post this recipe. These pecan bars began long long ago with this post, inspired by Elana's Pantry's recipe (which I can't seem to find anymore, or maybe they're just in her book). And since then I've made them a bunch, probably more than any other recipe. I made them as a pie with vanilla added to the crust and melted chocolate spread on top. And then I put it all on a chocolate-drizzled chocolate pie! I realized though, that I prefer the pecan pieces smaller, because they blend in better with the caramel. And I like a little extra caramel, so I doubled it from the previous attempts. And lastly, they work really well baked in a 13x9 brownie pan (my pans are metal and not deep—as opposed to using a 13x9 glass baking dish which I think would still work, but I haven't used it). So here we go with that looks like my 4th and dare say final attempt. They're really good. Really, really good. 

Grain Free Pecan Bars Made with Honey and Palm Sugar
makes 15

Crust
4 C blanched almond flour
1/2 C melted butter
1/2 C honey
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips (or any other chocolate that you like)

Topping
1 bag pecan pieces (8 oz bag or about 1 1/2 C, I use Trader Joe's toasted and salted but you can use raw as well)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C melted butter
1/2 C honey
2 T coconut palm sugar
1 T vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a 13x9 brownie pan with a full sheet of parchment paper so that there is extra on the sides (I use this to pull the entire sheet of bars out of the tray after cooling and before slicing)

Make the crust by mixing together the melted butter, honey and salt
Mix in the blanched almond flour and place onto the parchment paper, smoothing our as evenly as possible
Bake around 18-20 minutes until lightly golden brown

Remove from the oven and top with the 1/2 C of chocolate chips, return to the oven and melt for just a minute or two
Then remove from the oven and smooth the melty chips with an offset spatula, knife or spatula

Let all of that cool for a while and make the topping by placing all of the topping ingredients together in a pan on the stove top
Now be super careful! Cook the topping over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbling evenly
Cook another minute or two so that the honey and butter has time to caramelize, and then spoon or pour the mixture on top of the chocolate-covered crust
Let cool, and make sure the pan is cooled, then chill in the fridge for a few hours or over night until the caramel and the crust has set
Run a knife around the edges and use the extra parchment to carefully lift the whole thing out of the pan
Peel down the edges of the parchment paper and then use a big knife to slice the bars in three rows and five columns


1 comment:

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Oh my goodness, Mollie, these bars look absolutely amazing! Must share on my gfe Facebook page and also make soon!

Thanks,
Shirley