These simple bars have a buttery shortbread crust, chewy coconut flakes and a gooey apricot and plum topping. They last well over a week when covered and stored in a cool place, so it’s ok to make this ahead. A perfect pairing with a cup of coffee or your afternoon tea. Just slightly sweet and so enjoyable.
½ cup brown rice flour + 1 Tbsp
¼ cup sorghum flour + 1 Tbsp
¼ cup potato starch
¼ cup tapioca starch + 1 Tbsp
¼ tsp xanthan gum
½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut (plus extra for the top)
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt or Himalayan salt
½ cup coconut oil, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup honey or maple syrup, or a combination of both
1 ¼ cup dried unsulphured apricots
¾ cup dried plums (prunes)
1. Heat oven to 350
2. Grease a square 8 by 8 inch baking dish with coconut oil and then cut parchment paper to fit one direction in the dish, (this helps to lift the bars out after baking).
3. In a large bowl, mix the flours, xanthan gum, shredded coconut, cinnamon and salt together4.
4. Add in the melted coconut oil, vanilla and sweetener and mix well. The batter will be firm and a little sticky. Set the bowl aside and let rest for about 20 minutes while you do the rest.
5. Place apricots and prunes in a small saucepan, with enough water to cover the fruit. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat. Once the water boils, turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes to help soften the fruit. Strain the water and place the fruit in a food processor. Process until all the fruit is broken down and a thick paste forms. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.
6. Press rested dough into prepared baking dish with your fingers, pressing into the corners until it looks even throughout. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until the edges turns a caramel brown. The overall color will also be golden, the surface should look dry and feel firm to the touch.
7. Set the baking dish on a cooling rack and while still warm, gently spread the fruit paste over the cookie base. Sprinkle with shredded coconut.
8. Allow to cool completely, then cut into bars.
You can swap in coconut nectar for the sweetener. It is much thicker, like molasses, so if you do, add 1 Tbsp water to the recipe.
The recipe calls for 1 ¼ cup flour. If you don’t have all the flours listed above, use a premade mix like Cup4Cup or Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour. Just check if your mix contains xanthan gum already, and if so, omit the amount I have listed in the recipe.
I have also tried ½ maple syrup + ½ agave nectar for the sweeteners with good results.
You can experiment with the fruit topping and replace some of the plums with dried figs, blueberries, or even pineapple.