Best Gluten-free Pecan Pie Bars
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These gluten-free pecan pie bars have a thick and buttery shortbread base, then layered with toasted pecans and a salted caramel mixture. Easy to make in one pan and simply sliced into squares or rectangle bars. Best served with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream or equally as a side to a big cup of tea!
Can I adapt the recipe for different diets?
If you are allergic to almonds or tree nuts, substitute the almond flour 1:1 with sunflower seed flour, which can be store-bought or made at home by gently pulsing whole sunflower seeds in a food processor or blender. Be careful not to over blend as you will then get seed butter! Replace the almond butter with tahini or any seed butter of choice, or just leave it out.
To make these gluten-free pecan bars dairy-free and vegan, substitute the butter for coconut oil or a plant-based alternative.
How to store these gluten-free pecan pie bars?
Store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively, place them in the freezer and store them for up to 6 months. When ready to eat, simply take it out and leave for 10-15 minutes at room temperature or reheat in the oven before serving.
For the shortbread crust:
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup gluten-free plain flour
2 Tbsp maple syrup
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
¼ tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the pecan topping:
1 cup raw pecans
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, (or coconut oil)
4 Tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F. Line a 7x5-inch pan with baking paper and set it aside. If you only have a larger pan, it will be worth doubling the recipe to avoid too thin layers.
Add the ground almonds, gluten-free flour, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and ¼ teaspoon sea salt to a large bowl.
Use your hands to combine thoroughly until the it comes together to form a ball.
Place the dough into the baking pan, use your hands to press firmly down into an even layer. Use a fork to prick a few holes into the base. Bake in the centre of the oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden and crisp. The thicker the base, the longer it will take to bake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Prepare the pecan layer. In a small pan, on medium heat, add the pecans and toast for a few minutes, tossing the pan every so often so they do not burn. Add in ⅓ cup coconut sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons almond butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.
Bring to a gentle simmer until the sugar has melted and the mixture begins to bubble and thicken to a caramel, about 6-8 minutes.
Pour and spread the pecan caramel mixture over the shortbread crust. Bake for an extra 5 minutes until the topping just begins to bubble. Remove from the oven and set aside to fully cool at room temperature.
Place in the fridge for an hour to firm up, before slicing and serving.
SERVE THIS WITH.
Enjoy as they are!
Cup of tea
Cup of coffee
Scoop of ice cream
Almonds - are high in protein and fibre and are an excellent source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids and Vitamin E. (Source)
Maple syrup - is a natural sweetener and contains many natural antioxidants and is a source of nutrients including zinc, potassium, manganese, thiamine, calcium, iron, magnesium, and riboflavin. (Source)
Pecans - sweet tasting and an excellent source of dietary fibre and Vitamins B and E. (Source)
Cinnamon - contains huge amounts of highly potent polyphenol antioxidants, cinnamon is known to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and can help fight bacterial and fungal infections, and improve blood flow. (Source)
HAVE YOU MADE THIS?
Many of my recipes call for Greek products like Greek extra virgin olive oil, Greek honey or Greek oregano. It is not mandatory for it to be Greek in order to make the recipe, you are more than welcome to use a good quality alternative; just keep in mind if you are after the authentic flavours of Greece these details do make all the difference in Greek cuisine. You can shop these ingredients here.
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Disclaimer: None of the health benefits listed are intended to diagnose or treat any pre-existing health conditions. Always consult a health care practitioner before making any health decisions. The benefits listed are from my own research and personal interest, and encourage you to follow the Source and do further research.