Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Bars [gluten-free, vegan, paleo, nut-free]

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When I was growing up, I always used to love the shortbread cookies with the jam filling in the center – anyone else remember those?! Well, let’s just say that my tastebuds and likings have shifted a little… okay, a lot! But one thing I do still love is a yummy, satisfying treat. I decided to create my take on these jam-filled cookies by making these delicious blueberry lemon shortbread bars!

I took on the challenge to make these bars nut-free. If you know me, I’m always up for a good challenge in the kitchen :)! Not using nuts in a recipe is a lot coming from me! I literally use almond flour is every. single. recipe. One of my good friends is allergic to nuts, so I was determined to make her one of my treats that she could enjoy. I use a mix of coconut flour and tapioca flour in the crust which is the perfect blend for taste and texture.

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I also top these bar off with a coconut butter drizzle! Oh. Em. Gee. Guys, yes the drizzle might be optional, but come on – is it really optional? The answer is definitely NO! I already love coconut butter to begin with and can easily eat it by the spoonful straight from the jar, but drizzling it on top of these bars is pure heaven.

I know that you guys are going to go crazy over these, and I can’t wait for you to be as obsessed as I am!

[makes one 8×8 pan]

Ingredients :

Crust

  • 1 flax egg (1 tb flax meal mixed with 2+1/2 tb water and set aside to thicken)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, softened (not melted)
  • 3 tb maple syrup or honey (I like using honey in this recipe, but use maple syrup for strictly vegan)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Zest of one meyer lemon
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tb tapioca flour/starch
  • Pinch of pink salt

Topping 

  • 1+1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • Juice + zest of 1/2 of a lemon
  • Optional: coconut butter for drizzling

Instructions : 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º and line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flax egg, coconut oil, maple syrup or honey, vanilla, and lemon zest.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, tapioca flour/starch, and pink salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir until well combined and a dough is formed.
  4. Press dough into the lined baking pan and form an even crust. Par-bake the crust for 8 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stew together the blueberries, lemon zest, and lemon juice until the blueberries break down and the mixture is thick and reduced – this took me about 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Set mixture aside.
  6. When the crust is done parbaking, top it with the blueberry mixture and evenly spread it around.
  7. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow bars to fully cool (you can speed this up by popping them in them in the fridge) and then top with a coconut butter drizzle. Pop them in the fridge again to allow for the drizzle to set – if you can even wait that long!

Enjoy!

Lots of love, Worth

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