It is fall and for the sake of not using pumpkin…I’m giving apple some time to shine.
My Mom was up visiting me a couple of weeks ago and her and I share a love of all things sweet. My family has been known to have quite the sweet tooth, never finishing a meal without something “candy-like”. I had a friend who was dealing with family hard ship and wanted to make a meal for her; and to round it off…desert! I remember watching an episode of “Pioneer Woman” and remembered her “Strawberry Oatmeal Bars” recipe and decided to give it a try. With my Mom’s help, we made Ree’s dessert gluten free, refined sugar free, and delicious!
Don’t go! I’ll get to my point!
Today was a great rainy, fall day; perfect for baking. I was craving something sweet. Recipe rebel took charge and I decided to tweak the recipe even more and make it my “own” I replaced part of the butter with coconut oil and peanut butter
I used coconut palm sugar in place of the brown sugar, the end result will be drier but in my opinion, brown sugar pales in comparison to the caramel-like taste of coconut sugar.
I added cinnamon and pieces of candied ginger, (because fall and apple screams for a buddy like ginger)
Instead of using flour and oats, I replaced mine with a gluten free flour blend and gluten free oats, (this one is really important in our world)!
Mixed all of the ingredients together in a bowl until it looked like the topping to a crisp
I prepared a 9×9 baking dish with coconut oil and pressed half of the “crumble” mixture into the bottom of the pan.
Instead of strawberry jam I used apple butter.
I think the next time around I will go heavier on the apple butter, but spread it so it creates a layer of butter over the surface of the bottom layer. Add the other half of “crumble” mixture and press down. Put in a 350 oven for ~ 40 minutes and wait for the smell of apple, peanut butter, and cinnamon to fill up your entire house!
Once the bars are golden brown, remove from oven and allow them to cool.
Cut into bars and serve =) remember that they will be “crumbly”, but the mess is so worth the flavor. You get heat from the ginger, sweet from the apple butter, and a hint of salt from the peanut butter…it’s a match made in heaven.
- 1 1/2 C. gluten free flour blend
- 1 1/2 C. gluten free oats
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. candied ginger, finely chopped
- 1/2 C. all-natural peanut butter, ( I prefer chunky)
- 1/4 C. coconut oil
- 8 oz. apple butter
- Preheat oven to 350
- Grease 9 in. x 9 in. and set aside
- Combine peanut butter and coconut butter in heat-proof container and melt until "pourable"
- In large bowl, combine all dry ingredients
- Pour peanut butter/oil mixture over top of dry ingredients, mix until it looks like topping for crisp
- Pour half of "crumble" mixture in bottom of 9 x 9 pan and press down firmly
- Spread apple butter over bottom layer of crumb mixture, careful how you spread it will pull up bottom layer
- Top with remaining crumb mixture, pressing down to form together
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown
- Let cool before cutting and serving
- This is a messy dessert! be prepared to serve it in a bowl with some vanilla coconut milk ice-cream
- Cool in fridge before cutting to make it hold together better