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Saturday
Feb122011

Chocolate Raspberry Bars

Sometimes I read back through my blog and realize it’s a cooking chronicle of my life. Little tidbits of the current days sprinkled throughout my musings of favorite foods—like Chocolate Raspberry Bars.

How, I’m wondering, do I sprinkle in the kind of week I’ve had with this pretty little dessert? What kind of week was it, you ask? The kind of week where the work days are too long, the weather is too cold, and my mom is driving me crazy. Yes, even at my age (which no, I’m not divulging but suffice it to say I have a college-aged son) your mom can still drive you crazy. Maybe more at my age than, let’s say, at my son’s age—although I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t agree.

As my mother ages I open my eyes to what faces me as much as what faces her. I had a discussion with a good friend about the stages of life and we (both being at mid-life) settled on old age for most of the conversation. We thought about how to assure we’d live that part of our lives richly—diminishing the focus on aches and pains, juggling little bottles of pills, and loss of access to the world.

It’s pretty simple really—keep healthy of mind, body, and spirit now. It’s an investment for a rich future. And, it requires a conscious daily deposit. Exercise. Eat right. Live what’s in your heart.

Apropos to Valentine’s Day. So, this weekend celebrate your loved ones—old and young—and celebrate yourself, as well. Savor these days and invest in your future days.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Chocolate Raspberry Bars

At first I was a bit skeptical about the batter for these bars—it was dense and seemed a bit greasy. But, I’d mixed it together so decided there was nothing to do but go for it. Despite my original worry they popped out of the oven looking delicious—and they were! Enjoy.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together in the bowl of a stand mixer:

2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour blend*
1 cup almond flour
1 cup sugar

In a separate measuring cup whisk together with a fork:

8 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread (or similar butter substitute)
4 ounces applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients a little at a time mixing on low speed until thoroughly combined.

Remove about one cup of the dough and set aside.

Add to the remaining dough (still in the mixing bowl):

1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix on low, scraping the sides frequently until the cocoa and chips are blended in.

Line a 8” x 8” pan with parchment. Press the chocolate dough into the bottom of the pan and spread out evenly. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven and let cool a few minutes. Spread out over the cake to about 1/4 inch from the sides:

1 cup seedless raspberry (or any favorite berry) jam

Dot the whole thing with the remaining vanilla dough, dropping in small chunks over the raspberry jam.

Pop it back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.

Cool thoroughly (no cheating here!). Remove from the pan and cut into bars.

*For GF flour blends that do not have xanthan gum included as an ingredient: add 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum to the dry ingredients in this recipe.

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    [...]Chocolate Raspberry Bars - The Sensitive Pantry - Gluten-free, Egg-free, Dairy-free, & Vegan Recipes[...]

Reader Comments (24)

Nom. Nom. Nom. I'm virtually eating these in my twisted mind and they're delicious. Also, I cheated. Wait for them to cool? Who are you kidding? I have got to burn my mouth on a spoonful or two out of the oven, then have a few bites when I move them to a cooling rack. Then 4 or 5 pieces when I wrap them. Reasons enough why I try to keep the baking down to once or twice a month. Anyway, I do have all of these ingredients plus half a batch from a recipe from 'Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.' I think your base looks better than the one I came up with. Raspberries, chocolate and almonds. Thanks for the Valentine's gift and I hope your day turns out wonderfully despite life's distractions.

Feb 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurel

I think that mothers have an extra special ability to drive us crazy at any age! Everything you said about eating well and taking care of your body as investment in the future is so true, it's easy to lose sight of that sometimes when daily life gets a little crazy. Wishing you a very Happy Valentine's Day with the ones you love.

Holy Moly, woman!! These are BRILLIANT! I am totally going to make these, perhaps as a Valentine's Day treat for tomorrow since I have ALL the ingredients. These are such a great idea. And, of course, your picture is just beautiful!!!
xo
kim
ps I love the new background of your blog. So pretty!

Laurel - Cheat away. I always have a hard time waiting for the goods to cool.

Sylvie - I usually rely on chocolate when life gets crazy. But, I know that exercise and eating right is the real way to go. Happy Valentine's Day!

Kim - Thanks for the Valentine love! The background retires tonight. It's just my way of celebrating Valentine's Day with all of you. xoxoxo

Feb 14, 2011 | Registered CommenterNancy Kohler

Nancy, these are really really beautiful. Happy Valentine's Day, my friend! I'm sorry your mom is driving you crazy. After a week with my mother and sick grandmother, I understand. The woman, who can barely stand, is threatening to drive herself to the hospital for tests on Wednesday. I told my mother to hide the car keys. *groan*

Mmmm.....those look DELICIOUS!

These are so very lovely! I think your philosophy on keeping healthy in mind, body, and spirit is spot on, and while it definitely requires an investment of time and energy, it is so worth it!

Feb 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

Nancy, these are so pretty and festive. Doesn't it seem that gluten-free baking and life both take a leap of faith and a just go for it spirit sometimes.

Ooh, these are sooo yummy looking! Definitely on the to-do list.
I pray regularly that I will age gracefully,and not be out of touch with the 'now' My mother uses me as the sounding board for everything. She says that she doesn't want her friends knowing all her business. She also told me -really and truly meaning it with love- that she is less ashamed about my weight now she can tell her friends I'm a chef. Now, I am a size 16, so yes, some work to do, but she's only 1 size down from me! I love and respect her very much, but I'm trying a slightly different approach with my kiddies, I tell them to Make the best of what you've got!

Feb 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterInTolerant Chef

I love that you combined a brownie-like bottom and a raspberry crumble top. I'm sold. Happy Valentine's Day!

Feb 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShaina

I'm all for chocolate and raspberry together - and the addition of the vanilla dough looks especially interesting (and delicious!!).

These look sooo good! Hoping that next week is filled with many bright spots and smiles!

Feb 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterwenderly

What a great recipe!! It's like a brownie AND a blondie...together!! Thanks for sharing such a creative recipe!

Feb 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie B

I can truly appreciate what your going through with your mom.
Also, this is what I love about blogs... even without actually saying it in some posts, it is easy to remember where we were in our lives when we wrote what we did :)

Feb 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

So, so true. Well said Nancy. Growing older is something I hate thinking about, so I like your idea of being full of life in the present. It will make the future easier ... um, as well these scrumptious looking bars! I love how the base is chocolate but the crumble isn't. Did I mention I LOVE crumble bars :)

Feb 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlisa Fleming

these look beautiful, nancy. and your thoughts about aging - beautiful, as well.

Feb 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterheather jacobsen

Chocolate and Raspberry? What a heavenly blend. I wouldn't worry about age if I were you, just focus on now and these lovely treats. Great cooking as always.

wow they look delicous! Can't tell you how much I love raspberries, I'd like one of these now and am going to save this recipe to try later!

Feb 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBev

Let me first say, I love this website! Where have you been all my life? Well, at least the last 2 years since my husband discovered his food allergies! I made these for a dinner we went to where no one else had food allergies, just as a tester, and they went over great. People kept saying, "This is gluten free?? But it tastes good!" Thanks for the great receipes, keep em coiming!

Mar 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegs

Megs - you made my day! Isn't it great when people are surprised that a recipe is GF? So glad this (and hopefully other) recipe worked well for you, your husband, and your friends!!

Mar 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterNancy Kohler

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