These cookies are from the One Girl Cookies cookbook, which I received as a birthday gift last fall from one of my dear friends Amanda. She’s the friend who will pick ice cubes out of pitchers with you using just chopsticks because really who can even pour from pitchers anyway. She’s the friend who shows up outside your door at 2am when you’re stressed about a paper just to give you a hug and tell you things will be okay. She’s the friend that will stand with you while you treadmill to keep you company (and incidentally probably annoy the rest of the gym with you). She’s the friend that accepts and enjoys, or pretends to enjoy, constant texts regarding the state of your bladder. And she’s the friend who says things like this: “I think that sometimes we expect life to be a little more dramatic and event-worthy than it actually is. That does not mean that YOU are boring. It just means that soap operas lie.” This was so prolific and she didn’t have to try. It was even over Facebook chat. What even.
So anyway, these cookies. They have coconut in and around them. And I am generally not a fan of coconut. But I figured I would make these anyway because a) the world is not my minion and there are other mouths in it and b) it shows how there are some differences that make Amanda and I such great friends! For example, she is rational and I am not. Someone’s gotta do it. That someone is never me.
I have to say though– something MAGICAL happens when you toast coconut. It’s like everything you’ve ever smelled before it never existed, and you discover smell receptors you never knew you had. And you’re suddenly on a floatie with a pina colada in the Caribbean Sea. Then you open your eyes and oh it’s 60 degrees and has been raining for 4 days but that’s cool, world, I have toasted coconut, so go ahead with your rain. Now I know why Bath and Body Works makes bank off this type of thing.
And then another thing. I THINK I AM A CONVERT on the coconut front because these are absolutely amazing. The coconut taste is subtler than expected, and while I was initially worried that I had crispied the base layer too much, it had the perfect amount of crunch to complement the soft, warm raspberry gooey insides. Just ask my mom. She’s already using the “I’m-gonna-cut-this-in-half-so-I’m-eating-less-but-oh-lookie-who-left-just-a-half-there-what-a-shame-might-as-well-eat-it” tactic. Clearly I get all my best tricks from her. I also employed the “add ice cream to everything” trick…and a lil more raspberry preserves and chocolate syrup for good measure. Kind of a hot mess, but a tasty one.
Raspberry Coconut Oat Bars from One Girl Cookies
Makes 24 bars
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I used sweetened though and no regrets)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
Preheat oven to 350℉. Sprinkle the coconut on a baking sheet and toast it in the oven for ~3 minutes. Let cool, and leave the oven on. Prepare a 9×13 pan by spraying with non-stick spray and lining with parchment paper.
Combine flour, sugars, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low to combine. Add the butter pieces and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Add toasted coconut and oats. Mix on low for 1 minute, until the dough looks like little crumbles.
Put ~1/4 (or a bit more as needed) of the dough to the prepared pan and use your fingers to press it evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake for 14 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the edges are golden. Let cool for 10 minutes. Then spread the raspberry preserves over it, leaving 1/2 inch of border.
Sprinkle the rest of the dough over the preserves, until it’s completely coated- you may have a bit left over. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the preserves are bubbling through.
Let bars cool completely. Then, loosen the edges and transfer to a flat pan (or just cut them in the pan) into squares. Enjoy!
Happy birthday, Amanda! You’re the best and thank you for being such a wonderful friend. I made you these cookies and they’re only 22 days late. Now figure out a way to apparate and come eat them. At least your mouth and stomach. Or maybe your whole GI tract come to think of it.