Granola bars have been on my to-bake list for what seems like ages. My husband eats one of the store-bought variety almost every morning for breakfast and often reminds me that he’d like a homemade version. Yesterday I sought out to make them a reality, but somehow I got sidetracked and made these Coconut Oatmeal Bars instead. Not quite cookie, and not quite granola bar, they’re deliciously somewhere in between.
The cookbook I found the original recipe in called them a “dressed up granola bar”, which is what enticed me in the first place. But after looking more closely at the recipe, they essentially seemed to be mere blondies, and so I made a few adjustments to help me pretend they’re healthy enough for breakfast. I substituted some of the all-purpose for whole wheat flour and cut back on both the sugar and the butter. And I don’t feel that the final product hurt any because of it. They’re still plenty sweet and delicious.
These bars are a sweet treat, to be sure. I’m not going to try to tell you it’s not. But it is one that, in my opinion, you can feel a little better about. Even baby John couldn’t resist stealing one off the table as I took these photographs, and I happily let him enjoy it.
This is a simple tip, but helpful. The most important thing to remember when toasting coconut (and almost everything else) is to watch it closely. It can go from toasted to burned in a matter of seconds.
I usually toast coconut on the same temperature at which my final baked good (cookies, bars, etc.) will be baked, usually 350 or 375 degrees F. 400 degrees F and higher is probably too high. I have also toasted coconut with a broiler, though that requires a closer watch and more frequent stirring.
Chewy bars packed with oats and toasted coconut. A perfect treat for any time of day.
- 1/2 cup (56 grams) sweetened shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup (85 grams grams) whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (160 grams) brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
- 10 tablespoons (141 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (100 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread coconut on a sheet pan and toast in the oven in 2 minute intervals, stirring to make sure it browns evenly and watching closely to see it doesn't burn. Let cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium high speed until light and creamy. Add the flours and salt and mix until combined and comes together in large clumps. Mixture will be crumbly. Add oats and toasted coconut and mix until incorporated.
- Press dough into a buttered 8-inch square baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool completely before slicing.
- Store bars in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.