Almost Sausalito Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Recipe
The nubby chocolate chip landscape of a favorite gluten-free cookie bar.

I ask you. What beats coconut and chocolate in a cookie recipe- especially if they happen to be gluten-free? Coconut and chocolate and macadamia nuts.

Okay, I confess. My all-time favorite cookies in those innocent pre-gluten-free days were not some hoity-toity gourmet bakery confection but those bagged big and bumpy Pepperidge Farm chocolate chunk cookies you could get in any East Coast grocery store. Yup. If memory serves me well, my go-to favorite featured coconut and chocolate. They might have been called Sausalito. Or some such California-evoking moniker.

In our quest to tweak one of our favorite dessert bar recipes this week my cookie-making husband and I came up with a chocolate chip coconut cookie bar that tastes an awful lot like those beloved crunchy-chewy Pepperidge Farm gems. We didn't happen to have any macadamia nuts on hand- but if we did I would have added some to the recipe.

And for those of you who loved dunking those Pepperidge Farm Nantucket Cookies into a glass of ice cold milk- Babycakes, these are dunk worthy.



Almost Sausalito Cookie Bars Recipe


If you have more patience than I did today, Dear Reader, you could wad up pinches of the dough [I'd chill it first], roll them into balls and plop them onto a baking sheet. Press very lightly- slightly. Hola! Cookies. Check after baking 8 to 10 minutes. I'm not sure how fast they'd bake but the average cookie bakes in ten to twelve minutes or so.

Ingredients:

Mix in a mixing bowl by hand- with a wooden spoon- until moistened:

2 cups Pamela's Ultimate Baking Mix* or your own self-rising GF baking and pancake mix
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup organic light brown sugar
2 medium free-range organic eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil or organic shortening
3 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract

This dough is rather stiff and not sticky or gooey.

Add in:

1 heaping cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF [if you live above 5,000 feet, set your oven temp to 375ºF].

Using a rubber or silicone spatula, press the cookie dough evenly into a lightly oiled 10x13-inch baking pan. Add extra chips to the top, and lightly press into the batter.

Bake on a center rack until the bars are set and golden brown- about 21 to 25 minutes- depending upon your oven and altitude. Do not over-bake.

Allow the bars to cool on a wire rack before cutting.

Makes 18 bars.

These freeze well- wrap tightly and store in a freezer bag. Thaw before serving.


Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

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Karina's Notes:

If you do not have Pamela's try another all purpose leavened GF flour/baking mix; or substitute your own personal favorite GF flour mix and add a teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (or guar gum- caution guar gum is from legumes).

To make this autism diet friendly use a non-dairy self-rising gluten-free baking and pancake mix and casein-free chocolate chips.

Enjoy sugary treats in moderation. Gluten-Free Goddess advises consuming no more than 2 tablespoons of sugar a day.