With the cozy holiday weekends
approaching upon us, I love to keep a batch of my Gluten-Free Cinnamon Coffee Bars on hand for the unexpected guests that seem to conveniently pop up at our house during this time of year.
I am not entirely sure what makes our home the weekend hang-out spot during the fall and winter months (or really, all year round), but I do suspect it has something to do with the fact that there is always food waiting for whoever shows up around here. Yes. A lot of food. And these Cinnamon Coffee Bars are often what is on hand to accompany a yummy cup of espresso from my awesome espresso machine (and incidentally, the best birthday present ever – thanks, honey).
Whatever the reason for our weekend visitors, I hope they never stop knocking on our door (or just walking right in). Most of our family and friends understand that once they cross over our threshold, they have free reign of my kitchen. Hungry? Thirsty? Bored? Just open the cupboards. Check the refrigerator. Scour the shelves. Just one rule: do not ask me for permission.
And, do you know what? I would not have it any other way. This is how I grew up and I love that comfortable sense of relaxed companionship that it creates in my own home today. Comfortable conversation. Children running amuck. Toys flying everywhere. And yes. I would not have it any other way.
So, I encourage you to whip up some of these to have on hand if you, too, have that open-door policy that this house has. OR.. if you do not fully embrace that policy, then just stash them away in a secret cupboard (the bars, not your visitors) and tell those pesky visitors that the kitchen is closed. Then go kick up your feet, open your newspaper, sip your coffee, eat a Cinnamon Coffee Bar with Cider Glaze, and enjoy your peaceful weekend.
And, yes, I just might have a few visitors that I hide these from too.
Cinnamon Coffee Bars with Cider Glaze
Gluten-Free, Nut-Free (Easily Dairy-Free, Egg-Free)
(Full Disclaimer here that these are not one of the more healthy goodies that I normally like to share with you. But, I like to make exceptions and treat ourselves to these when the guests show up. Plus they freeze beautrifully, so one batch can last a few weekends)
2 Tbsp: organic butter, ROOM TEMPERATURE (For Dairy-Free version: use 2 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks OR Organic Palm Shortening)
1 Cup: brown sugar (or Organic Palm Sugar)
1: egg (For Egg-Free version: use 3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce + 1 tsp baking powder)
1 Cup: coffee, hot
1 tsp: vanilla
1 1/2 Cups: gluten-free all purpose flour blend (I like Carol’s Amazing All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour-which does contain xanthan gum. If using flour blend without xanthan you will need to add 1 tsp xanthan gum here)
1 tsp: baking soda
1 tsp: salt
2 tsp: cinnamon
1 Cup: raisins (I prefer golden raisins in these)
3 oz: organic cream cheese, room temperature (For Dairy-Free version: use Follow Your Heart Cream Cheese Alternative)
2 Tbsp: organic butter, room temperature (For Dairy-Free version: use Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)
3/4 cup: confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tsp: vanilla extract
1 tsp: cinnamon
1/2 cup: Apple Cider
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
3. Add in egg and then blend in hot coffee and vanilla.
4. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum (IF blend does NOT contain it), and cinnamon. Add to butter mixture and gently mix in raisins.
5. Spread in a greased 7 x 11-inch baking pan with edges.
6. Bake for 25 minutes or just until toothpick comes out clean from center.
7. Glaze: Using electric mixer, cream together cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth. Slowly add in apple cider until of spreading consistency.
8. Spread glaze over warm bars.
And, just in case you missed my post about How to Avoid Baking Mishaps in the Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Kitchen, make sure to check it out – you will find endless tips to help you become a master baker when dealing with ingredient substitutions!
Now…Do you keep an open-door invitation going at your house?
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