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Desserts

Vegan berry bars

Vegan berry bars
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Cookie bars, sliced pie squares, granola bars and crisped rice treats. Whether topped with a drizzle of chocolate or a crumbly streusel topping, bars are the go-to treats for bake sales and school lunches, perfect for potlucks and office parties, ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, plus cooling time | Makes 12 to 16 bars
  • 1 1/4 cups refined coconut oil
  • 1 cup vegan sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons almond extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups (12.75 ounces) flour
  • 1 cup berry jam or preserves
  • 1 pint fresh berries
  • 1 cup sliced almonds

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13- by 9-inch baking dish.

Step 2In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the coconut oil, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 3By hand, stir in the almond meal, then the baking powder and flour until thoroughly incorporated. The dough will be somewhat crumbly; this is OK.

Step 4Place three-fourths of the dough mixture into the greased baking dish, pressing to form an even layer across the bottom of the dish.

Step 5Spoon the jam over the dough, spreading to form an even layer that reaches almost to the edges of the dough. Sprinkle over the berries.

Step 6Add the sliced almonds to the remaining dough, pressing until the mixture will clump in your hands. Crumble the mixture over the berries and jam.

Step 7Bake the bars until the topping is firm and lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Remove and cool on a rack before cutting into bars.

Note: Sugar is often processed using animal bone char, which is unacceptable to many vegans. This recipe calls for vegan sugar (animal-free processing), which is generally available at health food markets, as well as online.

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