Makes 20 bars
Beyond delicious, these simple bars pack well and are my favorite for a long day of travel. My favorite almond butter to use in this recipe is Trader Joe Smooth Almond Butter with Salt; it has some cashews in it which add to the flavor of the bars. Dried cherries and dried cranberries in place of some or all of the chocolate chips are wonderful replacements. This recipe is adapted from ‘Quinoa Revolution’ by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.
- 1/4 C. butter
- 6-5/8 oz. almond butter (3/4C.)
- 2 eggs
- 5-5/8 oz. light or dark brown sugar (3/4C.)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 oz. quinoa (1/2C.), uncooked
- 1/2 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 C. chocolate chips
Pre-heat oven: 350°
Bring the butter and the almond butter to room temperature, this will make the batter easier to spread into the pan. Stir almond butter before measuring so that the oil is mixed in and not separated.
In a coffee grinder place the quinoa and ground coffee; grind until the mix is fine like flour. If the quinoa is ground to a larger particle size, then the bars will have a bit of crunch to them; this is okay but I prefer a smoothness that is achieved from grinding the mix to the finest of flour. If you end up making these bars regularly, then you can purchase a bag of quinoa flour and skip this step.
Cream together the butter and almond butter with an electric mixer until lightens in color and is a bit fluffy. Then beat in the eggs, sugar, and vanilla, again beating until the batter is a bit fluffy. In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: quinoa flour, coffee, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the batter until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Let the batter rest 5 minutes so the quinoa can absorb some of the moisture in the mix; prepare the baking pan while it rests.
Line an 8” square pan (bottom and two opposite sides) with parchment paper to help lift out the final bars. Coat the pan and paper with gluten free cooking spray (read the can, some sprays contain flour) or butter. Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan.
Bake until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs (±25 min when using a metal pan). Be cautious as these bars are better a little under baked than a little over baked. Let cool in pan for 45 minutes, then remove from pan using the parchment paper to lift it out, and cut into 20 squares.
Store in the refrigerator if keeping more than a few days. Can also be frozen.
Tip: I have found that jarred almond butters vary widely by brand. If the almond butter I am using is dry, not shiny with oil, I slowly add organic canola oil into the almond butter until the consistency is more runny than crumbly as my goal is moist blondies.