carrot and coconut bars

sorry for the quiet blog, i’ve been in bed ill and not cooking, eating or doing very much at all as a result. however, despite feeling dreadful, these little lovelies caught my attention. or to be more precise, the smell of them cooking did – david knocked up a batch for his colleagues at work and the smell of buttery, cinnamony coconut made my mouth water whilst i lay in bed feeling sorry for myself!

i managed to snaffle one and they instantly went onto my list of new favourite things. there is so much to like about them - the crust is slightly chewy, the cinnamon, coconut and walnut combination works really well (i forget how much i like walnuts in a cake), and there is enough dried fruit and carrot that you can pretend it is a healthy snack.

discovering these is perfect timing as i’m getting a little bored of the multiseed peanut butter flapjacks that i make most weeks as a lunch-box treat. i also fancy tinkering with the recipe – the types of fruit and nuts are obviously easy to swap but i think grated pear or apple might also be worth a try. plus a bit of orange zest. and i really should find out more about using something like apple puree to reduce the fat and sugar content – who knows, maybe i will be able to justify these as a weekly treat!

carrot and coconut bars* (makes 12)

250g self raising flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

300g demerara sugar (i tend to reduce this to 200g)

100g desiccated coconut

100g sultanas or raisins

75g walnuts

100g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated

2 eggs, beaten

½ a teaspoon vanilla extract

100g butter, melted

100ml vegetable oil

grease and base-line, with grease-proof paper, a 28x18cm tin. heat the oven to 180c.

sift the flour and cinnamon into a large bowl. stir in the sugar, coconut, sultanas, walnuts and carrots.

in a separate bowl, mix the eggs, vanilla extract, melted butter and oil. add to the flour mix and stir well.

pour into the baking tin. level the top and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. cut into 12 pieces. they will last a couple of days in an airtight container.

*it’s a recipe torn out of an old woman & home magazine, but i don’t know any more than that