Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sweet Vegan Pear Bars

My Mom brought me a recipe she had printed out for some "Pear Brownies" telling me I should make them for my blog.  Of course, I make my own recipes for my blog, so I told her I would make my own version of it, but upon further inspection of the recipe I discovered that the bars on the recipe weren't brownies at all, but blondies!  No chocolate was involved, and although they contained pear sauce, I didn't think they would have much pear flavor.  I told my Mom I would make pear bars, but in all honesty I pitched the recipe and set out to create my own.  I am not one to ever follow a recipe anyways...

I wanted them to have lots of pear, and I thought they should contain chunks of pear along with the sauce in the base.  They would be fruity, but I wanted a rich component as well.  White chocolate came to mind, but I didn't have any in the cupboard, so I decided that a vanilla cream cheese swirl would be nice (vegan of course).  Also, I thought some crunchy toasted almonds would be a nice addition, for some texture.  They turned out delicious, especially when they were still warm, because I didn't wait the required time to let them cool completely.  Shame on me... but they were wonderful! 

The flavors were intensified due to the fact that they had recently been pulled from the oven.  The diced pears were fruity bursts of flavor in the soft vanilla dough ribboned with the sweet  cream cheese! The almonds were a nice addition as well providing nuttiness and crunch. 

My Mom, who of course was the whole reason I made these, agreed that they were much better than the other recipe.  Just goes to show that you don't have to follow a recipe necessarily, just gain inspiration from it to create your own deliciousness!  Here is the recipe if you would like to experience the my bars for yourself!

Sweet Vegan Pear Bars
makes 20

1 cup maple sugar, or granulated organic sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan buttery spread at room temperature
1 cup pear puree
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups toasted sliced almonds
2 ripe organic pears (such as bartlett or d'anjou), diced

1  8 oz vegan cream cheese (I used tofutti)
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp flour
pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 9x13 inch  pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray.  In a large bowl, combine buttery spread and coconut oil with sugar and beat until fluffy and well combined. Beat in the pear butter, vanilla extract and agave nectar until well combined. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, then add to the large bowl, and mix until well combined, and stir in almonds (reserving a few for the top) .  Fold in pears (reserving a few for the top).  Pour into the prepared pan and smooth out.  In a medium bowl, beat together swirl ingredients until smooth, then drop by the Tbsp full onto the other batter in the prepared pan and swirl with a knife, then scatter reserved almonds and pears over.  Bake for about one 50- minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean but do not overbake!  Cool in the pan about 20 minutes, then lift out foil and set on a rack and let sit until completely cool.  Cut into 20 bars.


  1. Great recipe! What a compliment for your mom to say it was better than the original! Must really be good! Don't you just love tofutti? My favorite is the sour cream substitute. I've never tried the cream cheese, but plan to now.

  2. Great recipe! Great compliment from your mom. :-)

  3. They do sound delicious! I don't think I've had anything comparable, I'd love to try!

  4. These pear bars look wonderful - I like the use of agave and the addition of almond for texture and crunch. Lovely.

  5. These pear bars look delicious! Pear bits and nuts are a nice surprise in the sweet bars!

  6. Loving the look and sound of these. The recipe mentions stirring in the white chocolate but it's not listed as an ingredient. Has there been a misprunt? ;)

  7. Yep! I had originally wanted to add white chocolate when I was writing the recipe, but then when I went to make it I didn't have any so I changed it. Guess I missed that correction ;)!

  8. I was so excited to see this: I have a bag of pears that I want to use for baking.
    Great recipe riffing. These look really great. Can't wait to try them!

  9. These sound so delicious! I'm adding them to our Thanksgiving menu. I looooove pears. By the way, so far my Thanksgiving menu only consists of desserts, but whatever. I give thanks for desserts!

  10. Amy-You've really mastered the use of pears...which I love so much. Using them in desserts is really over the top delicious!
    Just adore your droolworthy pear bars, light, healthy and oh, so yummy!
    Thanks for sharing...yet, another great pear recipe!

  11. This is perfect for my sweet tooth. A great dessert for any meal. Thanks for sharing!