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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Brownie Bars - gluten-free, dairy-free & refined sugar-free

My brother, Ben, gave me a challenge to come up with recipes that were dairy and refined sugar-free.  (There was a whole other list of requirements, as he had a big school project related to food he was working on)  Granted, he didn't specify brownies, but I was curious about using coconut flour and honey within a brownie, since I find coconut flour brings a natural sweetness to a recipe.   These aren't like normal brownies, they're not rich and gooey like a normal brownie (if you want that, go for my marshmallow brownie recipe or my best chocolate cake/brownie EVER recipe).  But we've found they're a surprisingly fun and healthy alternative to normal brownies.  They cut perfectly cleanly and hold together so well, you can pick them up by hand without them crumbling apart.  I found they're a good alternative to those horrid gluten-free bars you can buy at the store, and would work well in a lunch for a snack/treat.  Because of that, I'm calling them brownie bars. Enjoy!

Look at that clean cut - I just used a butter knife, too!

Brownie Bars – dairy-free and refined sugar-free

Preheat oven to 325F.  Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper.
1/4 cup cocoa powder (the sweeter, the better)
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt
scraped insides of 1/2 vanilla bean pod (This is easy, just slice longwise and scrap out the insides with a spoon) OR 1 tsp vanilla bean paste OR 1 tsp vanilla extract
Add and mix in:
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
Add and mix in:
4 eggs
Pour into prepared pan.  
Bake @325F for 25-30 minutes.
Serve with strawberries (I defrosted some and chopped them up) and whipped coconut milk sweetened with honey, if desired. (Use the thick part of the coconut milk and whip like you would heavy cream.  Add honey to taste, or just mix some thick coconut milk with honey for sweetness ).

If you are OK with dairy, you can pop some whipped cream on top.
Brownie with strawberries and cream. They were a hit!

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