There are many great things about Sweet Laurel bakery: The way owners Laurel Gallucci and Claire Thomas make grain- and refined-sugar-free desserts that are anything but a compromise, the eye-catching cakes, and the inspiring story are just a few. The one not-so-great quality, however, is that L.A. gets to enjoy their baked goods at any time, while here in New York . . . no such luck. So when they released a cookbook, aptly called Sweet Laurel, thankfully that all changed. Even more exciting was having them in the kitchen to make these baked churros—with "option" chocolate for dunking. But be warned: Once you try the combo, you won't have them plain again.
Watch the Sweet Laurel team make this recipe on Facebook Live.
Baked Churro Bars
Recipe adapted from 'Sweet Laurel,' by Laurel Gallucci and Claire Thomas
Yield: 16 bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
For the Topping:
¼ cup date sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the Cake:
3 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
½ cup finely chopped pecans or pecan flour
2 large eggs
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Dipping Cacao (Optional):
½ cup chopped 100 percent cacao unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line an 8-by-8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, letting the paper hang over the sides for easy removal.
2. Make the topping: Mix the date sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl, and set aside.
3. Make the cake: In a medium bowl, mix the almond flour, baking soda, salt and pecans. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with the cinnamon date sugar and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
4. Allow the cake to cool fully in the pan. Remove the cake from the pan by gently lifting up on the parchment paper, then cut into thin slices, about 1-by-4 inches. Sprinkle with additional date sugar if you like.
5. To serve with drinking chocolate, combine the cacao, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla and salt in a small pot over low heat. Stir gently until everything is melted, steaming and well combined, about 10 minutes. Pour into 4 cups to sip with the churro bars (it's decadent drinking chocolate, so a little goes a long way).
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