MC Squares: A Gluten & Dairy-Free Dessert

This past holiday my son wanted his favorite dessert we call “Squares”. It is a graham cracker crust with alternating layers of chocolate and peanut butter chips, coconut, walnuts, and marshmallows. It is pretty easy to make. The important part is to pour sweetened condensed milk over it before you add the marshmallow topping. The sweetened condensed milk acts as a ‘glue’ to hold the whole thing together. It’s really a candy bar cut into squares.

My darling daughter wanted to make it but she wanted it so that her sister-in-law who is dairy and gluten sensitive could eat it. Lots of people are finding dairy and gluten hard on their digestive system, and for various reasons have cut them out of their daily diets. Avoiding gluten and dairy can be difficult during holidays, so I wanted to share this variation of the above dessert. My daughter and daughter-in-law created it, and it had delicious results, even better tasting than the original.

The graham cracker crust was completely out since it is made of butter and wheat, so we made an oatmeal, nut butter, coconut sugar, and coconut crust. We didn’t measure anything, but I would guess a cup and a half of oatmeal, several tablespoons of nut butter (we used cashew and almond), and a few teaspoons each of coconut sugar and coconut. The important thing here is to have the whole glob of food kind of sticking together with the nut butter so you can flatten it in the pan. We also sprayed the pan with a little oil first. We did not cook the crust separately.

The layers we made with dairy-free chocolate chips, almond slices (or chopped walnuts would be good), dried cherries, coconut, and a few chopped up dates. Instead of sweetened condensed milk, the girls decided on sweetened condensed coconut milk. It is just as gluey as the dairy kind and worked well to hold the whole thing together. We topped it with marshmallows and put it in the oven (350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes), cooled it, and put it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

The dessert turned out beautifully, and very tasty. It stuck together just like the original dairy one, and the crust held together even better than a graham cracker one! We all loved it. The cherries were delicious with the chocolate. The whole recipe was a complete success and worthy of sharing. I call them MC Squares, for Megan and Claire, my two darling daughters.

God puts the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6). I would be very lonely without my family and I am ever thankful for them. My daughter’s  desire to give her sister-in-law a sweet treat over the holidays was an example of loving kindness that warmed my heart, and is attributable to the Spirit that God has given her. One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is loving-kindness.

Jesus said if we who are evil know how to give good things to each other, how much more so does God our Father who gives the Holy Spirit to us when we ask for it. (Luke 11:13) God has given us this great gift through Jesus Christ, His very own Spirit, as a deposit for a most wonderful future He has planned for those who love him. He is our family and a great comfort to us in this life. His love is the ‘glue’ that holds us all together. Let us praise and thank Him for the love he has placed in our hearts for each other, and may God bless you in the new year.

The Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all.

1 Corinthians 12:7