Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

So should we talk about the fact that I’ve been MIA for 3/4 of a year? Yeah? Well this cease in absence is a declaration of my commitment to balance my life with more “me” time. Cue: this post about these gluten free, vegan chocolate chip cookies bars.
 
Why these healthy little bites? Let’s speculate: maybe we indulged a bit too much over the holiday season? Maybe we really shouldn’t have had that other serving, cookie, cocktail, etc? How about before we all just decide to punish ourselves for some over indulgences, we gain some perspective and look at this rationally. (Now, I’m not good at *actually* gaining perspective nor looking at situations rationally, but we can pretend.)
 
Let’s equip ourselves for when we know that we’ll want something sweet while knowing that  there’s a spectrum that exists, and we don’t need to be on that end of the spectrum with 3 layer cakes and hot fudge brownie sundaes. So here’s the other end of the spectrum. One where taste and flavor still exists.
These gluten free chocolate chip cookie bars are slightly sweetened with coconut sugar, making them refined sugar free. Then they’re studded with Enjoy Life Chocolate mini chocolate chips. They come together quickly with the coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, a flax egg, and vanilla.
 
 I have been experimenting with gluten free flours. Today, I tried King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure gluten free flour with great results! The beauty is that you can simply substitute the amount of all-purpose flour directly with this gluten free flour. (Just make sure that if you’re weight ingredients you account for the fact that a 1/4 cup of GF flour will probably weigh slightly more than the all-purpose.) I’m going to continue to experimenting with substituting this flour with my all-purpose flour in my favorite recipes.
The result: satisfying sweet, thin yet chewy chocolate chip cookie bars that are perfect for when you want something sweet, while not completely indulging.
 
Gluten Free, Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Dry Ingredients
1 cup and 2 tablespoons gluten free flour blend (I used King Arthur Flour) (139g)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Wet Ingredients
1 flax egg (2.5 tablespoons warm water+1 tablespoon flax seed meal)
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
2/3 cup coconut sugar (96g)
1-2 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mini vegan, GF chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
Method
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 8×8” pan with parchment paper or foil and grease with coconut oil.
Mix together the warm water and flax seed meal in a small dish and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. In a medium bowl using a hand mixer or whisk, thoroughly mix the coconut oil, coconut sugar, 1 tablespoon of water, vanilla, and flax egg. Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Then add the chocolate chips. Add the additional 1 tablespoon of water if mixture is too try. (It will naturally be more crumbly, so don’t let that scare you. Just mix well.)
Pat into the prepared pan. Bake for 27-30 min. (Do not over bake. The coconut oil will firm as the bars cool.) Let cool before slicing.

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