This blog is all about Food. Real Food. Food that Nourishes, Heart and Soul.

Real Ingredients, Organic and Locally sourced whenever and where ever possible, shared with love.

No packages, no ingredients that are impossible to pronounce.

Real, honest food, from my kitchen to yours. Enjoy!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Grain Free Dried Cherry Walnut Espresso Bars

These bars (and numerous variations thereof) have been floating around my house for what seems like eons and I am so excited to finally share them with you! I baked numerous batches on the BBQ this summer (my oven heats up my house like crazy, even if the air is on, so I avoid it like the plague during the hottest times) and I knew the flavour was bang on. But the BBQ tends to bake on the hot side, even turned to low, and they were coming out dry. Worth the effort… but drier than I wanted them to be. Now that the cooler weather is here, and my oven is back to being a productive member of my household, I was able to bake these bars at a more appropriate temperature, and I can finally share the yumminess with you all!

Luckily the multiple test batches allowed me to play with the dried fruit/nut combo, and this is the one that we all like the best (although the cranberry/ pecan were a close runner up!) The espresso accents the chocolate, and compliments the bitter and sweet of the dried cherries and walnuts. I have used both our espresso machine and a French press to brew the espresso.   Strong coffee would be an OK substitute, but if you choose to leave it out altogether, be sure to add in another ½ cup liquid to the batter.

Grain Free Dried Cherry Walnut Espresso Bars

6 tbsp ground espresso beans
1 cup boiling water
1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
¼ cup arrowroot flour
½ cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla powder (or extract)
2/3 cup coconut sugar
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ cup softened coconut oil
½ cup kefir (sub yogurt or sour cream if desired)

Add ins:
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)

Preheat oven to 375F

Line a 9X13 glass baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a French press, place ground espresso beans and boiling water. Set aside.
Measure all other ingredients (EXCEPT for the espresso and the add ins) into a large mixing bowl. Mix well with an immersion blender, scraping down the sides as needed.

At this point, pour your espresso from your French press into a half cup measure. Discard the rest. (or enjoy it yourself if you are so inclined!)
Mix into the batter with the immersion blender until well combined.
Stir in your add ins and mix well with a spatula. 
Scrape evenly into the parchment lined pan, smooth the top and bake in preheated oven for 27-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out moist but clean. Try not to over bake.
Using the edges of the parchment, lift the cooked bars from the glass pan and set them  on a wire rack. Cool, cut and store as desired. (We wrap them and store in the freezer for quick grab and go snacks)

Chop walnuts carefully with  knife if they are large pieces

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