Gluten-free baking usually falls into one of two categories.
Either it’s nearly as good as the real thing, but requires dozens of ingredients and gums. Or it only uses “healthy” ingredients and, though looks like it could kind of be the real thing, it tastes like it was in fact made with chickpeas not flour.
The closest I’ve come to the best of both worlds are these paleo lemon bars. And it’s all thanks to the simple, streamlined recipes in the Sweet Laurel cookbook.
Very rarely do I want to cook my way through a book the way I did when I first received Lauren Gallucci and Claire Thomas’ paleo baking bible. The recipes transform the same 10 or so natural ingredients into dozens of drool worthy treats from my childhood. (Despite my mom’s crunchy granola status, she never quite figured out how to bake without white flour either).
Usually when I flip through a gluten-free baking book, I know that you guys are going to be too intimidated to try half the recipes because of all the random flours they require. I have most of them in my pantry, and still don’t’ want to break out that many jars for one loaf of banana bread.
Everything in Sweet Laurel is very much aimed at the home cook who is just looking for minimally processed, naturally sweetened baked goods without having to spend all day making them. That Laurel is a member of the #HashiPosse is no surprise, and she is officially my new healthy hedonist girl crush!
Read on for how to make these simple paleo lemon bars with almond flour crust. I subbed ghee for coconut oil in the crust because my jar was running low and it was equally fabulous. I left out the instructions to the powdered coconut imitation of store bought powdered sugar because it’s brilliant, and I really hope you pick up a copy of the book.
With health and hedonism,
Paleo Lemon Bars
For the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper, letting the paper hand over the sides in a cross for easy removal.
- Make the crust: whisk together the flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt in a medium bowl until a soft dough forms. Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan, about 1/4 inch thick, and bake for 15 minutes, or until just golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool while you make the filling.
- Make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (I used a hand egg beater), whip the eggs for about 4 minutes, until frothy. Slowly add the coconut oil and honey, and mix until combined. Fold in the lemon juice and zest by hand. Before adding the filling to the cooled crust, let the filling settle so there are no bubbles on top. You can tap the bowl on your counter a few times to help pop any bubbles.
- Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake for another 15 to 25 minutes, or until set at the edges and just barely jiggly in the center. Let the bars cool and set completely in the pan, then dust with the powdered coconut sugar and cut into squares. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days.