Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Paleo Orange-Date-Pecan Bars

I have a terrible habit of craving something sweet after meals. Not a whole-candy-bar kind of craving, but just a little something to finish off the meal. My mother-in-law recieved the original version of these as a holiday gift from a coworker, and the recipe was included with the gift (love that idea!). The originals were so delicious, I decided to set about making a Paleo version to continue my gluten-free ambitions. They have kept really well in the fridge, and it's nice to have something on hand so that I'm not eating an entire Larabar post dinner (is that just me?).

[Note: These bars include butter, which by strict Paleo standards is breaking the rules. Usually, I'm a rule follower. However, many Paleo people consider butter an acceptable source of animal fat, sooooooo....yea. I hesitated to call these Paleo instead of simply Gluten-Free, but I made a disclaimer, so I'm considering my bases covered. Don't sue me.]

My attempt at an ingredient round-up. Except I forgot to include half of them in this picture. Rookie mistake. Refer to recipe below for actual ingredients.

Get out your trusty stand mixer! Or start stretching your mixing arm...

Line a 9 x 5 loaf pan with foil. Make it really beautiful like I did. Errr...

Oh yea, you also need a food processor. Those cavemen sure did have a lot of handy kitchen appliances...
These are the dates, orange rind, and orange juice being finely chopped.

Beating butter in the mixer...look at her go!

Mmmm....honey instead of gallons of sugar. I'll take it!

Combining some almond and coconut flour.

Mix-y mix mix.


Separate dough into thirds. Mix one with half of the pecans and layer on the bottom of the pan. Mix the second with the date/orange mixture and layer. Mix the last with the second half of the pecans, and - you guessed it! - layer.

Chill for at least 2 hours.

Cut and ready for the oven!

All done! Nom nom.
Paleo Orange-Date-Pecan Bars
[Try saying that 10 times fast...]
Makes 22 bars.

1 10-oz. package chopped dates
1 tblspn fresh orange juice
3 tsp grated orange rind
1 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups almond flour
1 1/4 cups coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans [divided]

Line a 9" x 5" loaf pan with foil [allow to extend over the edges of the pan]. In a food processor, chop the dates, orange rind, and orange juice until dates are finely chopped [45 seconds]. Soften butter in a microwave safe dish for approximately 45 seconds. In your stand mixer, beat butter; gradually add sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture. Divide dough into thirds. Knead in half of the pecans into the first batch of dough; press into pan. Knead dates into the next 1/3 of dough; press into pan as a second layer. Knead remaining pecans into last 1/3 of dough; press into pan as a third layer. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Invert pan, discard foil. Cut dough lengthwise into 4 seconds; cut crosswise into 1/3in slices. Put on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes [almond/coconut flour burn a little easier than regular flour, so keep an eye on them].

[Adapted from Trudy Lanphier White, adapted from a Southern Living Recipe]

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