19 January 2012

Raspberry Coconut Oatmeal Bars



Especially raspberry and strawberry.
But I can never quite decide how to eat it. I'm not a bread eater, so where does that leave a poor little old jam lover like myself? Should I simply eat jam directly from the jar, by the spoonful? Do I make thumb print cookies?
No.... I should make SQUARES to quench my craving for jam!

And that's just what I did tonight.

I made tasty little pillows of sweetness. 
Delightfully crisp from the toasted coconut pieces, and so loaded with wholesome oaty flavor!
A great friend at breakfast or tea time!!
MMMmm tea....

Here's how to make them- so you can see for yourself just how yummy jam can be! Even away from its predictable companion- THE BREAD.


Toast 3/4 cups of flaked coconut :
Add it to a small frying pan over medium heat, until coconut is golden brown. This happens fast so careful not to burn it. But hey! It happens to the best of us, so no worries if you burn a few flakes. Just discard the burnt bits around the edges and carry on!
Set aside for later.

Next, in the bowl of a food processor, add  :
3/4 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup walnuts
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
Pulse until the oats and walnuts are in small bits.

To this food processor mix :
Drop in 1/3 cup of chilled and cubed Earth Balance buttery spread
Drizzle in1/4 cup of sunflower or melted coconut oil
Process until dough starts to clump!
Transfer this mix to a large bowl.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
To the buttery mix, stir in 3/4 cups of quick oats and the 3/4 cups of toasted coconut that was set aside earlier. Work it into the dough.
If the mix is looking and feeling a little too dry, then add a touch of non-dairy milk or a little more oil.
But if it is too wet, then mix in a little more spelt flour until just right.

Line an 9" x 9" Pyrex baking dish with parchment paper. I really like this method.Or just butter it up!
Press dough into the bottom of the dish, reserving about 1 cup for the topping.
Prebake crust about 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.

In the meanwhile :
Empty the contents of a small jar (235 mL or about 1 + 1/4 cups) of raspberry jam into a bowl and stir in 1 tsp pure vanilla extract.
Spread this mixture over the cooled crust.

For the topping :
To the reserved 1 cup of topping, stir in 2 Tbsp of pure maple syrup using your hands and sprinkle it over the jam layer.
Then sprinkle the topping with 3/4 cups more of shredded coconut, untoasted this time since it will toast in the baking process!
One last sprinkle...! You know what it is... my beloved vanilla powder! Just a little and you're all done!

Bake it off for about 30 minutes!

Remove from oven and let cool completely before using the parchment paper to pull out the jam squares and slice them up to eat! :)

 The next time I make something with raspberries,
it's going to be this! :

What's your fave thing to do with
raspberries and /or jam?!