Monday, May 4, 2009

The Long and Rocky Road, Gluten Free

Gluten Free Rocky Road Bars

Once in a while a bag of marshmallows finds its way into the house. Sometimes I make marshmallows from scratch for the heck of it. Then the inevitable happens. Rocky Road. I am a Rocky Road addict. I confess. RR ice cream. RR candy bars, RR anything. But since going gluten free, RR cookie bars have been a challenge. Graham cracker used to be the roadbed for the delightful array of nuts, marshmallows and chocolate. But graham is decidedly not gluten free. And all substitutes that pretend to be graham crackers are about as edible as wallboard.

But today, I present to you a simple and delicious Rocky Road bar, one that uses a made-up cookie crust for the roadbed. It is easy to do and much better than the same old boring graham cracker crust.

Though it is gluten free, no one will care or even know because they are just that good. A goodie that is piled high with mountains of toasted, salted nuts, dark chocolate, and marshmallows is a perfect treat and a brilliantly good day. Original recipe from Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies. Adapted in L&P's gluten free test kitchen. New crust and a few tweaks. .

still warm, have a few

Rocky Road Bars, Gluten Free
cast of characters


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of gluten free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 mixed brown and white sugar any way you like
  • 1 cup bittersweet dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups mini (or homemade marshmallows snipped to 1/2 inch )
  • 1 overflowing cup of your favorite nuts, roasted and salted


Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with foil (the idea is to lift the foil out when they are done and place it on a board to cut into pieces - also, easy clean up that way!)

Melt butter in the microwave or stove top. Stir the sugar, salt and vanilla into the melted butter. Add the xanthan gum and flour and mix so no lumps remain, but just until incorporated.

melted butter, sugar, vanilla, flour mixture

Before baking, chop the nuts coarsely. I like almonds, but any other nut will do. Just don't chop them too much.

whole roasted, salted almonds

coarse chop those almonds

flatten the dough into the pan, add the nuts, press down

Drop the mess into the prepared foil lined pan. Using a fork or your fingers (or monkey finger if you wish) press the stuff down until it is pretty solid. Remember to get the edges too so they don't crumble after baking. Press the chopped nuts into the base and bake.

Place in the 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes or until lightly brown and just about baked. It will still be slightly soft in the center.

still warm from the oven

Once the base is out of the oven, while still warm, place half the chocolate chips and spread them around. Do the same with half the marshmallows. Finish up with the chocolate and then the marshmallows. The idea is to layer it so that once things melt they melt together in layers. Vary it any way you like.

adding the goodies, first round

adding the goodies, 2nd round

ready to bake again

Place back in the oven and bake for about another 12 minutes or until the marshmallows are just turning color and the chocolate is melted.

Let it set until cool, which will be hard to do. Keep a handful of marshmallows and chocolate out to eat while you wait.

toasted marshmallows anyone?

Once cool, lift out and carefully remove the foil. Use a serrated knife and cut into 16 pieces. Enjoy!


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