A few weeks ago, it was my wife's turn to host playgroup. In theory, the purpose of playgroup is for the babies to get to interact with each other. But, I have a suspicion that it's at least as much about the moms getting together to gossip ... and to eat. So, I wasn't surprised when my wife asked me to make something for her to serve to "the girls." I picked this recipe, and hoped they'd like it.
These were great, and pretty easy to make. In fact, I made them on a weeknight, which is a pretty good measure of how simple a recipe is. I usually get home from work pretty late, so, if I'm going to make something before bed, it's got to be quick and easy.
First, I toasted some sweetened, flaked coconut. After some less than stellar results in the past, I'm finally getting the hang of toasting coconut in the oven. The key is to stir it a couple of times while it toasts, and to keep a very close eye on it, since it can burn in a matter of seconds. Next, I pulsed together some flour, brown sugar and white sugar in the food processor. I added some cold butter, cut up into pieced, and pulsed it until a dough began to form. Then I transferred the dough to a large mixing bowl, and using my hands, kneaded in some old-fashioned oats and the toasted coconut.
To assemble the bars, I pressed the dough into the bottom of a baking dish, reserving some for the topping. I spread some seedless raspberry jam over the dough, and then sprinkled the reserved dough over the jam.
After the bars were baked, I removed them from the pan. The Book says to "loosen from sides of pan with a sharp knife, then lift out in 1 piece and transfer to a cutting board." Hmmm, sounds like a disaster in the making. So, to make it easier to remove the bars from the pan, I made an aluminum foil "sling." Before I put the dough into the pan, I lined it with the foil and let the foil overhang the edges of the pan. I was able to just lift the foil sling out of the pan and then cut the bars into 24 pieces.
These bars were delicious. Very sweet, and with a nice crunchiness from the oats and coconut, and a rich gooeyness from the jam. I think that the moms at playgroup liked them. I brought the leftovers to work, where they were gobbled up in a matter of minutes.
Date Cooked: July 6, 2009
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
2 years ago