The temperature in Nova Scotia has been all over the place so when it got a little cooler I decided to try and make these squares from the cookbook Favourite Recipes from Old New Brunswick Kitchens by Nimbus Publishing.
Unfortunately I have been very busy and distressed lately which does not go well with baking. Thankfully I managed to avert a kitchen disaster! Just barely…
In a bowl combine 1 cup sugar (cookbook says, “I use brown”), 1 cup flour, 2 cups quick oatmeal, 1 cup grated coconut and a pinch of salt. Unfortunately it does not say what kind of coconut so I used sweetened.
Melt 6 oz of butter with 1 tbsp of molasses in a mixing bowl over hot water.
Dissolve 3/4 tsp of baking soda in 1 tbsp of cold water.
Add the dry ingredients and dissolved baking soda into the melted butter and molasses.
Spread evenly in a buttered 13 x 9″ pan. Bake in a slow oven until golden brown, 275-300F for around 25 minutes. Divide into squares while warm.
At this point I thought everything was going so well. I got on the phone with my mom and started telling her about the recipe when all of a sudden, I realized I had not added any sugar to the mixture! Somehow I had forgotten this step. I quickly got off the phone.
I took out the pan and worked the sugar into the dough for the squares. A very close call! I could tell it was going to remain quite granular but what else could I do?
I put the pan back into the oven and called my mom who I am sure found this all very amusing and a tad shocking. Just another day in my fibro life.
Thankfully the “crunchies” were very crunchy indeed and were kind of like a granola bar. In fact, it was almost exactly like a granola bar. Even with the somewhat undissolved sugar, these were very nice squares but add some ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce? Divine!
If you make this, I highly recommend mixing in the sugar and dissolved baking soda before adding the dry ingredients so everything gets incorporated better.
I do wonder how old this recipe could be? I doubt grated coconut is something the people living in New Brunswick long ago would readily come across, if at all. Is this an antique recipe or merely retro? Whatever its time period, it was quite delicious. I give this recipe four out of five wooden spoons.