May 7, 2012

Make it a magical Mother's Day with coconut cookie bars

Isa Chandra Moskowitz's magical coconut cookie bars,
presented to you by my proud husband.

With Mother's Day coming up, I wanted to share a recipe that is so sinfully rich, it's perfect for spoiling those special someones in your life.  Do you like Samoas but have to skip them due to food allergies?  The magical coconut cookie bar is the answer to your prayers!  This dessert is all about chocolate and coconut plus it's a simpler substitute for homemade Samoas.

Last week's GF magical coconut cookie bars made by me
I made these once and thought they were so easy that even the non-cooks of the house can whip these up.  I had to know for sure, though, so I asked my husband if he would mind a batch for blog research sake.  Aside from scrambled eggs, my husband hasn't cooked much since we got married.  He graciously agreed.

I had written down an abbreviated version that was just fine for my own use.  However, for my non-baker husband this shortcut didn't cut it.  He had a lot of questions and felt that I needed to flesh out all the steps if I really wanted to sell this as a recipe that "anybody could make".  So instead of rewriting the original recipe in its entirety with a few of my substitutions, I will simply provide you the link to Isa Chandra Moskowitz's recipe here at her Post Punk Kitchen blog, where Isa includes very detailed instructions for each step. 

We easily made a couple of substitutions.  My first batch was gluten-free using finely crushed gluten-free graham crackers.  In my husband's batch, he used Honeymaid graham cracker crumbs and substituted coconut oil in place of Earth Balance.  And as our kids have various nut allergies, we omitted the nut layer altogether in each of our batches. 
Ingredients from my batch.  My husband's batch used coconut oil in place of
Earth Balance and Honeymaid graham cracker crumbs instead of GF graham crackers.

I made a batch last week with gluten-free, dairy-free Kinnikinnick's Graham Crackers (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free).  Kinnikinnick also sells allergy-friendly graham cracker crumbs.  If you need soy-free and dairy-free graham crackers, you can try New Morning Honey Grahams.   I haven't been able to find a gluten-free and soy-free graham cracker in stores but you can check out the recipe on the blog Dandelions on the Wall.  I haven't tried the recipe but the results sure look like the real thing! 

Remember to check your margarine and semisweet chocolate chips to make sure they are safe for you.  You can skip margarine altogether and use coconut oil just fine.  If you want a vegan margarine, Earth Balance offers varieties that are dairy-free and one in a red label that is dairy-free and soy-free.  We use Trader Joe's which are dairy-free; Enjoy Life semisweets are free of the top 8 allergens.

After a little clarification on a couple of steps from my handwritten recipe, my husband got to work.  I spent my afternoon reclining on the sofa as he was busy in the kitchen.  While I would love to tell you that I was treated to a pre-Mother's Day relaxation break, my real reason for kicking back was that I had a little accident.  To make a long story short, I think I may have broken my little toe so I was getting my RICE on.

The resulting coconut bars were decadent.  My husband did think this was a pretty easy dessert to make.  Our kids thought this second batch tasted even better than my first batch.  Why?  Because their daddy had made it!  Scrumptious, allergy-friendly, and so easy that my non-cooking partner can make them.  You see the magic now? 
Can you feel Callan's excitement?
So these are supposed to harden with refrigeration but our family is never
patient enough to wait for them to set.  We don't mind eating with forks!

If you like this recipe, check out Isa Chandra Moskowitz's recipe book Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  Read our review here or check out those 100 five-star Amazon reviews!  Among the cookie, brownie, and bar recipes are my favorite lovely chocolaty crinkle cookies and other winners.  Present a plate of cookie bars (and the recipe book!) to that favorite allergy mom in your life next Sunday!

1 comment:

  1. So sorry about your toe! Hope some rest will heal it quickly and in time for a bit of Mother's Day celebration. I love how happy your kids were to eat something their daddy had made. The real test would be my husband, who thinks 1 cup is a coffee mug full and has very little knowledge about what's behind the cupboard doors in our kitchen!