Using Up Extra Ingredients

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Have you ever looked in your cupboard and realized you have way more ingredients than you need?

That’s what happened to me this week.  I had one full bag of coconut, and two partials.  Looking in my fridge, I found four jars of jam (not counting the apple jelly and the apple butter).  This might not be a problem in some houses, but we don’t eat jam.  I rely on my baking to use it up, and it was time to do just that.

I googled “jam and coconut bars” and came up with this terrific recipe.  Not only is it made from ingredients I always have on hand, it’s delicious and has that old-fashioned flavour that reminds me of church lunch desserts.  I now have two fewer bags of coconut and one less jar of jam in my kitchen.  As a side benefit, I also finished off a second bag of oats.

I’m on a roll.  Does anyone have a recipe to help me finish my apple butter?


Oatmeal Coconut Raspberry Bars
(adapted from epicurious)

3/4 cup sweetened, flaked coconut (first amount)
1/4 cup sweetened, flaked coconut (second amount)
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (not instant)
3/4 cup good-quality raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line an 8 x 8” pan with parchment paper.

Spread 3/4 cup coconut evenly on a baking sheet and toast in oven, stirring once, until golden, about 5 minutes, then cool.

In a large bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy, then add brown sugar and beat until combined.  Stir in flour and salt by hand, then add oats and toasted coconut and stir until well-mixed.

Reserve 3/4 cup of the dough, then spread the remainder into the prepared pan.  Spread jam over it.  Crumble the reserved dough over the jam, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup coconut.  Pat down lightly with your hands.  Bake until golden, about 25 – 30 minutes.


43 comments:

Ruth said...

I feel that way about my refrigerator and all the partial jars of sauces! My baking cupboard is a little better, although I always seem to have too much icing sugar.

Valerie said...

These bars look so scrumptious!! Who can possibly resist coconut and raspberry?

How can anyone have two partial bags of coconut sitting casually in their cupboard? I'm slightly jealous of your will power, Beth. :D

Gloria said...

These bars look amazing Beth I love them!

Gloria said...

I thinks in delicious ideas of your apple butter!

LDH said...

I am making these! I love these ingredients and know I will love them :) Thanks for sharing while you empty your pantry!

My baked Cider donuts uses apple butter: http://gratefulprayerthankfulheart.blogspot.com/2011/11/baked-cider-doughnuts.html

Ellen B Cookery said...

The coconut bars look delicious! I've got all the ingredients on hand to make them too.

Kitchen Riffs said...

I need to do the same thing! I have all of these half-full jars in my fridge, some of which have been there a lot longer than I care to think about. Who needs 4 different kinds of chili paste or sauce, for example?! Anyway, nice recipe for using your jam - looks like something you bought jam for just so you could make it.

Bonnie said...

I'm impressed! Unfortunately I allow things to sit to the point the only possible solution is the trash can. We tend to collect jars of salsa. The bars look yummy!

Belinda said...

Looks like you made more than the most of these "extras"

Jess said...

You are so resourceful! These look great~ we get gifted jam quite a bit from one of my aunts and I don't have the heart to tell her that we don't really eat it. Now I know what to do with it! And I love coconut :)

Kayte said...

These look truly wonderful, as in I wish I had one right now. Right. Now. I know exactly what you mean about that pantry deal. Every few months I go through the pantry and clean it out by declaring it "Pantry Week" and cook from there as much as possible. It's kind of fun really. Your bars look wonderful.

Carol said...

They look amazing! Nice you were able to use up some things. I have the same problem. Pantry overload :)

Anna said...

These look great! We don't eat jam either so it's often something I'm looking to use up in baking (why I buy it I'm not sure :)).

Asmita said...

I love these bars. These look incredible!

Claire Davis said...

I tend to shop without checking what I already have as well, there are about four boxes of spaghetti in my pantry right now. Those bars look so good, I love coconut.

jhl said...

Oh, yum! These look lovely!

For the apple butter ... I posted granola bars recently ... they work quite well to finish up all sorts of things. :)

Cucina49 said...

I'm afraid to look at how many jars of jam I have. These bars look perfect--and a great use for those duplicate bags of coconut and jars of jam!

Guru Uru said...

These look awesome my friend, I need to clean out my cupboard now :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Katerina said...

This happens to me all the time Beth! I have inumerous ingredients in my closet waiting to be used. You found the perfect recipe these bars look so tasty I have to find recipes to use the chinese stuff I have.

profiterolesandponytails said...

I'd take one of these beauties over any Starbuck's pastries any day. I love that this only takes a few ingredients, yet looks really, really tasty. I must try these soon!

lisa is cooking said...

When I stop and take inventory, it's scary what I find. Then, I want to try and use all the odds and ends as soon as I can. This looks like a fantastic use of coconut and jam!

yummychunklet said...

I love when you can find recipes that use up ingredients. Great looking bars!

Madeleine said...

Yum! These look great. We always seem to have that problem in our house with coconut too...

Cindy said...

These yummy looking bars contain all my favorite ingredients. I always have these on hand to. Thanks.

Lynn said...

I had to laugh at this post. It sounds like you did a great job using up those kitchen extras. Wish I could help you with the apple butter -- I have a huge jar of pear butter on the refrigerator shelf myself ;o

cookingmisadventures.com said...

Yum! Those look great - love the combination of flavors. :)

Pacheco Patty said...

I may have all these ingredients in my pantry too;-) As for the apple butter, I don't have any but I love apple butter so I'll have to go pick some up- I like the idea of using up your pantry ingredients in these yummy bar cookies, very creative;-)

Sylvia said...

Is a nice idea, I always had half pots on my fridge that I don´t have idea how to use and finish.Those looks delicious

Joanne said...

Haha I definitely look and notice that...but rarely do anything about it. I need to get on that! These bars look delicious!

Barbara said...

That's the answer, all right! Jams and coconut are the two biggest leftovers I have in the fridge!

Angie's Recipes said...

Yes...I actually just took a look at my cupboard...gosh...stuffed!
These raspberry bars look mouthwatering!

Cathleen said...

This is a great idea, I'm always trying to use up extra ingredients. I think I need to do another clean of the cupboard recipe soon ;)

Jenn Kendall said...

great job using up your ingredients! these look delicious!

Angela said...

I can totally relate. I always have partial bags of coconut in the freezer!

Julie said...

I love these! So perfect you used up the ingredients on hand. I often do that when I have things I want to use up. Could you use the apple butter like applesauce in a cake or bread???

Food Gal said...

Some of the best eats come from cleaning out the old cupboard. These bars look scrumptious and quite ingenious.

Sue said...

Isn't the internet great? What a wonderful recipe. Sounds like a real crowd-pleaser!

Medeia Sharif said...

That is such a great idea. I never really thought about extra ingredients for desserts. For non-dessert items I've thrown things into rice or a stir-fry.

grace said...

slather that apple butter on some pancakes! better yet, send it to me so i can slather it on my pancakes. :)

nancy at good food matters said...

I think we're all guilty of over-stocking the pantry at times. It feels good to put those extra ingredients to such creative good use. terrific looking bars!

Kristy said...

Some of my best - and most creative - recipes have come out of the discovery of missing ingredients. I wish I had some of these delicious-looking bars right now!!

Amy said...

Oh these look so yummy. I love "bars" - they are always delicious!!

Rosemary said...

I am so lucky as to have extra coconut, extra raspberry jam and the time to finally catch up with some of your posts I missed! Perfect!

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