These bars pack in something for everyone and we mean everyone. With oats, coconut, walnuts, two kinds of chips, toffee bits, and a generous amount of blackberry jam to bring it all together, you’re sure to find your favorite cookie ingredient in the mix. We found the key to preventing these ingredients from weighing down the bars was to use each in moderation and to incorporate them in different parts of the bar. The oats and coconut, for example, dress up a brown sugar cookie base and streusel-like top. We parbaked the crust for a sturdy base that could support the toppings and then spread on a layer of blackberry jam and sprinkled on toasted walnuts, semisweet and white chocolate chips, and toffee bits. The bright flavor of the jam was a nice contrast to the sweet toppings and helped them stay in place. Even though we tucked the coconut into the cookie base, we found that it gave the bars dimension and an even deeper flavor profile. Old-fashioned rolled oats are a must here. Do not use quick or instant oats; they will make the bars unpleasantly dense.
- Yield: 24 bars
- 1¼ cups (6¼ ounces) all-purpose flour
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled
- ⅔ cup packed (4⅔ ounces) dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup (1¾ ounces) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup (2¼ ounces) sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
- ½ cup (1½ ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1¼ cups seedless blackberry jam
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- ¾ cup (4½ ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup (4½ ounces) white chocolate chips
- ¼ cup plain toffee bits
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Make foil sling for 13 by 9-inch baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil; first sheet should be 13 inches wide and second sheet should be 9 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Grease foil.
- Pulse flour, butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal, 4 to 6 pulses. Transfer flour mixture to bowl and stir in coconut and oats. Reserve ¾ cup flour-coconut mixture and set aside. Transfer remaining flour-coconut mixture to prepared pan and press into even layer. Bake until light golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let crust cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.
- Spread jam over warm crust. Sprinkle jam with walnuts, semisweet and white chocolate chips, and toffee bits. Evenly sprinkle reserved flour-coconut mixture over top. Bake until bubbly and top is golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let bars cool completely in pan on wire rack, about 1 hour. Using foil overhang, remove bars from pan. Cut into 24 pieces before serving.