The name doesn't do this dessert justice! (But it was hard to come up with the perfect name!) This dessert is so incredible, especially the cream cheese and lemon filling. It has the perfect balance of sweet, salty and tangy. I hadn't planned to make a dessert today, but it's been raining all day (not that it stopped my crazy husband from going kayaking!), and so I was looking for an indoor project. Then I started to think about the Fourth of July with my family growing up and some of the yummy foods we'd eat. My favorite was always the raspberry pretzel bars: a pretzel crust, fluffy cream cheese middle and lots of raspberries. I decided I needed to make a gluten free variation and this did not disappoint!
The crust is made with oats, almond flour, brown sugar, butter and coconut oil (but you could use all butter or all coconut oil) and a little extra salt to recreate the pretzel taste.
(I scored the crust after it cooled to make it easier to serve)
The middle layer came together with whipped cream, cream cheese, vanilla, sugar AND lemon zest. The lemon zest was a last minute idea and it really makes the dessert.
Finally, it's topped off with fresh raspberries and I threw in some blueberries to make it more festive.
I was really happy with how well it came off the plate with the scored crust. So pretty!
Here's the recipe!
Gluten Free Berry "Pretzel" DessertIngredients and directions:
1 cup oats (I used old fashioned, but it probably doesn't matter)
1/2 cup almond flour/meal (if you aren't gluten free, you can use flour)
Scant 3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to sprinkle on top of crust before baking
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil melted
1/4 cup melted or softened butter
To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the vanilla, coconut oil and butter. Stir until combined.
Press crust mixture into the bottom of a spring form pan. (You could use another pan if you want bars instead of wedges.) Sprinkle with a little additional salt. Bake at 350 degrees until edges are starting to brown (15-18 minutes).
Allow crust to cool completely. (I placed mine in the refrigerator after a few minutes to speed up the process).
When cool, score the crust.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar plus 1 Tbsp
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 cup whipping cream
To make filling, cream the cream cheese and all the sugar together in a medium sized bowl. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and mix well.
In a separate large bowl beat the cream until whipped. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the whipping cream.
Spread the filling onto cooled, scored crust. Wash and then gently dry the berries with a paper towel or soft cloth. Top with as many berries as you'd like!
Enjoy!! And happy Independence Day!