When I received my assignment for this month’s Blogger C.L.U.E. post I was thrilled–I got Lisa’s blog. If you’ve been visiting me for some time then you’d know what a dear friend Lisa has become. We met through another blogging community nearly five years ago and have since built a friendship beyond visiting each other’s blogs from time to time. Lisa is beautiful, generous, kind, always positive and should be considered the Martha Stewart of the Bay Area. She is a dinner party hostess extraordinaire, her home a beautiful showcase of her decorating talents with tasty food to back it up!
Lisa knows good eats. I always tell people that if Lisa made it or if she recommends any restaurant, dish or wine, it’s guaranteed to be a winner. Each time we’ve gotten together for a meal it’s been an absolute treat. So, yes, selecting “something red” from Authentic Suburban Gourmet for this month’s theme was going to be fun but I also knew that it wouldn’t be easy to select just one recipe.
I would have been happy to randomly select a recipe from Lisa’s archives, fully confident that I would be pleased with the results. If you ever feel like making crostini to serve with wine for a party, she has enough variations to fill a cookbook. And her Fig Balsamic Jam? Well, I highly recommend it.
I must have printed three or four recipes–absolutely convinced that it was the one–before settling on her Raspberry Coconut Bars. Besides meeting the “red” requirement the recipe’s throw-it-all-into-the-bowl-and-stir method really appealed to me. I made substitutions to use what I already had in the pantry, so instead of raspberry preserves I used cherry. And when I realized that I had been hoarding sliced almonds (I had four bags) I replaced the pecans with them. Lastly, I used spelt flour simply because I like to use it whenever I can.
These bars were an instant hit at home. Cherries and almonds go really well together but the coconut takes them to new heights. My husband is neither a cherry preserve nor a coconut fan but when I suggested that he take some of the bars to our dentist during his appointment tomorrow, he flatly said, after tasting them, that they were too good to give away.
I quite liked them, too (Hello, almonds and coconut) but I say spread the love. I saved a few pieces for us to enjoy and I packed up the rest for my husband to take with him to our dentist tomorrow. They’re just too good not to share.
Thank you, Lisa for this recipe!
Please scroll down below for more red-themed eats from the rest of my Blogger C.L.U.E. Society friends.
Cherry Almond Coconut Bars
- 1 cup sliced toasted almonds (or other nut, chopped)
- 1 1/2 cups spelt flour or all-purpose
- 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar lightly packed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut lightly packed
- 1 1/2 sticks 6 ounces unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup cherry preserves or your favorite berry preserves
Preheat your oven to 350℉. Prepare an 8-inch square baking pan by spraying it with nonstick baking spray and lining the bottom with parchment paper. Store-bought sliced almonds are usually already toasted but if you're using another nut, chop them and toast lightly on the stovetop until just a little colored and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients--almonds, flour, oats, both sugars, salt, baking powder and coconut. Stir the melted butter into the oat mixture until well-combined.
Press 2/3 of the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan then spread the cherry preserves on top. Finish with the remaining oat mixture by pressing lightly on top of the preserves.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. The top should be golden brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack and don't slice into bars until everything has set, about three hours. Cut into squares and serve.
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