**Update: Congratulations goes to Matt M. for winning the chestnut flour!!! Thanks again to all who entered!**
Day 5 of Chestnut Flour Week!! Well, the week has come to an end, but I’ve saved the best for last! Are you ready for Caramel Apple Pecan Bars?! I hope so! Because these things are so decadent – so mouth-watering – you’ll need to make a batch ASAP!
When the air turns chilly and the leaves start changing color, we head into my favorite time of year. Fall! For me, there’s nothing better than warm, Fall days and crisp, cool mornings to inspire heart-warming, tummy filling flavors in my kitchen. Flavors like caramel apples! Yippee!
But let’s be honest. Creating the perfect consistency caramel sauce that sticks well to apples…not too thick, not too thin…is especially hard when you’re not using the perfect caramel ingredient – cane sugar. But by combining these wonderful Fall flavors into a moist, decadent bar instead, you get all that caramel-y apple-y deliciousness without the headache. And the stomachache. And the toothache.
And once again, I’m using one of my favorite new ingredients – chestnut flour! The addition of chestnut flour gives the apple cake a wonderful, rich flavor and perfect texture. You will never know these bars are gluten-free, let alone grain-free and refined-sugar free…and best of all, neither will your holiday guests! I’m using chestnut flour from RC Farms here in Oregon, but my baking partner for the week, Brittany Angell from Real Sustenance has been using flour from Nuts.com. (See her recipe today for Banana Caramel French Toast Muffins!!) Be sure to enter below in the Rafflecopter widget for a chance to win a 5-lb bag of chestnut flour from RC Farms, so you can try all 10 of the recipes Brittany and I have posted this week!! I’ll announce the winner later tonight.
These bars are unbelievably good and had even our non-GF and non-paleo friends begging for more! Be warned…they disappear in record time, so be sure to save a few for yourself! I’ll be making another batch right before Thanksgiving. They’ll be the perfect ending to our paleo dinner!
P.S. – Be sure to see all of my chestnut flour recipes from this week (and read the posts for tips and substitution info) :
- 3/4 C Chesnut Flour (I use RC Farms or Nuts.com)
- 1 C Almond Flour (Honeyville or Nuts.com)
- 1/3 C Arrowroot Starch
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 egg (or 1 TBSP flax meal mixed w/3 TBSP hot water - let sit 5 min. to gel)
- 1/4 C pure grade B maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 C water
- 1/4 C coconut oil, melted
- 1 1/2 C peeled, cored & diced, Granny Smith apples
- 1 C coarsely chopped pecans
- 2 TBSP organic palm shortening
- 3/4 C pure grade B maple syrup
- 2 TBSP coconut milk
- 1/4 C coconut palm sugar
- 1) Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Line an 8x8 glass baking dish with parchment paper. Grease the paper lightly.
- 2) In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients.
- 3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine wet ingredients. Mix well.
- 4) With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture until fully combined.
- 5) Stir in chopped apples. Spoon batter into prepared baking dish, smoothing the top evenly.
- 6) Bake 30 minutes (or 35-39 if using flax gel instead of an egg) or until top is golden brown and the center springs back when touched.
- 7) While the apple bars are baking, prepare the topping. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine topping ingredients. Heat until it comes to a simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- 8) When the apple bars are done, remove from the oven and evenly spread the caramel topping over the bars. Place back in the oven for 5-6 minutes until topping is bubbly.
- 9) Cool bars in the baking dish for 1 hour on a wire rack. Cut the bars into 16 squares. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until completely cooled. Remove bars from the fridge and baking dish and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- These bars were gone so quickly, I didn't get a chance to freeze any! But I think they should freeze well, in an airtight container, with wax paper between layers, for up to 3 months.