It’s hard to believe I started this blog a year ago this week. At the time, I was feeling exhausted and run down, and it wasn’t for several months later that I figured out the reason for that. I assumed my schedule was to blame, and I wanted something totally separate from my day-to-day that would not only give me a creative outlet, but would force me to continue to learn and to connect with others.
It has been a gradual process, this space, and very much continues to be. Finding my voice, figuring my way around a camera, trying not to get too discouraged after several failed attempts at a recipe. It would be so much easier if I just could use flour with gluten. In working on this post, I was reminded of how this space has provided me the balance that I needed. I talk with my students and athletes a lot about balance, and what that used to mean for me is something much different now. I used to think achieving balance was strictly related to the way we booked ourselves throughout the week. But as I am learning, it also involves the food I eat, how essential quiet downtime is for me, the importance of spending time with close friends. Where was the book Quiet when I was in my early 20’s? Definitely changed the way I perceive what I need and that it is okay to make choices that work towards a better, healthier, happier way of being.
And so to ring in another year in my little corner, and all in the name of balance, of course, I present to you these German chocolate cookie bars. Using my favorite grain-free cookie base of almond and coconut flours, I added unsweetened cocoa powder, dairy-free chocolate chips, pecans, and unsweetened coconut flakes. Sweetened with maple syrup, it is a chocolatey treat without being overly sweet.
- ¾ cup almond flour, packed
- ¼ cup coconut flour, packed
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup melted coconut oil, cooled
- ¾ cup maple syrup, grade b
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup dairy-free dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8x8 baking pan with coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cooled coconut oil and stir until mixture is evenly incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips and chopped pecans.
- Spread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle coconut flakes over top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick come out clean. Cover top with a sheet of foil once coconut starts to look toasted (after about 7-8 minutes). Place pan on wire rack to cool.