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[Photographs: Elizabeth Barbone]

During the last cold snap, I really wanted cookies but I didn't want to move away from my place in front of the fire for more than a few minutes. Solution: bar cookies. I'd get to enjoy the flavor of chocolate chip cookies without having to get off the couch every ten minutes or so to swap pans in and out of the oven.

While melting the butter for the bars, I decided to take it a step further and brown the butter because, let's face it, browned butter tastes awesome in cookies (and almost everything else). To complement the caramel flavor of the butter, I used a blend of oat flour, rice flour, and just a little cornstarch for the flour blend. After adding the chocolate chips, I threw in some shredded coconut because why not? Bar cookies tend to handle additional ingredients well and I love coconut. However, chocolate and coconut are just suggestions. Almost anything—or nothing at all—works well in these bars. Chopped up dried fruit, toasted nuts, or a combination of fruit, nuts, and chocolate make for tasty bars.

The finished bars were just what I wanted. The nutty oat flour didn't overpower the browned butter, but rather seemed to subtly highlight the flavor. The chocolate chips and shredded coconut packed flavor and texture into every bite. All that was left to do was make a cup of hot tea and settle back down in front of the fire to enjoy the bars.

About the author: Elizabeth Barbone of GlutenFreeBaking.com joins us every Tuesday with a new gluten-free recipe. She is the author of Easy Gluten-Free Baking. and "How to Cook Gluten-Free".

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