Grain-Free Vegan Cookie Bars

You know that saying, “best laid plans?” Well, that’s how things have been going around here lately. It’s December 5th and I haven’t made a single Christmas cookie.

Well, strike that. I made a raw cranberry almond pinwheel cookie. Um….no.

Anyway, this was going to be my post for the Secret Recipe Club. My reveal day isn’t for another 2 weeks. I was ahead of the game! I let the kiddo pick what he wanted us to make, and we got to baking. I let him make all the choices. And, by the end, we had something totally delicious. And totally, completely, unlike the original recipe, which was supposed to be a blondie.

Oops. Best laid plans….

These turned out dense and chewy and a whole lot like those date nut bars I remember from when I was a kid – the ones where you throw in a little of this and a little of that and come out with a chocolately, nutty, scrumptious thing.

Except this one doesn’t have any dates.

Anyway, it means I get to post this completely not holiday-esque, completely not Secret Recipe Club recipe today, instead of making you all wait 2 weeks.

That’s a bright side, right?

Magic, in a bar

Magic, in a bar (too bad I don't have magic sunlight for the photo)

Grain-Free Vegan Magic Bars

1/2 cup (96 g.) palm shortening
1 cup palm sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
1 T. ground flax seed
1 T. psyllium husk powder
2 t. vanilla
1 1/4 cups (150 g.) almond meal
1/4 cup (28 g.) sifted coconut flour
1/4 cup (30 g.) arrowroot starch
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup salted cashews
1/4 cup unsalted almonds

Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, beat the shortening and sugar with a hand mixer until creamy. Mix the boiling water with the flax seed and psyllium powder. It will be very thick. Add it to the shortening and sugar and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the almond meal, coconut flour, arrowroot starch, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and cashews.

Spread the mixture into the greased pan. Press the almonds into the top of the dough.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Cool completely before cutting. (It will be very crumbly while warm and will become quite solid and chewy after cooling.)

Try this with whatever mix-ins you like. Coconut, other nuts, white chocolate, craisins, etc.

This may be more than slightly indulgent, but ’tis the season, right? Check out Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

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25 Responses to Grain-Free Vegan Cookie Bars

  1. Oh man, these look goooood. Sunlight or not, I can almost TASTE them through that photo.

  2. I haven’t made bars in ages. Something grain-free was just what I was looking for. Will definitely give these ones a go very soon (and report back!).

    • Deanna says:

      Yah, we used to make tollhouse bars all the time, in the pre-GF days. These could definitely fill that role. But, I can’t make them too often. I’m eating way too much!

  3. Natalie says:

    These look awesome! Thanks for a great recipe.

  4. Well, yum! These look like a healthy treat. I don’t think I’ve seen/used half the ingredients, but now I’m certainly inspired to…

    • Deanna says:

      They’re not THAT unusual, are they? Okay, psyllium husks aren’t a standard ingredients. But, they’re available in drug stores everywhere. :)

  5. Nola says:

    Really? Palm shortening? Am I wrong in thinking this is one of the products responsible for deforestation and habitat destruction as rainforest is bulldozed and burnt for palm plantations? Please say it aint so…..

  6. international law firm says:

    I want to make some mutigrain cookies, something like cookiehead cookies. My daughter is allergic to milk, wheat & eggs.

    I have:
    7 grain cereal (gluten free)
    Almond milk
    Vegan margarine
    Organic vegan cocoa powder
    Vegan chocolate chips

    I also have flax seed, if you think I’d need something for egg replacement/binding. I just have no idea how much of everything to put in.

    • Deanna says:

      I’m honestly not sure if you’re a real person or spammer (international law firm). But, in case you’re a real person…. What is the 7 grain cereal like? Is it a flour kind of thing? You’d need something floury to hold them together.

  7. Ricki says:

    I’m going to try these with coconut oil and will let you know how they work. So excited to have a use for my psyllium–ha ha!

    • Deanna says:

      You know, I bought the psyllium when testing recipes for Iris @ The Daily Dietribe. Of course I was _supposed_ to buy whole husks and bought the powder by mistake. So now I’m playing with the powder in other recipes. *shakes head*

      I think I like it, though. I think it has much better stick than flax or chia, and you don’t see it or taste it in the finished product.

  8. Kalinda says:

    Hi Deanna,

    I write a weekly gluten-free, vegetarian recipe roundup. It goes out every Friday. The format is pretty basic: name of site, link to a specific recipe, and photo underneath. I plan to include these magic bars this week. If it’s OK with you, I’d be happy to include a picture from the post. I think people are more interested in recipes if they can see a picture. But, I always like to ask first. Just send me an email and let me know if that’s OK.

    Thanks,
    Kalinda

  9. Pingback: Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Roundup: An Eclectic Bunch This Week

  10. Cara says:

    Ooooooo, secrets! Do tell me tell, what is the Secret Recipe Club???

  11. Pingback: Weekly Gluten-Free Roundup – December 11, 2011 « Celiac Kitchen Witch

  12. Alta says:

    These look GOOD! Don’t you love using psyllium husks to help hold everything together?

  13. Pingback: Coco-nut Pro Bars | The Mommy Bowl

  14. Victoria says:

    7 pages to print the recipe?

  15. airynd says:

    These look great! Thanks for sharing.

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