July 13, 2017

Gluten Free Lunch Lady SunButter Bars

By Brianna Hobbes

Hello! I am Brianna and I share gluten-free, allergy-friendly recipes on my blog, Flippin’ Delicious. I love creating snack-worthy meals and desserts that taste just like you had when you were a kid, without the gluten.

One of my favorite childhood bar cookies are gluten free lunch lady peanut butter bars. The chewy peanut butter oatmeal bar cookies, topped with a sweet peanut butter frosting followed by chocolate fudge frosting or ganache. Decadent, and delicious, I have a hard time stopping myself from devouring the entire pan.

These lunch lady bars are what inspired me to make our household peanut-free and switch to SunButter Sunflower Butter.

Last fall I adapted my Aunt’s lunch lady bar recipe to be gluten-free. I was photographing the cookies for my blog and taking pictures of my kids eating them (which we later used for our family Holiday card). Before I finished cleaning my toddler’s sticky fingers and sweeping up the cookie crumbs, my teenaged sister came over to hang out with us. My sister has an anaphylactic peanut allergy.

I am usually very conscious of her peanut allergy. However, that day my tired mom brain simply forgot the timing of her arrival. I didn’t have all of the cookie crumbs cleaned up in time.

I was so embarrassed, and scared. I want my sister to feel comfortable in my home, and I want her to be safe. It was in that moment that I decided to switch our family to SunButter for the same reason we have a gluten-free home. The last thing I want is for someone, be it me or my sister, to not be safe or comfortable in my home. I want my home to be a safe place.

When I was contemplating what recipe to share with you here, my mind raced back to that crisp fall day with peanut butter cookie crumbs on my floor. I took my Aunt’s recipe and adapted it yet again, this time to be peanut-free. The recipe is also dairy-free and gluten-free, and can be made egg-free by using an egg-replacer.

I decided to not cover the SunButter frosting with chocolate ganache, letting SunButter have the spotlight as it truly deserves. Then I added a drizzle of melted chocolate, because I could. Whether you top your Lunch Lady SunButter Bars with chocolate or not, I hope that your family enjoys them just as much as mine did.

Recipe adapted from: http://flippindelicious.com/2016/08/gluten-free-peanut-butter-bars-with-chocolate-ganache-dairy-free.html

Total Time: 35 minutes
Makes 20 cookie bars.

Lunch Lady SunButter Bars Ingredients:
½ cup (4 ounces) white sugar
½ cup (4 ounces) packed brown sugar
½ cup palm shortening
1 egg (or egg-substitute)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup SunButter of choice
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (5 ounces) my gluten-free flour blend
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already has it)
1 cup (4 ounces) gluten-free rolled oats

SunButter Frosting Ingredients:
¾ cup (3 ounces) powdered sugar
½ cup SunButter of choice
1-2 tablespoons dairy-free milk

Ganache Ingredients:
6 tablespoons full-fat canned coconut milk
1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Directions for bars:
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper (or lightly grease it).
2. With an electric mixer, cream together the palm shortening and sugars. Add the egg (or egg substitute) and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add the SunButter and mix until combined
3. Stir in the baking soda, salt, gluten-free flour blend, gluten-free oats, and xanthan gum.
4. Spread evenly in the pan, and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Directions for frosting:
1. While the cookies bake, mix together the SunButter frosting ingredients. Start with one tablespoon of dairy-free milk and add more a little at a time until you have a smooth, spreadable frosting. Frost the SunButter bars while still warm.

Directions for ganache:
1.Heat the coconut milk in a microwave safe bowl until steaming (30 seconds for me).
2. Pour it over the dairy-free chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.
3. Spread the warm ganache on the cooled SunButter bars, or drizzle it over the top.

Brianna Hobbes is the author of the blog Flippin’ Delicious. She loves creating gluten-free (allergy-friendly) snack-worthy meals and desserts that taste just like what you had when you were a kid!

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