Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
It’s only the second week of November and our third snow is on the ground already. I have approximately twenty green tomatoes that will apparently be ripening in my kitchen windowsill. It’s one of those days when clearly eight hours of sleep was nowhere close to enough and my coffee cup seems to always be empty. To top things off, the holiday season is nipping at my heels and I’m in a baking rut.
Strangely enough November is nearly always my favorite time of year. I know it’s cold and often bleak, but to me November has always meant the start of the holiday excitement, which I love. Thanksgiving is a big holiday in my family and one that I dearly love. This year we find ourselves fifteen hundred miles away from our families and for me it’s put rather a big damper on November. Which naturally, leads to chocolate.
Although I can’t seem to nail down much of anything that I really feel like baking, these bars from MamaPea grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. Almond Joy is my favorite candy bar (except for maybe Three Musketeers, but good luck recreating that one) and the idea of a bar cookie capturing their essence was just what the doctor ordered for a case of November grumpies.
Almond Joy Bars (vegan!)
Adapted from Peas and Thank You
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup old-fasioned oats
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup natural almond or peanut butter
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
2 tablespoons agave nectar
3 tablespoons non-dairy milk (soy, almond, etc)*
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8X8 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, coconut, oats, almonds and chocolate chips.
In a smaller bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Add wet mixture to dry and stir until combined. If mixture is too dry, add a splash more milk.
Spread dough into bottom of pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until set and golden brown around edges. Let cool (refrigerate if desired) before cutting into bars.
*If you’re not concerned with keeping these vegan, feel free to use regular milk. I had vanilla soy milk on hand, so I went for it!
High-Altitude Notes: Bake at 375°F for 18-20 minutes.