Saturday, December 10, 2016

Gluten-free Cranberry Bliss-ish Bars

Often, instead of developing my own recipe, I'll redevelop someone else's. There are already several GF versions of cranberry bliss bars out there, so it's not like the world needs another one. Or, maybe the world does. You can never have too much bliss, right?

I started with Cookin' Diva's glutenacious recipe on I took her suggestion to reduce the sugar, and instead of regular white and brown, I used a combo of organic sugar and molasses. I used my new favorite GF blend, Premium Gold. I added a pinch more xanthan gum than was already in the flour, plus a pinch more baking powder than the recipe called for.  Then, to further lower the sugar count as well as the effort, I skipped the melted white chocolate on top and the grated orange rind.

For the bars:
2 sticks very soft butter
188 grams organic sugar
12 grams molasses
3 large eggs
2 tsp orange extract
224 grams Premium Gold flour blend or GF flour blend of choice 
a pinch of xanthan gum (more if your GF blend does not already include it)
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
scant 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries, lightly chopped if not already sliced/chopped
3/4 cup dairy free or regular white chocolate chips

2 ounces vegan or regular cream cheese
18 grams butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp orange extract
200-230 grams organic powdered sugar
optional: 2 tsp - 1 tbsp non-dairy creamer or milk

Extra dried cranberries, sliced or chopped

Make the bars:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350, line a 10X15 jelly roll pan with parchment, then spray the parchment with coconut oil. 
  2. Mix butter, sugar, and molasses in stand mixer or with hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time to incorporate,
  4. Add extract.
  5. Mix flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, ginger, and salt in a small bowl.
  6. Add dry ingredients to butter/sugar mixture to incorporate.
  7. Fold in cranberries and white chocolate. 
  8. Spread evenly in prepared pan and bake for 18-22 minutes, just until edges are lightly browned and toothpick comes out clean. Don't overbake.
Frosting and Topping:
  1. Using a hand mixer, mix cream cheese and butter in medium bowl until fluffy. 
  2. Add extracts and incorporate.
  3. Gradually add sugar, mixing until smooth, light, and fluffy. Add creamer if needed to get a spreadable consistency.
  4. Spread frosting over cooled bars, then sprinkle cranberries on top. 
  5. Cut into bars or triangles. 

To freeze: Put one layer of bars in the container, then freeze a few minutes to harden the frosting. Put a layer of wax paper on top, then another layer of bars. Repeat until the container is full.  

To serve: Remove frozen bars to a plate, then let thaw for a few minutes. Do not thaw bars while they are stacked in the freezer container. 


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