Coconut Granola Bars

This is the post, Kaki, where I inadvertently jump on the coconut bandwagon.

Coconut oil is a big thing, right?  Well, this post isn’t about coconut oil.  I get it.  It’s a big thing.  But it’s pricey, and I’m cool with olive and canola as my oils of choice.  I’m sure someday I’ll turn around.

But no, today is about granola bars made with three types of coconut: shredded, flour, and butter.  It is a mad mix of coconut-y deliciousness.

Since I’ve already admitted to being given the coconut flour and coconut butter, I can’t claim to be an expert in their use.  But they taste like coconut, and man, I do love me some coconut.  Shredded, sweetened coconut has been a staple in my baking pantry forever.  So why not combine them, I thought recently?  Why not put all three coconut things in your pantry into one dish!?

I will admit to you, however, that this has the *slightest* tendency to crumble as written below.  I bet I should have added an egg to help bind it.  Or some more honey or golden syrup.  But these were already verging on dessert, so I didn’t want to push it.  Frankly, if you cut back on the sticky-stuff and baked it spread out on a baking sheet I bet it’d make killer granola clusters instead of bars.

Coconut Granola Bars
(inspired by Smitten Kitchen)
makes about 12 bars

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4  cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups of mix-ins (Your choice of dried fruits, nuts, etc.  I used completely unmeasured (whoops) portions of shredded sweetened coconut, crushed-up slivered almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower kernels, and golden raisins.  In total they weighed in on the kitchen scale at about 11 oz.)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Spray a 9×9 baking pan with non-stick spray*&**.

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients, including the mix-ins.

In a separate, microwave-safe bowl, nuke the coconut butter for 30 seconds to make it liquid.  Add to this the vanilla extract, oil, honey, golden syrup, and water; stir to thoroughly combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.  (The mixture will look too dry, but it will stick together in the pan.  Add some more honey or golden syrup for good measure if you feel like it.)

Dump the granola mixture into your greased 9×9 pan and press firmly into place.

Bake for about 35 minutes; the edges should be a nice brown.  Remove from the oven and cool completely, then refrigerate.  (I let them cool on the counter overnight, then moved them to the fridge in the morning; you want to refrigerate to make sure everything gels together as much as possible.)

When ready to cut, remove the bars from the fridge and let come to room temperature for 20 minutes***.  Cut into desired size squares/bars.  Share if you can make yourself be that generous.

Coconut Granola Bars

*I used a 9×13 pan and just pushed the mixture to one side, since it’s thick enough to stay together and not spread out.  However, since mine were the slightest bit crumbly, perhaps the benefit of really pressing the mixture into place with four sides firmly holding it in would have been helpful.  I guess we’ll see next time!

**Smitten Kitchen recommends lining your baking pan with a parchment paper sling (parchment paper long enough to drape over two sides of the pan) so that you can easily remove the whole block of granola-bar-goodness once it has cooled, the easier to cut it.  If you’re smart and using a rectangular pan you’ll do this.  If you’re lazy like me you’ll skip this step and then fight with your pyrex dish as you try to cut the bars directly from the pan with those lovely high pyrex dish sides getting in your way.  Listen to Deb: use the parchment paper.

***Is the 20 minute waiting period absolutely necessary?  Eh, probably not.  But cutting really cold things is hard, so I tried to help myself a bit.

P.S.  I made these for Cooper as a “here is a snack to eat one-handed while nursing” treat.  Which is to say Cooper had her baby and her name is Rebekah and she is adorable and I can’t go into Target without wanting to buy all of the cute onesies and socks.  Baby socks.  Girl.  They’re amazing.

P.P.S.  Hey, can you send me some good cooking vibes, please?  Since making these last week I’ve made a mediocre roast chicken, some not-great roast broccoli, an over-cooked pot of rice and a thoroughly “meh” blueberry oatmeal cake.  And I’d been really excited about those recipes!  Humph.  Oh, hold on, I see the problem: not enough cheese.  I need more cheese.  Or pasta.  Okay, well, that’ll be on this week’s agenda.

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