Thursday, November 21, 2013

Magical Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Bars -- Sugar Free & Low Carb

This evening, my seasonal "cranberry craze" continues! I have been looking at finding ways to incorporate cranberries into a bar cookie. What better way to do that than layering them along with dark chocolate, coconut, walnuts and ooey gooey Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk? These Magical Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Bars are sweet, tart, chocolatey, coconutty, ooey, chewy and gooey...it doesn't get much better than that -- especially if you happen to be a cranberry lover like I am. They are also festive looking for the holidays. Who needs red M&Ms for holiday baking when you can have antioxidant rich cranberries, along with some dark chocolate tossed in, to boost those antioxidants. Check out some interesting facts about why cranberries are considered to be such a "superfood" --> "Cranberry Health Benefits: The Power of Antioxidants". In this link it states that fresh cranberries can last up to 2 months in the refrigerator if tightly sealed and that cooked cranberries can last up to a month in the fridge (so I'm going to make my cranberry sauce ahead of time this Thanksgiving). Another interesting factoid that I didn't realize was that if one cranberry in the bag gets soft, you should remove it immediately or others begin to get soft and go bad, too. The only other fruit higher in antioxidants is blueberries...who knew they were THAT good for you -- almost medicinal...LOL. Check out my bar cookie recipe below as well as a few photos. Excuse me now while I go "take my antioxidants". Enjoy!






Magical Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Bars

Ingredients:

For the crust
1/4 cup Swerve Sweetener (or equivalent sweetener to 1/4 cup sugar)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, diced
1 egg

For the toppings:
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut (the longer shreds)
1 (3.5 ounce) bar of 70% or 85% cacao chocolate, chopped or 70% chocolate chips
1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons Swerve Sweetener (or sweetener equivalent to 3 tablespoons sugar)
1-1/4 cups Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium bowl, add almond flour, flax, Swerve, cinnamon, diced butter and 1 egg. Using a pastry/dough cutter, cut butter and egg into flour mixture until a thick, dense dough forms. Using your hands or a rubber spatula, press dough evenly into a 9x9" nonstick baking pan. Bake crust at 325 degrees for approximately 12 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Remove crust and let cool about 15 minutes.  

Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix cranberries with 3 tablespoons Swerve and set aside. Layer walnuts, coconut, and chocolate on top of crust; top with cranberries. Evenly drizzle 1-1/4 cups sweetened condensed coconut milk on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and bubbly around edges.  Let cool completely and refrigerate until chilled before cutting into bars.  

     

10 comments:

Sandy said...

Wow!!! Definately trying these tomorrow...yummmy

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hope you enjoy them, Sandy! :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

A Most Excellent way, indeed, to get one's required antioxidants!!! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

LOL, CyberSis! :-)

Tonia L said...

Those look so yummy! Like a healthier version of Hello Dolly Squares. They are definitely going on my to-bake list for Christmas!

Darlene said...

I think this recipe will be added to my Xmas cookie baking list~thank you!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Darlene -- I'm definitely will be adding them to my Christmas cooking baking as well! Hope you enjoy them! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Tonia! I hope you enjoy them -- I will be making them for the Christmas holidays, too! I use to make the regular Magic Cookie Bars and top them w/ red & green M&Ms rather than chocolate chips -- this is about as close as I can get -- I can't think of anything green to substitute for the green M&Ms! :-)

Darlene said...

How about pistachios for the "green"?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Darlene -- What a great suggestion -- I bet that would work! I will have to remember that. Thank you. :-)