Friendship Bars with a Gluten-Free Twist

Gluten Free Friendship Bars III, originally uploaded by A Gluten Free Guide.

One of the new recipes I tried this weekend (when my gluten free bakery dreams were crushed) turned out so well it would seem that fate had its wise hand in it all from the beginning. What better to make for a group of girlfriends sitting around in a NY apartment watching hilarious television than a treat called a Friendship Bar? (Our sides and cheeks were hurting from the hilarity on The Office and Da Ali G Show in case you were wondering.)

I stayed mostly true to David’s original recipe. I used sorghum flour and added a 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. The almond extract adds a really nice hint of flavor. Since I wasn’t able to find the “Baker’s Edge” pan he raves about in his post, I decided to bake the mixture in two loaf pans rather than the 8X8 pan in order to maximize the “crusty edges” of the batch.

These are so chewy and perfect – you simply must try this recipe. I still can’t believe there is no added fat other than the walnuts. Let me know how they turn out for you.

Gluten Free Friendship Bars (adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris)
About 16 bars

6 tablespoons sorghum flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons packed, light or dark brown sugar
2 cups walnuts toasted and coarsely chopped
1½ cups dates, pitted and quartered
1 cup dried apricot halves quartered
1 extra large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Line two 8X4-inch loaf pans or one 8-inch square pan across the bottom and up the sides with aluminum foil

In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the brown sugar and stir, breaking up the packed sugar. Add the walnuts, dates, and apricots. Use your fingers to mix separating any pieces sticking together, ensuring that all of the fruit is coated with the flour mixture.

Beat the egg, vanilla, and almond extract in a small bowl, then mix with the fruit and nut mixture until evenly coated. Spread the mixture in the baking pan with your hands and press to even it out. It is pretty gooey at this point.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until the batter is golden brown and has pulled away just-slightly from the sides of the pan. Cool the bars in the pan. It will be tempting to take them out of the oven too early but the bars won’t set if you do. Once the bars are cooled, peel off the foil, cut and serve.

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~M said,

April 12, 2007 @ 2:06 pm

These look tasty and would be great for a road trip. Here is the link to the Baker’s Edge:

Mike Eberhart talked about it on his blog last year.

Catherine said,

April 13, 2007 @ 2:26 am

I saw the web site and registered for the wait list but they are all sold out of the pan everywhere!

» Finding Gluten-Free Love | A Gluten Free Guide said,

March 7, 2008 @ 5:36 pm

[…] you want to make your own gluten-free Valentine’s day treats, try these Friendship Bars, Chocolate Fondue, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, or a gluten-free […]

» The Best Gluten-Free Brownies Recipe | A Gluten Free Guide said,

March 11, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

[…] I first discovered it when I was experimenting with a gluten-free version of David Lebovitz’s Fruit and Nut Bar recipe. I worried that it would be difficult to get the brownies out of the pan or to clean up afterwards, […]

» Chocolate To Lift Your Spirits | A Gluten Free Guide said,

March 11, 2008 @ 9:51 pm

[…] some fun new cheeses, and homemade chocolate dipped fruit. Originally, I was planning on making Friendship Bars, but they seemed a little too heavy for a summer menu. So instead, I used the dates and apricots to […]

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