Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Cookie Bars

Gluten-free for the holidays. This could mean a lot of things depending on who you are. This will be my 5th Christmas eating gluten-free and I have discovered that creating, baking and eating your own mix of gluten-free cookies is worth the effort. I may just be saying this because I really love to bake, but seriously, there is something heart-warming about baking cookies for the holiday. Plus, I have been loving this cookie base I came up with to make cut-out cookies. It's my latest fixation. 
It may be the fresh buckwheat flour, or the fact that I am using mostly stevia to sweeten these cookies, but I am really loving the changes. I guess you start to evolve over time when it comes to your diet. You don't realize it, but then you look back and you see how far you've come. Or you think about all the new ingredients you have come to love and others you have come to do without. This past year I have stopped eating a lot of nuts and have switched to eating more seeds. I have also been doing more and more egg-less vegan baking. The changes I have made have mostly been because I wanted to bake what my son could eat, but also I have discovered that I used to over-consume nuts as a gluten-free dairy-free person. I think I was becoming sensitive to the allergens in the nuts, and so because of that I have been trying to consume them less. Plus, discovering how much I love buckwheat and seeds is a major bonus as well. 
But most of all I have discovered that your kitchen is a revolving door. Time moves on and what you eat changes. And you change. You have the power to consume what you want. And, it may be very scary at times when you just don't know what to eat or you are so overwhelmed with the don't-eat list. Especially around the holidays. I say, take baby steps. You can do it. Don't cheat when you know gluten makes you sick. Make one gluten-free cookie that you love (and make lots and freeze them). It could be a GF mix if that's easiest. Really, just make sure you do what it takes for you to be happy with you changes and experience some holiday cheer without gluten sickness. 
Raspberry Cookie Bar Recipe (vegan)
1 1/3 cup of fresh buckwheat flour (I grind my own fresh flour from groats in my magic bullet)
1 cup of tapioca flour
1/3 cup of organic millet flour
1 TB of chia seed meal
1 TB of flax seed meal
1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar 
1/2 ts. of baking powder
1/2 ts. of baking soda
1/2 ts. of sea salt

8 TB of room-temperature organic coconut oil (I used Nutiva) *Or grapeseed oil*
6 TB of unsweetened applesauce (I used homemade)
1/4 cup of non-dairy milk or water
1 ts. of apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)

1 cup of crushed frozen raspberries
3/4-1 cup of allergen-free mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life's)

Mix all of the dry ingredients together first, then add the wet ingredients and mix well with a spatula. It will be a crumbly batter. Then fold in the crushed frozen raspberry pieces. If you have whole raspberries, then put the berries in a separate bag or bowl and crush them to be little frozen bits instead of whole berries. Don't over mix the raspberries to prevent the berries from bleeding. Then fold in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and save the 1/2 cup of chips to top on top of the bars for baking. Then drop the batter in a greased 9x13 pan and press down almost like a pie crust. Make sure to be careful to not let the raspberries to bleed to much again. Then, sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Pull from oven and let cool for 15-20 minutes before cutting into. Cut bars 4x5 and you will have 20 bars to serve. 
I used frozen raspberries because that is what I had in my freezer. I do not think fresh berries would work, but maybe it would if you cut the berries up extra small. When you freeze raspberries, it is easy to crush them while frozen to make little bitty pieces. I am happy with how these bars turned out with the frozen... they are somewhere between a cookie and a piece of fruit cobbler. I was thinking about making these cookies like actual cookies, but then they ended up in a pan in the end. They would be fine cut up and served on a platter for a party. Or just keep them in the pan and serve as you want. I think these bars would be yummy with some vegan ice cream or with a nice glass of coconut nog.  There is something about the chocolate and raspberry combo that is decadent and addicting.
Well, friends, I hope you are enjoying some holiday baking. One question though?! Where is the Michigan snow already? I feel like we need a little snow to get us in the mood for more Christmas baking, lights and gift wrapping.  Maybe this weekend...:)

Much love and light to you!


  1. Beautiful recipe! I love buckwheats, but have never tried grinding mine up for flour. Always just bought that separate. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I absolutely love your recipes! Do you grind raw buckwheat groats or roasted buckwheat groats? My local store only carries the roasted. I substituted with raw sprouted buckwheat flour in one of your other recipes that worked great, but I would love to grind my own.

  3. Kate- I grind both, when I have the time to roast them I do. It has a little bit of a earthy flavor though so maybe not the best for a sweet cookie. But really you can do both- and I bet the raw sprouted flour would be amazing as well. I wish I could find that at my local store. Thanks for the comment. Much love xoxo