I told you in my last post I had something special up my sleeve for that raspberry rhubarb jam…
Introducing the tastiest, jammiest, most crumble-topping-est (I know, just go with it), sweet dessert bar, ever. It’s the best tasting bar I’ve ever made. Possibly the best dessert bar I’ve ever tasted. And it should be, because it’s dedicated to the best person, EVER. On her BIRTHDAY, nonetheless.
Happy Birthday, Mom!!!!
When I asked my mom for ideas for something extra special I could make for her birthday, she suggested two things; a rhubarb strawberry sour cream pie, or a coconut cream pie (which I suspected was actually for my dad, so I’m filing that one away for his birthday in July, or possibly Father’s Day). When I pressed her for more details, she shared that her and a friend used to go out of their way to an Amish restuarant to order homemade pie with rhubarb, strawberries, a sour cream layer, and crumble topping. While the original was most likely made with eggs, dairy sour cream, butter, and white sugar, she was hoping I could veganize it. No problem, Mom 😉
It may not be a traditional pie, but believe me when I say that you will not care. I was struggling with the idea of pie filling and traditional pie crust and how I would do the layering, when suddenly I thought of my Healthy Fruit and Oat Bars, and it all just fell into place. Instead of a traditional pie crust, I reworked my oat bar crust, adding almond butter, unsweetened coconut shreds, and a bit of unrefined coconut oil for richness. Instead of pie filling, I used the easy chia jam from my last post. To replace that decadent sour cream layer, I mixed up a quick and easy tangy coconut cream. This rich dessert is a bit sweeter than many of my recipes, but that’s because it’s meant to be for special occasions; i.e. your awesome mama’s birthday. (If you’re looking for an everyday snack bar, try making my Fruit and Oat Bars, and replace the blueberry apple butter with raspberry rhubarb jam)
I can’t wait for my mom to try these bars! If her reaction is anything like mine and my daughter’s (read: drooling during photo shoot, eating way too many, thinking of and wanting little else in the way of food in our mouths), then she’s in for a real treat!
Raspberry Rhubarb Coconut Crumble Bars – Vegan and Gluten Free
Adapted from my Healthy Fruit and Oat Bars
Makes about 12 large bars
Crust and Crumble Topping:
- 2 cups oat flour
- 1 + 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, softened
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 4 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 recipe Raspberry Rhubarb Chia Seed jam
Coconut Sour Cream Layer:
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp almond milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with two pieces of parchment paper, criss-crossed.
Combine the oat flour, 1 cup of the coconut shreds, almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and sea salt in a large bowl. I used my hands to mix, but you could also probably use a food processor and pulse until combined. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside. Press the remaining mixture evenly into the prepared baking sheet, and poke a few holes in it with a fork. Pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, make the crumble topping by combining the 1/2 cup of reserved crust with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded coconut. Once again, I used my hands to do this. Next, make the sour cream. Open the can of coconut milk, and scoop out the cream from the top. Whisk together the cream, almond milk, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and maple syrup. Set aside.
Take the crust out of the oven after 10 minutes, and carefully spread the jam over it. You’ll use the entire recipe. Then spread on a thick layer of the coconut sour cream (there will be some leftover). Last, crumble the coconut oat mixture over the top. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool for about an hour before cutting. For firm bars (that you can pick up), cool another 30 minutes in the freezer.