MAKES 1 (13 BY 9-INCH) PAN OF BARS Here’s your go-to gluten-free dessert to bring to any holiday event this season and beyond. With a drool-worthy crispy-cookie-like base (that can be repurposed for pretty much any bar) and a tangy-sweet topping, this sure-thing recipe by our pal (four-time champ of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars”) Kyra Bussanich is spectacular and intense, so a little goes a long way. Cut the bars small and stack them prettily for a crowd-pleasing presentation. Or take it over the top by serving it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
For the cookie bar base:
1 cup (8 ounces) butter, browned and cooled completely
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 cup sugar
1 cup millet flour
1 cup sweet white rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Cranberry Compote:
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Make the cookie bar base: In a small pan, brown the butter over medium heat and let cool to room temperature (butter will solidify, but will be brown and smell nutty. Don’t skip this step: it provides a lovely deep flavor!
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Spray a 13 by 9-inch casserole pan with gluten-free pan spray and line with parchment baking paper. Set aside.
In a food processor, blend together the fresh rosemary and the sugar to finely chop the rosemary and release the oil into the sugar.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cooled browned butter on high speed until light and creamy and then add the rosemary sugar. Beat until fluffy and creamy and several shades lighter.
In a small bowl, mix together the millet flour, sweet white rice flour, tapioca flour and salt and then add half the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mix. Mix on low speed until mostly combined and then stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mix and combine on low speed. Press two-thirds of the cookie base into the baking pan, reserving the remaining third of the dough. Bake until lightly golden brown and set to the touch, about 45-50 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the Cranberry Ginger Compote: In a deep skillet, heat the frozen cranberries with the sugar, orange juice, chopped candied ginger, and dried cranberries over high heat until the liquid boils, the sugar dissolves, and the frozen cranberries burst open. Drop the heat to medium-low and continue to stir occasionally until the mixture thickens up, up to 15 minutes.
Spread the cranberry compote over the baked cookie bar base and dot the top with crumbles of the remaining third of the cookie dough.
Bake until the cookie top is lightly golden brown and hard to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes.
Let cool completely before cutting.
About the Author
If you’re ever craving GF sweetness, Kyra is your girl. A gluten-free graduate of Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program, Kyra taught herself to create spectacular GF versions of classic pastries she’d studied in class, then went on to become the only four-time winner of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars competition. The owner of lip-smacking and 100% gluten-free Kyra’s Bake Shop, outside of Portland, Oregon, she shares decadent recipes for sweet treats on her personal website and is the author of the cookbook, Sweet Cravings.
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