15 Dec 2011
The holidays can be challenging for people with food sensitivities. There are tempting treats all around, holiday cookie exchanges, and lots of social events. Gluten and dairy seem to be lurking everywhere! If you know someone who needs to be gluten and/or dairy-free this holiday season, surprise them with a treat they can eat! Once they get over the shock of your thoughtfulness, they will simply delight in the yumminess of your creation. (Or, make them for yourself – you deserve it!)
To find a special recipe, I turned to my mom and her recipe box. I love when she pulls out a tattered 3×5 notecard — you know that the more stained the card, the tastier the outcome will be. When I asked her if she had a special cookie recipe that she remembered fondly, she offered one of those well-used cards. She made these bar cookies often, but I of course have adapted them to be gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free. Put them into cute little treat boxes like I found below, and these will make great gifts!
Chocolate Coconut Crispy Meringue Squares
- 3/4 cup soft dairy-free butter, like Earth Balance
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups gluten-free flour blend (you can use a store-bought gluten-free
flour blend, or see the blend I used below)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips, like Enjoy Life
- 1 cup flaked or grated coconut
- 1 cup rice crispy cereal (like Erewhon Gluten-Free Crispy Brown
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional – I did not use nuts in mine)
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed (for making the meringue)
The gluten-free flour blend that I used for this recipe was:
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour (I used superfine)
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
- 1/2 cup potato starch (do NOT use potato flour)
Heat oven to 350. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan.
In a mixer, blend together the dairy-free butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Beat until well-blended, about 2 minutes on medium speed.
In a bowl, combine the gluten-free flour blend, the baking soda, the baking powder and the salt. Add to the mixer and beat until combined. Spread dough in greased pan.
Sprinkle the top of the dough with chocolate chips, coconut flakes & rice crispy cereal (and nuts if using).
To make the meringue: With the whisk attachment of your mixer, beat the egg whites on high until frothy. Add 1 cup brown sugar and beat until stiff. Spread the meringue over the top and smooth as best you can.
Bake 35-40 minutes. While baking, the meringue will puff up, and then fall back down when you take it out. Let cool and then cut into squares. If the squares are a little sticky when cutting, simply wipe your knife with a wet cloth and continue cutting.
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