Yes, I am gluten free. No, I do not have celiac disease. And lastly, I am not doing this just to be “trendy.”
Ready to take a guess at who I am?
Hopefully not, since I am still working on that answer; but meanwhile, if we were talking to my taste buds, they might go with something along the lines of gluten-intolerant.
Having to explain my circumstance regularly, I usually receive the same, standard feedback—stares of shock, confusion, pity and the inevitable, “Well, that just sucks.” But as a fellow foodie, I refuse to let wheat win this round.
In fact, I’ve devoted a fair share of my procrastination around my very own quest to uncover recipes that even my most “gluten-filled” friends cannot turn down.
My everyday diet thrives on its variety; I like to consider myself an inclusive individual, so when it comes to calorie consumption, I try my best to incorporate every major food group into my meals. And by that, what I’m actually referring to is a treat that is a meal in and of itself: white chocolate coconut and banana s’mores bars. This treat—which, of course, is socially acceptable to devour at any time of day—is an extremely versatile recipe, as it can serve as a comforting conclusion to almost any crisis.
The lengthy title of these irresistible lifesavers can be deceiving. It is difficult for most people to get over the fact that something so chewy, flavorful, satisfying and addicting can still be considered “gluten free.” Well, trust me—it is. And the only thing more appetizing than that is that its recipe does not require any top chef expertise.
If you haven’t already rearranged your schedule to make these treats today, you’re missing out. Stop whatever you’re doing so you can seek out the closest oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. You, and whoever you plan to share these with, will thank me (unless you don’t plan on sharing them which is also completely understandable).
Hopefully the oven you’ve just found is in close proximity to an 8×9 baking pan to cover with tin foil. Remember to spray your base with cooking spray or some sort of oil—though you should already know this from seventh grade Home Ec or whatever you’re school decided to call it.
Next, find a bowl big enough to mix the first few ingredients: coconut, vanilla, salt and egg whites. As you mix, begin to add the white chocolate (chopped or shredded) and the sugar.
Disclaimer: this task is usually easier to complete with a second set of hands, but to get that extra pair of hands you also must be mentally prepared to split the baked goodness after the anticipated 25 to 30 minutes.
Once the first few ingredients are well mixed, transfer this decadent combination into your baking pan/tin. Separately, wrap the bananas (with their peel on), in tinfoil so they can bake at the same time as the coconut concoction. Both require 25 to 30 minutes in the oven, or until the coconut mixture becomes slightly golden and the bananas start to darken. Disclaimer 2.0: this process is easier and more efficient with a friend (if you’re really hungry, just double the recipe).
After watching the minutes pass and deliberating on how you and your sous chef will split the baked goods, peel the bananas into a bowl which will be big enough for them to be smashed in.
Finally, transfer the banana mash over the coconut mixture and lastly, generously coat these layers with chopped/shredded chocolate and marshmallows.
Once you feel as though you have mastered these layers of deliciousness, place the tin/pan in the oven with the broiler on. It will only take a minute or so for the marshmallows to toast to a crispy golden brown, so don’t get too distracted.
Once the marshmallows have peaked to the perfect state of golden brown, take out the pan and remove the tin foil as you allow the s’mores to cool for a few minutes. I recommend cutting your masterpiece into about 12 to 14 squares, but I should warn you, they disappear quickly!
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
4 oz white chocolate
2 large bananas
2 cups mini marshmallows
4 oz semisweet chocolate