Gluten & Dairy Free Dream Bars

Gluten & Dairy Free Dream Bars

As I mentioned in my Vanilla Shortbread post, I recreated this much-loved favourite by Nigella Lawson, from her cookbook How to be a Domestic Goddess. I previously made her Dream Bars quite a few times, before we started eating gluten and dairy free, as they made a delicious and very satisfying snack. Although I have to say that as far as baked goods go, they certainly won’t win any beauty contests! However, like all the best recipes, it’s always about the flavour, texture and taste, which is in abundance here and makes them oh so dreamy.

In my adaptation of these bars, the shortbread base is quite light and slightly crumbly. Then in the topping, there’s a fantastic combination of cashews, brazil nuts and desiccated coconut. Which once baked, it has a lightly sticky, deliciously soft and chewy quality to it. It certainly leaves you completely satisfied after eating one!

For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch before measuring to make sure there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are firmly packed.I hope you enjoy these bars as much as my friends and family do.

Makes 10-12 bars

Shortbread Base
80g (2.8 ounces or ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) superfine white rice flour
50g (1.8 ounces or ⅓ cup) superfine brown rice flour
44g 1.6 ounces or ⅓ cup) tapioca starch
36g (1.3 ounces or ¼ cup) millet flour
33g (3 tablespoons) potato starch
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) baking powder
A pinch of salt
196g (6.9 ounces or ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons) gluten & dairy free butter
48g (1.7 ounces or ¼ cup) golden/raw caster sugar or superfine white sugar
44g (1.6 ounces or ¼ cup) light muscovado sugar or light brown sugar
1½ teaspoons (7.5ml) pure vanilla extract
8g (0.3 ounces or 1 tablespoon) superfine white rice flour
8g (0.3 ounces or 1 tablespoon) tapioca starch
7g (0.2 ounces or 1 tablespoon) corn starch
¾ teaspoon (3.75ml) baking powder
A pinch of salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons (7.5ml) pure vanilla extract
121g (¾ cup minus 1 tablespoon) light muscovado sugar, or light brown sugar
Stir Through
96g (3.4 ounces or 1 cup) desiccated coconut
75g (2.6 ounces or a slightly heaped ½ cup) roughly chopped raw cashews
75g (2.6 ounces or a slightly heaped ½ cup) roughly chopped raw brazil nuts

Preheat the oven to 160C, then grease and line a 23cm (9 inch) square pan with baking paper/parchment.

To make the base, sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, before beating in the vanilla.

Step 1

Now add the sifted flours and continue mixing, until well combined.

Step 2

Tip the shortbread base into the prepared pan and, using your fingers, press it evenly into the pan.

Step 3

Bake for 14 minutes, then remove from the oven and let it cool for about 12 minutes or so, before spreading over the topping.

Step 4

To make the topping, sift together the white rice flour, tapioca starch, corn starch, baking powder and salt, then set aside. Next, beat the eggs and vanilla together, until a little frothy. While you’re still beating, add the sugar and continue to mix until combined. Now add the sifted flours, and beat until combined, before folding in the coconut and nuts with a sturdy spatula.

Step 5

Then spread the topping mixture evenly over the par-baked shortbread base.

Step 6

Put the pan back in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Once removed, let it completely cool in the tin before turning out.

Step 7

Transfer the cooled slice to a chopping board. Then, using a sharp knife, slice it in half and cut each half into 5 or 6 smaller bars. However, you can cut them into smaller portions to suit your own serving size.

Store in an airtight container.

Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse

Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.

Oven Temperatures Chart
130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 325F = Gas mark 3
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8

3 responses to “Gluten & Dairy Free Dream Bars

  1. WOW!! These look and sound delicious. I need to get some cashews. I think I would have the rest of the ingredients. I have someone that is GF,DF I cook for sometimes.

  2. Pingback: Vanilla Shortbread | The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse·

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