Friday Faves – Tri 2 Cook makes Butternut Thyme Bars

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you had a great week back at work after the Thanksgiving holiday. Today’s Friday Favs is another local Boston blogger. Shannon from Tri 2 Cook was one of the first bloggers I ever met in real life. Shannon is a triathlete and she loves to mix up really unique flavor combinations in the kitchen (think blueberry, goat cheese, basil pie or white chocolate wasabi truffles). I’ve had the chance to enjoy some of her creative creations and they’ve always been amazing.

Hi Beantown Baker readers! I’m Shannon, and I blog over at Tri to Cook. As a fellow resident of Beantown, I post about my adventures in the kitchen (here’s where the “Cook” comes into play) and swimming/biking/running (and here’s the “Tri” part). I love to play around in the kitchen, baking and cooking my way through new ingredients and flavor combinations 🙂 I also like to throw in healthy ingredients and substitutions as much as I can!

This recipe came about as I sat with 3 butternut squashes staring at me on the counter.  I love butternut squash, but wanted to try something different. Butternut Coconut Jam turned out to be exactly what I was looking for!  I was smitten upon tasting this and immediately starting brainstorming with things to do with it. A crumble bar, with jam instead of cooked down fruit? Done and done.

Given my penchant for playing with the boundary between sweet and savory, I added some thyme to the crust of these bars, but I bet rosemary or sage would be good options as well. The crust balanced the sweetness of the jam well, creating a goodie that passes for a delicious snack or breakfast!

Butternut Thyme Bars – from Shannon
Printable Recipe
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup oat flour (just oats ground in a coffee grinder or food processor)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly chopped thyme
1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, whatever you have on hand)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1c butternut coconut jam

Preheat oven to 350deg.

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (oats through nuts). Grate butter into the oat mixture and work in the butter with your fingers until you get a crumbly, pebble-like mixture.

Whisk together greek yogurt and milk in a small bowl and add to the oat mixture with a fork, stirring with a fork until just combined.

Spray a 9″sq baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (or line with parchment, so the ends hang over the pan). Add 2/3 of the oat mixture and press into the pan. Spread the butternut coconut jam evenly onto the top of the bottom layer. Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the top.

Bake for 50-55min, until the oats are golden brown. Cool on a rack and allow to cool completely. Shape into your desired-size bars.

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