Gluten-Free Coffee Cake Muffins

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Sunday mornings are perfect for muffins. Throw in an afternoon walk and eat 2. Or three. Or watch a run of pseudo chick flicks on cable. It’s that kind of day.

~ Gluten-Free Coffee Cake Muffins ~

Adapted from The Cook Book

Makes 12 small or 8 large muffins

Streusel Topping:

  • 3 tbsp gluten-free flour (1/2 sorghum, 1/2 tapioca flour)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance buttery spread
  • 3 tbsp chopped pecans

Muffin Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (1/2 sorghum, 1/2 tapioca flour )
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (thinned out slightly) or soy milk

 

1

For topping: In a small bowl, sir together 3 tbsp flour, sugar, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Cut in 2 tbsp butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans, set aside.

For batter: in a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Cut in butter.

In a small bowl combine egg and thinned-out plain yogurt – I used a plain lactose-free variety from Green Valley Organics. (Original recipe calls for buttermilk and plain yogurt adds an extra tang and improves texture.) Add wet ingredients to flour mixture, stir until just moistened – battery should be lumpy and slightly thicker than pancake batter. If too thick, thin out with soymilk. Take care not to over-mix.

Spoon half of batter into greased or paper-lined muffin tins. Top with half of streusel topping, add remaining half of batter, and top with rest of streusel topping. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes; cool on rack and serve warm.

5-1

And Now for Something Completely Frivolous: Gluten-free Marshmallow Cereal Squares

Oh Pinterest, sometimes you are silly (see this for proof), but sometimes you are genius. Because without you, I never would have thought to make a batch of these last Friday.

They are super colorful, not all that good for you, and full of sugar.  (Though they’re pretty low on fat, if I stop to think about it.) In other words, fun.

~ Gluten-Free Marshmallow Cereal Squares ~

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan (if made with vegan marshmallows)

I used Trix, but you can use any gluten-free cereal you like. I was THISCLOSE to using Reece’s Puffs (for obvious reasons – they are puffs of Reece’s), but opted for the Trix because it had 1.5 grams less fat per serving, because that matters when you’re making something that is 85% sugar.  (Ssssh. It does.) Also, the squares come out looking like something straight out of a Lisa Frank-themed party, which makes this very sneezy-itchy-allergy time of year seem a little better.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups gluten-free cereal of choice
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 1 bag marshmallows

Melt Earth Balance over low heat in a non-stick skillet, add marshmallows. Stir occasionally until marshmallows are completely melted (a silicone spatula works wonders here), mix half of the cereal into mixture while pan is still over very low heat.

Once incorporated, add remaining cereal and smooth out into a lightly-greased pan (a few sprays of Pam will do). A baking pan about 10 x 10 will work. Let sit till cooled, cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

A Note: If you make these with a gf rice cereal, there is a certain one that many health food stores sell in bulk that doesn’t work as well in this recipe. They look like Rice Crispies (without the malt) but they’re much harder and crunchier, and don’t soften up as well after being combined with the marshmallow – they come out more crunchy than chewy. Last summer we were promised a GF version of Rice Crispies, but I have yet to see them on shelves. In the end I think you’re better off with a fun cereal. Kix would be good too!

An Especially Tasty Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole

dinner2I spotted this recipe on Oh She Glows, one of my favorite food blogs, last holiday season, and little did I know what an impact it would have on this year’s Thanksgiving! Seriously, it turns regular yams/sweet potatoes into magic.

It’s sweet, but not too sweet to be a side-dish, and the topping is crispy and delicious. It’s also pretty darn easy to make. Perfect for breakfast the next morning too!

While you can make this while your turkey is cooking, I baked it the night before and reheated it at 350 while the turkey was resting; it took around 30m – just keep an eye on it. You don’t have to add the pecans, but I firmly suggest you do; they lend a very tasty pecan-pie flavor.

~* Gluten and Dairy-Free Sweet Potato Casserole *~

(Vegan Too!)

adapted from Oh She Glows

Oven Temp: 350, Pan Size: 2 quart casserole dish

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cooked
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain salt
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 3/4 cups chopped pecans

cass2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and boil sweet potatoes/yams until tender. Drain and mash the sweet potatoes with Earth Balance until smooth – leave a few chunks to keep it “rustic.”cass3

Whisk together the maple syrup, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon; add to sweet potatoes. Transfer mixture into a lightly-greased (with canola oil) casserole dish.

Using a fork (or your fingers), mix together the topping ingredients until well combined; it helps to have softened butter. Add pecans last. Sprinkle topping over sweet potatoes and bake for 50 minutes, checking to make sure topping does not burn. cass5

This dish is ridiculously versatile; it works for breakfast, brunch, potlucks, dessert. Dessert especially if you are someone who likes their desserts without overwhelming sweetness. Something about the twice-cooking/baking of the sweet potatoes really improves the sweet potato texture too.

And if, when shopping, you get confused about the difference between yams and sweet potatoes, usually what is labeled as a yam is actually a sweet potato. The USDA now requires the “yam” label to always be accompanied by “sweet potato.” It’s very unlikely to find a real yam here in the U.S. Bottom line is to look for the ones which dark orange flesh and reddish-brown skin.

2sweetpotatovsyam SweetPotato2

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Date-Oat Cookies

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I have a confession: I love dates. Probably more than I should. But what’s not to like? They’re good for you, and one of the few items grown on a tree that tastes better than candy. Perfect for baking.

Now that the weather has finally started to warm up, you might be thinking that heating the house up for a cookie is not the best idea, but trust me, once you try them, you will.

This recipe does make for a pretty sweet cookie but the dates and oats make it a bit healthier. I also like to cut the butter in half by using either applesauce or mashed banana. I’m rather fond of using Splenda (though I know many of you are not) so I’ve also used half-sugar, half-Splenda in a few versions.

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Gluten-free Date-Oat Cookies

   If you are thinking there isn’t much flour in these, you’re right! It makes for a wonderful, moist cookie. Makes about 12; I always double the recipe.*

  • 3/4 cup flour: I used half brown rice, half sorghum
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth Balance or butter-substitute, cut up -0r- 1/4 cup Earth Balance and 1/4 cup applesauce or a ripe mashed banana
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted-dates

DSCN6897Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Use a pastry cutter (or fork – it took me years to actually buy a cutter) to cut in the butter until batter resembles fine crumbs. If you’re substituting half of the butter, mix in the applesauce/banana now.

Add in the egg, mixing until just blended, Mix in the sugar, oats, and dates. Batter will be sticky and wet.

DSCN6903Drop tablespoons onto a parchment-covered baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on the baking sheet until cookies are firm enough to be transferred to a rack. As with most GF cookies, they can be delicate until cooled. Store in the fridge. Yum!DSCN6915

* Recipe adapted from Cookies:1001 Mouthwatering Recipes from Around the World. Not a GF or DF book, but full of amazing cookies ideas!

Gluten-free Chocolate and Coconut Scones

Don’t you love a recipe that you can use over and over by changing up the ingredients?

I do!

One of my go-to recipes is The Cook Book’s basic scones recipe, seen in it’s original form here and it a lemon variation here. It’s easy to change ingredients based on what’s in season, and what happens to be hanging around in the kitchen. Since making a gluten-free flourless chocolate cake, I’ve fallen in love with Ghirardelli cocoa powder. (It’s fantastic in oatmeal, by the way.)

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So, why not add it to scones? And, for a little surprise, I chopped up an Oskri Coconut Bar. (I bought a box of them on Amazon after buying one at an airport in North Carolina, and they are wonderful; covered in chocolate, dairy and gluten-free, 180 calories. )

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But truly, you could add anything in: chopped up chocolate, fruit, nuts, candy, whatever you like!

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Gluten-Free Chocolate and Coconut Scones

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (use up to 1/2 cup of coconut flour)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, sugar for sprinkling
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance buttery sticks, cut in pieces
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Oskri bar, chopped up in chip-sized pieces

(P.S. this whole recipe can be made in a food processor, it’s certainly quicker!)

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa, and salt in one bowl, cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs.

In another bowl combine eggs and milk. Add all at once to flour mixture, stir with a fork until just moistened. Add in chopped coconut bar or any extras (nuts, raisins, etc).

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Work dough, kneading 10-12 time, into a 8-inch circle, and cut into 8 wedges.  Sprinkle with sugar.

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Place wedges 1 inch apart on parchment paper-covered or ungreased baking sheet, bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes.

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These came out very cakey and not-too-sweet. If you like a sweeter scone, definitely add more sugar. Next time I might also add a little more coconut milk, because the extra cocoa powder made it a little drier than usual – but if you like your scones with a cup of coffee like me, there’s no problem. I also used Splenda, which can make a batter drier, so if you use regular sugar, you may not need to add any extra liquid.

Tip of the week: Use more cocoa powder in your life. It makes one happier!

image

Gluten-free flourless chocolate cake

There are no words for this cake, but I’m going to attempt it anyway. There are also no real pictures, because I made it at 10pm and promptly gave it away. The one piece I took home with the intent to photograph….got eaten. Oops!

My mom’s birthday was this week, and I had a few ideas about different cakes to make her, however our conversation went something like this:

Me: What kind of cake do you want me to make for your birthday?

Mom: CHOCOLATE.

Me: So not lemon layer -

Mom: CHOCOLATE.

Therefore it was decided. And I wanted to make something a little different from just cake with icing, and during my search I came upon a flourless cake recipe that looked fantastic – I believe one of the comments on the post declared it “better than sex”. Enough said.

A big Thank You to Gluten-Free Goddess ** for the original recipe!

Heavenly Gluten and Dairy-Free Flourless Chocolate Cake

The beauty of this recipe is that it is all made in a food-processor!

  • 16 oz. dark chocolate,
  • 1 cup  light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup very hot strong coffee (or use espresso powder in very hot water)
  • 2 sticks Earth Balance buttery sticks, room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch coco powder
  • 8 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 10-inch spring-form pan with parchment that has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick spray.

Pour the chocolate into the food processor, break it up with a few pulses if needed – pieces should be as small as chocolate chips (or smaller). Add the sugars. Pulse together till combined. Pour the hot coffee through feed tube into the mixture while pulsing. Keep pulsing until chocolate is melted – it is genius! If you taste the batter at this point, don’t say I didn’t warn you: it is the best chocolate mixture I’ve ever tasted, like mousse and icing mixed into one. Yum.

Add coco powder, and add butter through feed tube while pulsing. Add vanilla to eggs then add egg mixture one-by-one through feed tube, while pulsing or running processor. The batter at this point will be liquid and creamy, a gorgeous milk-chocolate brown.

Pour into pan and wrap the outside with a big piece of foil. Bake for 55-65 minutes until pick emerges from center with no big crumbs. Cake will puff up to the top of the pan and will likely be cracked. The edges should pull away from the sides slightly. Edges will be set up, center will be soft but with a slightly crust. If it cracks, and the insides of the cake look wet, that’s ok.

Cool on a wire rack then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. The cake will deflate while cooling and will likely crack a bit more.

You may want to let it sit on the counter for a bit if you refrigerate it over-night. Serve with whipped cream, berries, a chocolate glaze, or with nothing at all!

Tips

  • I ended up using a mixture of Guittard semi-sweet (12oz) and Scharffen Berger dark chocolate chunks. The chunks don’t melt as easily and leave a little bit of chocolate bite in the cake. If you want an uber-smooth batter I’d use all Guittard.
  • To quickly get eggs at room temp, sit them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes or so, until they no longer feel cold to the touch.
  • For the coffee, I used two teaspoons of organic instant freeze-dried coffee in 3/4 cup of boiling water – it was very strong, and we could taste it a little in the cake. The coffee really balances out the heavy chocolate flavor, but if you’re not into coffee you could use less-strong coffee (still use it though, I promise you will love it!).

This baby is HEAVEN. Declared to be the best cake Mom has ever tasted – she thought I should sell it for at least $5 a slice :) It is rich and will serve from 12-15 slices (or less, if you’re like me).

Surprisingly, the taste is almost exactly like that of chocolate cheesecake. I had one for my birthday and they were very similar, except this cake has more chocolatey flavor, and of course, no dairy!. Unlike some chocolate decadence cakes, which can be very dense and fudge-like, this cake is light and fluffy.

You must try. This is perfect if you have to bring a dessert for people who don’t eat gluten-free, because there was never any flour here, or GF substitutions

** http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2007/01/flourless-chocolate-cake_11.html

Gluten-free Sunday morning lemon scones

DSCN6858

I have lemons on the brain. We have a bumper-crop of Meyer lemons from my boyfriend’s parent’s house, which I have just discovered begin to rot very quickly.

So here I am trying to figure out how to use all these lemons without having to make any more calorie-rich baked desserts; I’m a bit off them after the holidays. My solution? Scones – not exactly low in calories, but at least you can eat them in the morning, and burn them off later!

I simply took my favorite scone recipe and lemon-ed it up – you could double the lemon amounts here if you want to really get a lemony slap in the face. If you use regular lemons you’ll get a tarter flavor, Meyers tend to be pretty mild.

Gluten-free Sunday Morning Lemon Scones

* adapted from The Cook Book *

 

DSCN6857

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour: 1c all-purpose flour, 1c sorghum flour, 1/2c coconut flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, sugar for sprinkling
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance buttery sticks, cut in pieces
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk creamer (So Delicious)
  • zest of two lemons
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar for glaze

DSCN6860

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in one bowl, cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs .

In another bowl combine eggs, lemon and milk. Add all at once to flour mixture, stir with a fork until just moistened. 

Work dough, kneading 10-12 time, into a 8-inch circle, and cut into 8 wedges.  Sprinkle with sugar.

Place wedges 1 inch apart on parchment paper-covered or ungreased baking sheet, bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes or till golden.

DSCN6861

Mix together glaze till it has a slightly-runny consistency and spoon over warm scones.

Eat!

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A lovely way to begin a new week.

Best brown rice recipe, ever.

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This is no joke. For the gluten-free, rice is – forgive me – bread and butter. An unavoidable basic. And who wants white rice? Not I. (Except the kind that sticks to the wall, which can be fun.)

I’ve always liked brown rice, even though I’ve had trials in making it where it comes out too crunchy, or starchy, etc. Plus I hate having to watch the pot so it doesn’t boil over. And the boyfriend won’t eat it.

However, this changes everything. Alton Brown, I love you.

 Baked Brown Rice Recipe

Source

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice, medium or short grain (I did half short grain, half long, the combination is quite nice)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance buttery spread/sticks
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place the rice into an 8-inch square glass baking dish.

Bring the water, butter, and salt just to a boil in a kettle or covered saucepan. Once the water boils, pour it over the rice, stir to combine, and cover the dish tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour (or 55 minutes if you like it a bit firmer).

After 1 hour, remove cover and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve immediately.

You may think, one hour, what? But considering you don’t have to watch it, or stir it, it’s pretty easy. Plus, it’s winter, so the oven will help heat the house!

And you will not believe the taste and smell of this rice, the oven does something to it – I’m sure Alton could elaborate – and it comes out perfect. It also stays moist and edible long enough to get four meals out of the four servings, a miracle.

I highly recommend making a batch early in the week and keeping it around for quick, simple meals!

And yes, the boyfriend declared it “good.” That, my friends, is a win in itself.

GF Gingerbread Cookies

DSCN6815Funny – right now America’s Test Kitchen is on, and they’re talking about bread-making and the different types of the flour, how gluten is formed, etc. If there ever was a conversation lost on me…

BUT ANYWAY….COOKIES!

 

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies!

* Recipe adapted from McCormick *

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups GF flour: I used 2c Bob’s all-purpose, 1c coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamonDSCN6799
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) Earth Balance buttery sticks, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon GF vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Set aside.

DSCN6778 Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Try not to eat.

DSCN6785 Add molasses, egg and vanilla; mix well.

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Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.

DSCN6793 Press dough into a thick flat disk.

DSCN6795 Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours; I left them overnight.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface or between two sheets of parchment (makes your life easier, I promise). Cut into desired shapes.

DSCN6809 Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Be careful with the dough: it can be a little easy to break once cut in shapes.

Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. DSCN6814

Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate cooled cookies as desired. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days.

DSCN6817

 

Tips: DSCN6812

  • Be VERY careful with cookies while they’re warm: they break apart rather easily before cooled. (or this happens –>)
  • Next time I might try using extra xanthan gum and see if it helps the dough stick together a little better.
  • Not just for Christmas: try cutting them into stars or moons for New Year’s cookies!
  • This recipe is easily adapted to make Gingerbread cake (also found on the McCormick website) with mainly the same ingredients.
  • Melted chocolate makes a fantastic icing, especially combined with the spicy flavor!

GF Tart and Tangy Lemon Bars

I made these for my Latin class’ holiday potluck this December, and I must say, these hit the lemon-spot, if ever there was one. They do not wimp out on the lemon flavor nor the tang, but they also have a lovely sweet flavor and a flaky,buttery crust. The pictures were taken of the last remaining bar a couple days later, when the powdered sugar had soaked in – but they got better with age!

DSCN6802Am I putting off working on my thesis? Of course not…

Note the super-thick lemon layer, the tender crust, and the tiny bit of crisp on the top. Mmmmm…

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I also used two Meyer lemons in the recipe because they have a beautiful color and milder flavor, but to preserve the tartness and to get a firm zest, regular lemons work best!

 

Gluten and Dairy-Free Tart and Tangy Lemon Bars

* Originally adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, then adapted from Smitten Kitchen *

 

For the crust:
1/2 pound Earth Balance Buttery Sticks at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups gluten-free flour (I used 1/2 cup coconut flour, 1/2 cup brown rice flour, and 1 cup Bob’s All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour,but any flour you like will do)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the lemon layer:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons – 2 Meyer, the rest regular)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup gluten-free flour

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands or between parchment paper and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill. (I didn’t chill the dough much, a few minutes at most.)

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Tips:

  • Gluten-free dough can be hard to work with, but help yourself out by rolling it out as close to the size of the pan as you can, and roll between sheets of parchment paper to keep from sticking and so you don’t need any extra flour.
  • There was a lot of crust in this recipe – next time I might only use 3/4 of the recipe and save the rest. But if you like crust, then have at it.
  • Put powdered sugar on right before serving – it sinks in and disappears (also applies to the red and green sprinkles I put on the sugar,which kind of looked like food coloring after awhile).
  • If you don’t want a crust around the pan (like the bar below has on the right side) then simply line the bottom of the pan, and be extra careful when removing bars.

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If the very-last-beaten-up bar can look and taste this yummy, imagine the first one!

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