I used to love to bake, but 14 years ago, and without many options going grain free, one tends to reduce the baking quite a bit as half of it you can longer eat! But with the advent of all kinds of substitution options, the baking is back! And better than ever!
Chances are pretty good that you can bake without refined sugars, and with multiple options instead of a break/cookie/butter/sugar crust. We are getting wiser to other ways we can use naturally sweet foods in place of refined sugars, and baking without eggs for strict vegans is easier as well!
Keep in mind, however, that even if you are not using the typical grain carbs and sugars, most of the baked goods you will make will still fall under the "Congestor" category, though they will be of the better variety.
It's Friday family movie night at my house, and the fare is typically pizza of some sort. I love to make my special almond crust with tons of veggies for grain free veg option.
While I have the oven on I thought I would whip up a dessert movie night treat also, but of course don't want to feed my fam with the sugared junk. I used to not be a huge ooey gooey chocolate baked goods person even as a kid (I didn't even like chocolate chip cookies! I know, right!) But there was one treat my grandma made that Oh My Nelly... yummo! The Magic Cookie Bar.
So I called this variation on an old favorite the "Magic Illusion Bar" because it's an "Illusion" get it? It's not the real thing and thank GOD because it's oh so good and you don't have to worry so much about the sugar intake.
Magic Illusion Bars
1 1/2 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon salt
12 pitted Medjool dates
Pulverize in blender until a coarse ground meal. Press into greased 9 x 9 pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, then set aside while you make the sauce.
The Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute Sauce
2 ripe bananas
6 Medjool dates, pitted
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sunbutter or peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Boil the Medjool dates in the water on low and covered for 10 minutes. Add the bananas, nutbutter, vanilla and the dates with water into the blender and pulverize on high until smooth.
Pour the caramel mixture on top of the baked crust. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of chocolate chips ( I use enjoy life brand, or Carob chips if I'm trying to avoid chocolate altogether) and 1 cup chopped nuts on top of the 2 layers. You can get by with less chocolate chips if you use dark chocolate, and for the fact that the substitute caramel sauce is rich and sweet also.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes until bubbly brown.