Well, my coconut obsession continues, and to be frank, this coconut love affair is something I feel no need to stifle. Put coconut in all the things!!! Coconut Pecan Cake. Coconut Lime White Chocolate Scones. Coconut Chicken Strips. I’m just going to keep on going, adding coconut to anything and everything I please. Do not send help. Life is better with coconut.
A friend of mine had twins just a few weeks ago (twins!!!! I seriously can’t even imagine, and when I asked her, all sympathy and a cocked head and puppy dog eyes, is nighttime really rough with two babies? she replied, nah, they’re both thiiiis close to sleeping through the night—um, it takes my one at a time babies like a million years to reach this milestone, thank you very much).
I only remembered 2 hours in advance that I had promised to bring her a dinner recently. So I scraped together what was hopefully not the worst dinner of their lives (but, to be honest, it actually might have been), and felt kind of guilty about not planning better and bringing a really nice twin-worthy dinner (if you have grown and birthed two humans at the same time, I’m pretty certain you deserve filet mignon and shrimp and something else that is fancy to complete this list, because I’m coming up empty) . . . until these bars came out of the oven. Of course one had to be sampled—believe me, this was a purely selfless, kindhearted, charitable sample taste, not for my own benefit but simply to ensure that these friends received the sort of dessert that the parents of twins surely deserve—and they were so incredibly delicious that I had to make a second pan of them for us to keep.
Rich, buttery, crisp oat cookie bars (with an amazing salty bite to them) filled with soft and sweet pineapple-coconut filling. I may have delivered the world’s crappiest “congrats on the new babies” dinner, but I think I redeemed myself with the dessert.
Pina Colada Oat Bars
slightly adapted from AllRecipes.com
For pineapple filling:
1 cup canned pineapple, with juice
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup white sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup water
Pulse pineapple in food processor or blender along with coconut extract. If you’d like, you can blend it until it’s smooth; I just pulsed it a few times so it was still somewhat chunky, and I liked getting some pineapple bits when eating the bars. Place all filling ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until thickened, and set aside to cool while you prepare the oat mixture.
For the oat bars:
3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and grease a 9 x 13” pan. Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix. Stir in the oats. Divide the dough in half; sprinkle half in the prepared pan and use your hands to flatten and press it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Spread with the cooled pineapple filling, and top with the remaining oat mixture, patting it lightly into place over the filling. Bake in preheated oven 25-30 minutes or until the top oat layer is golden brown. Cut into bars and enjoy.