My friend Sari and her mom have made these bars for years – they are always the hit of every party, and a staple at their family’s Hanukkah parties. I personally think they are great for any function, but recently they have struck me as a perfect picnic dessert! These bars are easy to pack and carry (they travel well), and they have such a summery flavor! Take them on a picnic, platter and serve them at your next fancy gathering or tea party, or eat them for plain-old-dessert or even as a snack! You won’t be able to resist the sweet raspberry jam sandwiched between the rich buttery bottom crust and the crispy crunchy topping.
I made two versions of this recipe – one was gluten-filled, and the other was gluten-free. The recipe printed below uses regular wheat flour. However, I have listed the gluten-free flour substitutes below, and if you use the ratios that I recommend, then you will end up with a delightful version that will make any tummy happy. Both versions tasted the same, but the gluten-free version bottom crust was a bit more crumbly than the gluten-filled crust. The bars still held together well though, so no worries!
2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 cup Earth Balance margarine
1 cup raspberry jam
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
3 eggs-worth Ener-G Egg Replacer (or other egg replacer of preference)
½ tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
¾ cup dried unsweetened coconut
4 ½ Tblsp. flour
3/4 cup oats
¾ tsp. baking powder
To Make The Crust:
Preheat your oven to 350º F.
Mix 2 cups flour and sugar. Cut in the Earth Balance until it is crumbly. Kneed in bowl until fully combined. Pat dough in an even layer into an ungreased 15×10” pan.
Bake until light brown (about 15-18 minutes).
Let cool for 15 minutes.
Spread jam over slightly warm crust.
Reduce oven to 325º F.
To Make The Topping:
Beat brown sugar, egg replacer, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add nuts, coconut, flour, oats, baking powder, and salt and stir.
Spread evenly over jam.
Bake until top is brown and center is firm to the touch (about 35 minutes).
Let pan cool and firm up, then slice into squares to serve.
***Gluten-Free Flour Substitutions***
Use Instead of the Wheat Flour in the Bottom Crust:
1 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tsp. xanthan gum
Use Instead of the Wheat Flour and Oats in the Topping:
4 ½ Tblsp. white rice flour
3/4 cup gluten-free oats