Review and Recipe: Chrystal Carver Sweet & Simple Gluten-Free Baking

I met Chrystal Carver at the Portland GFFAFest after conversing via email. She blogs at the Gluten-Free Palate and recently launched her book “Sweet & Simple Gluten-Free Baking.” I received a free copy of the book and am part of a recipe and review blog hop! Thanks Chrystal – and I hope my readers get a chance to check out your blog and your new book!

You can purchase her new book on Amazon: Sweet & Simple Gluten-Free Baking: Irresistible Classics in 10 Ingredients or Less!PS full disclosure I am also an Amazon Affiliate (who isn’t nowadays…)

I was asked to choose a recipe to feature on Celiac and the Beast and the one that instantly caught my attention was the Fruit-Filled Oatmeal Squares. Why? Because I love oatmeal, I love jam, and this recipe sounded so easy even someone like me couldn’t screw it up. Plus, these recipes are with 10 ingredients are less (less for me to screw up – huzzah!). Here’s some pics of my experience making these fruit-filled oatmeal squares.

Sweet & Simple Gluten Free Sweet & Simple Gluten Free Sweet & Simple Gluten Free Sweet & Simple Gluten Free

These were really good and really (REALLY) sweet. This dessert honestly stayed true to the name of the book – it was simple to make, and it was sweet. And it was delicious. I’m not sure what I would do in order to cut back the sweetness to this – perhaps use a sugar-free fruit-only jam? Cut back on the brown sugar used in the “crust” perhaps? If I made this again – and I really want to, I would need to find a way to cut down on the sweetness so I could eat more.

For an additional perspective, Non-GFBF(butactuallyGFBF) ate a serving that I didn’t think was humanly possible to consume at one time. He stuck his in the fridge to get it chilly and slathered Nutella on it. I’m not sure how he hasn’t slipped into a diabetic coma yet, but I’m watching him closely just in case.

Here’s the recipe:
By Chrystal Carver, Sweet & Simple Gluten-Free Baking Irresistible classics in 10 ingredients or less! Photos by Mary Bernsen

Fruit Filled Oatmeal Squares
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 24

INGREDIENTS
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend*
1 cup gluten-free quick-cooking oats
⅔ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup butter (1 stick), cold
10 oz. jar of your favorite fruit jam (I like to use strawberry, raspberry or plum)

METHOD
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Position the oven rack in center of oven.
Grease 9x9x2 inch pan; set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar and baking soda. Cut in butter until flour mixture looks crumbly. Reserve half of the crumbly flour mixture for the topping.
Press the remaining flour mixture into the bottom of the pan. Spread fruit jam on top. Sprinkle with remaining flour mixture.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Cut into 24 bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

This book covers EVERYTHING sweet – cakes, cupcakes, breads, cheesecakes, pies, tarts, cookies, brownies and bars. For the money, you’re getting a TON of simple gluten-free recipes – may of which have allergen-friendly options like dairy-free.

I had a great time looking through this book, and found quite a few more recipes I wanted to tackle. I would recommend this book for bakers looking for a QUICK, SIMPLE, EASY recipes for SWEET gluten-free goodies.

You can purchase her new book on Amazon: Sweet & Simple Gluten-Free Baking: Irresistible Classics in 10 Ingredients or Less! Photography by Mary Bernsen.

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