This recipe was inspired by an email I received from a fellow gluten-free blogger and mother of a toddler. Her son is allergic to wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, oats, and nuts. She had great success in baking our Rhubarb Muffins and Everyday Sandwich bread (please click on the links to see her blog and photos of these recipes), and was wondering if I had any cookie recipes that fit her son's allergy criteria and that also excluded seeds. Hmm, seeds too? No flax, no sunflower, no nothing? Now, I do have a handful of these types of cookie recipes which will be appearing in my next book, but what about something new? An idea for a richly spiced teff cookie bar was inspired!
I experimented with my idea two different ways while my twin toddlers were sleeping this afternoon. My four-year old daughter helped to measure all of the ingredients. It especially excites her to measure the spices and level them off with her finger!
These cookie bars are rich, moist, with a full-bodied spice flavor. My toddlers thoroughly enjoyed them!
Though I have not tested this, I believe these bars could be made with brown rice or sorghum flour in place of the teff. The teff does lend a discernable crunch which may turn some folks off, though die-hard teff lovers will surely be satiated with this recipe.
If teff flour is unavailable then replace it with either brown rice flour or sorghum flour (or a mix of the two). The coconut oil can be replaced with butter or vegan margarine if tolerated. Be sure to store these bars in a tightly sealed container to prevent them from drying out. Enjoy with a cup of hot tea.
2/3 cup of softened coconut oil (see tip below)
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup Sucanat, maple sugar, or organic brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups dark teff flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 to 2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 7 x 11-inch glass baking pan.
In a large mixing bowl beat (with an electric mixer) the coconut oil, applesauce, molasses, sugar, and vanilla until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat again. Beat for about 60 seconds or until the dough thickens.
Spread the dough into the prepared pan using a spatula. Even it out so it is level on all sides.
How to soften coconut oil: In the summer your oil will naturally be soft, unless your kitchen or pantry is hot (75+ degrees, which then your coconut oil will be liquid). If your oil is hard, then melt it at a very low temp in a pot on the stove; then pour into a small bowl to cool. When it has begun to solidify and becomes opaque, use it. If your oil is liquid, then measure out what you need, pour into a bowl and place into the refrigerator. When it has solidified enough to be soft, use it. If you choose to use your oil in a liquid form it can start to seep out of the dough into an oily mess. Your end product will not turn out the same as it would if softened coconut oil is used. I know this sounds like a pain, but it is worth it! :)
If you make this recipe and change it, let us know. Your comments will help other readers know what to expect and learn how to make this recipe in new ways! Thanks :)