Raspberry Coconut-Almond Cookie Bar
For the bottom cookie crust:
1 cup hazelnut flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
For the filling:
14 oz. really good raspberry jam or preserves
For the crumble topping:
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
5 Tbsp shortening
For the coconut-almond topping:
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2/3 cup sliced almonds
4 tablespoons vegan buttery spread (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13-inch baking pan by lining it with parchment paper. Cut a piece large enough to extend up both long sides of the pan- so you can grip it later, after baking, and lift the cookie bars out in one piece.
First, make the bottom cookie crust. In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine flours, sugar, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and nutmeg. Cut in shortening and vanilla with a pastry cutter. The dough should be crumbly, a bit sandy, but moist enough that it sticks together when you pinch it. Scoop the dough into the prepared baking pan and press it out evenly to form a cookie crust.
Bake the crust in the center of a preheated oven for 7 minutes- just to "set" it. Remove from the oven and set aside. Keep the oven pre-heated.
While the crust is still warm, spoon on the raspberry jam and using the back of a spoon spread it evenly over the crust, up to the edges- leaving about 1/4-inch bare crust on all sides.
Make the crumble topping. In a bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Drizzle with the vanilla extract and dabs of the shortening. Rub together with the palms of your hands to create crumbles. Sprinkle on the crumble topping.
In a saucepan, gently melt the butter. Add the flaked coconut, sliced almonds and vanilla and stir to coat. Remove from heat and set aside. Spoon on the coconut-almond mixture and spread it evenly all over the top.
Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 22 minutes. The raspberry jam will be bubbling and the crumble topping will be golden and the coconut toasted. The center of the top may still feel a bit soft- that's okay; it will set as as it cools.
Remove the pan to a wire rack to cool. When the cookie bars are completely cool, gently loosen any stuck edges around the sides of the pan. Place a sturdy cutting board next to the pan (at least the same size as the pan). Lift the bars from the pan using the parchment paper as a grip on each side and move the whole big piece to the cutting board. Place the board in the freezer to chill the bars. Say, twenty minutes or so. Remove the bars and slice with a large sharp knife.
Wrap leftover bars, bag and freeze.