What a nut

Green coconuts

I’m a huge fan of coconut. My family accuses me of regularly sneaking it into just about everything nowadays. It’s true. I do. I’d even buy coconut toothpaste if they made it.

But there’s a reason for this. I like the way it tastes. Not good enough? Alright, it very well may have one or two superman health powers I occasionally lecture my kids about. Of course I only do this when my husband isn’t present because he insists that ‘pseudoscience’ makes his teeth itch. Fine. We’re back to because I like the way it tastes.

Still, if you’re at all interested in the ongoing research, there are plenty of web sites available for perusing. Even if some of the science is sketchy, coconut’s history and uses are plentiful and mindboggling. How many other foods can stake claim to expelling tapeworm, protecting you from gum disease and relieving symptoms from an enlarged prostate? It’s amazing, isn’t it? Okay, and quite possibly bogus, but still … medicine never tasted so good.

The fact that I had come into a windfall of raspberries meant I needed to scour my recipes for something to bake. Coconut and raspberries belong together. BFFs.

Here is my adaptation on Smitten Kitchen’s Raspberry Crumb Breakfast Bars, which was adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking.

Raspberry & Coconut Crumb Bars

Feel free to swap out the raspberries for blackberries.

For the crust and crumb:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup almond flour
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the raspberry filling:
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons coconut butter, melted and cooled

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Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.

Make the crust and crumb: Put the flours, brown sugar, oats, coconuts, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.

Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside. Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands or the back of a large wooden spoon to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the raspberry filling.

Make the raspberry filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together. Add the raspberries, lemon juice and coconut butter and use your hands to toss gently until the raspberries are evenly coated.

Assemble and bake the bars: Spread the raspberry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, flipping the pan 180 degrees every 15 minutes, until the top is toasty and browning and the filling looks jammy and bubbles around the edges.

Transfer to a wire rack and when cooled completely, cut into squares and dig in. Store the bars in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.

Hopefully they’ll stick around.


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