A Bakery Owner Teaches Us How To Make Homemade Gluten-Free Guava Coconut Bars
I'm a lover of all things tropical, so the combination of guava and coconut is a favorite pairing of mine. This recipe is a twist on Ovenly's Montego Bay Bars (date chocolate jam bars). It's especially delicious because it is the perfect balance of sweet and salty and is gluten- and dairy-free.
Guava is full of good nutrients and also happens to taste great in desserts. The coconut adds some texture and crunch while complementing the nutty almond flour and oats. As a bakery owner, I never really believed in "healthy desserts," but this one takes the cake (!).
Gluten-Free Guava Coconut Bars
- Vegan butter or olive oil for greasing the baking pan
- 10 tablespoons (142 grams) vegan butter, at room temperature (My go-to is Miyoko's cashew cream butter, but you can substitute any vegan or unsalted butter.)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
- ½ cup (100 grams) dark brown sugar
- 1½ cups (204 grams) almond flour
- 1¾ cups (175 grams) gluten-free rolled oats
- ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 595 grams (21 ounces) guava paste, approximately 1½ packages
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with vegan butter or oil.
- Whisk the almond flour, oats, ½ cup of the coconut, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter and olive oil with the light and dark brown sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer off, add the flour and coconut mixture, and mix on low speed until just combined.
- Firmly press ¾ of the dough mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan (reserve ¼ of the mixture for the topping). Press down to make a solid bottom crust.
- Cut guava paste into ¼-inch-thick slices and cover entire bottom crust evenly.
- Crumble the remaining ¼ cup dough mixture on top of the guava paste. Sprinkle the reserved ¼ cup coconut evenly over the crumble. Press down slightly so it sticks.
- Bake for 33 to 35 minutes. The crumble should be lightly golden brown when ready. Cool and cut into 15 bars, approximately 3-by-2½-inch rectangles.
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