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Turtle Bars

I try to make one treat for the week. Something that is not too elaborate, yet hits the sweet spot when we have got to have a little nibble of something sweet. This particular sweetness is a little different for me to make. I am trying to expand my culinary boundaries.

These Caramel Bars hit all the spots: sweet, salty and crunch. The shortbread base is the platform for the caramel (sweet). The pecans add the salt and crunch. And there definitely has to be some chocolate. There it is a Turtle Bar.

Shortbread Crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse ingredients until they resemble a meal with pea size pieces of margarine throughout the flour mixture.

Press mixture into a parchment lined 8X8 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Set aside refrigerator to cool.

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Caramel:

  • 3/4 c maple sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1/4 c vegan margarine (or butter)
  • 4 tsp almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small sauce pan over medium heat combine: maple sugar, molasses, margarine and milk. Stir occasionally, bringing all the ingredients together. The sugar should be dissolved and the margarine is melted.

When the ingredients have come together turn heat up to bring mixture to a boil. Keep stirring during this time so that it does not burn. Boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

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Pour caramel over cooled shortbread layer. Refrigerate until caramel has set.

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Chocolate Layer:

  • 1/2 c pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp of Kosher or Flaked Salt
  • 1 c chocolate chips

Melt chocolate chips either over a double boiler or in the microwave. If using the microwave, stir every 30 seconds, until melted.

Pour melted chocolate over caramel. Spread evenly. Sprinkle pecans and salt over chocolate. return to refrigerator to set the chocolate layer.

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When the chocolate is completely set lift out the bar by the parchment paper. Cut bars into squares.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Apple Cake Squares

 

At least 5 days a week I try to work on recipes that I can bring to my readers that are healthy, gluten free, and over the top delicious. I gather inspiration from fellow bloggers, cookbooks and even magazine articles. Needless to say I do a lot of reading on different formats (electronic and paper).

This recipe was inspired by a book I saw in the book store. I can honestly say I am at the book store at least once 3 out of 4 weeks. Yes, I like books. It is probably time to donate some of my cookbooks that I have not peeked at in a long time. Sorry, back to the recipe.

You can feel good about serving this anytime – Breakfast, Snack, Dessert, this cake hits the spot.

Dry ingredients:

  • 2 c gluten free flour blend
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 c maple sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ┬ásea salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 c oil (your choice)
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Apple: Mixture:

  • 3 pink lady apples, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1/2 c walnuts, chopped

Icing:

  • 1 c powdered maple sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9×13 cake pan.

In a large bowl combine: flour, xanthan, maple sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and sea salt.

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In a liquid measuring cup combine wet ingredients: oil, water, vanilla and apple cider vinegar.

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Pour wet ingredients in dry ingredients and stir. Batter will be thick resembling a cookie dough.

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Fold in apple mixture into batter and stir.

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Spoon batter into cake pan.

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Bake for 30-35 minutes. The cake should be light golden brown on the top when it is done.

Pour icing on to cake while it is still warm. Let icing set.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Note: This would be extra good with your favorite ice cream served on top.