Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Raspberry Coconut Bars


One of my favorite cookies to make is bar cookies. First, they are simple to make. Second, they are typically tasty and last they have endless combinations. I have to admit that I have had a long obsession and love affair with date bars. How many of you remember the Betty Crocker Date Bar Mix? My Mom would buy the mix when we were kids and make them. I swear we could eat the entire pan in one sitting, except for the fact that my Mom would meter our intake of these divine little bars.

I use to be able to find it at certain stores years ago and then I went to my “source” one day and it was GONE. I was incredibly sad, since this simple mix brought me so much joy. I searched the internet to see what had happened to my beloved Date Bar Mix. According to the official Betty Crocker message board, it had been discontinued. How could this be? Typically I love baked goods from scratch, but this mix just had a certain taste that was hard to duplicate. I kept a box for the ingredient list; to hopefully one day re-create this splendid tasting treat.















Onto the main event, they beautiful Raspberry Coconut Bars. Karen DeMasco’s “The Craft of Baking” is a wonderful book with gorgeous photos and luscious recipes. On Sunday, I got the baking bug and after leafing through Karen's book, these bars called out to me. I wanted to adapt them to make them my own, so I added the coconut. What a great addition – just adds that special extra flavor. I revisited the ingredients on the Date Bar Mix and it had coconut listed. Perhaps this is the secret ingredient!

Raspberry Coconut Bars

1 C. Pecans, coarsely chopped
1 ½ C. Flour
1 ¼ C. old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 C. Sugar
1/3 C. Dark brown sugar, packed
1 t. Salt
1/2 t. Baking soda
½ C. Shredded coconut
1 ½ Sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons)
1 C. Raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare an 8-inch square baking pan by spraying with Crisco spray or butter. Spread the chopped pecans in a baking pan and toast for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool. I bought mine already chopped and dry roasted from Trader Joe’s – saves you a step.

In a large bowl, stir the flour with the rolled oats, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, shredded coconut and pecans. Using a wooden or regular spoon, stir in the melted butter until the oat mixture is thoroughly combined.

Press two-thirds of the oat mixture in an even layer on the bottom of the prepared baking pan and top with the raspberry preserves. Sprinkle the preserves with the remaining oat mixture and pat down lightly.

Bake the bars for about 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the top is golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the granola bars cool completely, about 3 hours. Cut into squares and serve. Makes about 16 bars. Keep in an airtight container.

11 comments:

  1. I love making bar cookies too! I find that they are so much chewier...and how could I not be in love with this particular variation? I adore coconut, and anything with raspberry jam makes me happy!

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  2. These bar cookies sound so delicious. I love the ingredients, esp. the shredded coconuts and oats. And the raspberry jam is such a tease. I look forward to meeting you this weekend!

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  3. I'm with you about bar cookies. I have several that are favorites that I look forward to sharing in the next months. I'm going to try these scrumptious bars...the topping looks like delicious goodness. :)

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  4. The bars looks absolutely tasty!

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  5. Çok leziz ve iştah açıcı bir görüntüsü var. Ellerinize, emeğinize sağlık.

    Saygılar.

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  6. It's so upsetting when something you love gets discontinued!! You have to wonder if you were the only person that ever bought them.

    I love date bars, but I also really love jam and coconut bars - take me back to when I was little and my aunty would make them. These look lovely :)

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  7. What a great bar! I love the ingredients in this, it would be such an awesome treat!

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  8. Your bar cookies have some wonderful ingredients and the photo is beautiful;)

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  9. not eating just one would be my whole problem..they look awsome. I am ridiculous about anything with coconut in it. Im about to have coconut curry tempeh stir fry for dinner in a few minutes.

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