South African Oatmeal Cookie Bars – Crunchies

South African Oatmeal Cookie Bars - Crunchies | All that's Jas

These simple, South African oatmeal cookie bars -crunchies with an earthy, nutty flavor resembles the vast, dry land of Africa but don’t let the homely look fool you. They are astonishingly delicious!

 These simple, South African oatmeal cookie bars aka crunchies are astonishingly delicious. Enjoy their nutty flavor at breakfast or as a snack.

 

I’ve never been to South Africa, but Cape Town is on my bucket list and after trying these crunchies I really want to explore more of the African flavors.

 

The crunchies aka Hawermoutkoekies, as the name suggests, are crunchy but there’s no risk of chipping a tooth unless you bake them extra thin and extra crunchy.  Think oatmeal cookie meets granola bar. I normally prefer soft cookies and snacks but this delightful crunch won me over.

 

The nutmeg – spice that is usually the bridesmaid, rarely the bride – really shines here and reminds me of wheat pudding that also has a hint of nutmeg. I was surprised not to taste the coconut but the mix of all the ingredients is what makes the flavor so special. Otherwise, it would be just another coconut treat.

 

Crunchies are traditional South African cookies, by popularity equivalent to chocolate chip cookies in the US. They are a favorite with coffee at breakfast or as a snack. The best part, they are super easy and quick to make.  Gotta love simple yet delicious Christmas cookies.

 

Need another time-saver treat this busy season? Try this chocolate salami or edible Christmas candles.

 

So what are you waiting for? Try new foods!

 

South African Oatmeal Cookie Bars – Crunchies Recipe

Enjoy these South African #oatmeal #cookie bars aka #crunchies at #breakfast or as a #snack. #Christmasbaking #cookiebars #hawermoutkoekies Click To Tweet

 

Crunchy oatmeal cookies from South Africa - crunchies

 

INGREDIENTS:
Makes about 24 cookie bars

  • 1 ½ cups oatmeal flakes
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 oz. (1 ½ sticks) butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup*
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

 

~ Free Tip ~

  • *If you don’t have golden syrup available, try these sweeteners as an alternative: molasses, corn or maple syrup, Agave, or honey.
  • For the crunchier and thinner crunchies, bake in a 9×13 pan.
  • For a healthier version, replace all but 1/4 cup brown sugar with 2-3 mashed bananas and use only 1 stick of butter.

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, coconut, almonds, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the butter, molasses, sugars, and salt until completely melted. Stir in baking soda.
  4. Pour the butter mixture over the oatmeal mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Press the mixture tightly into a greased 8×8-inch baking pan.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 10 minutes longer or until golden brown.
  7. Cut into bars or diamonds while still warm. Let cool completely before removing from the pan. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

cookie bars from South Africa with oatmeal and coconut

Delicious bite from crunchies - south African cookie bars

 

5 from 5 votes
cookie bars from South Africa with oatmeal and coconut
South African Oatmeal Cookie Bars - Crunchies
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
These simple, South African oatmeal cookie bars aka crunchies are astonishingly delicious. Enjoy their nutty flavor at breakfast or as a snack.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: South African
Servings: 24
Author: Jas
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups oatmeal flakes
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 oz. 1 ½ sticks butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup*
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, coconut, almonds, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the butter, molasses, sugars, and salt until completely melted. Stir in baking soda.
  4. Pour the butter mixture over the oatmeal mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Press the mixture tightly into a greased 8x8-inch baking pan.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 10 minutes longer or until golden brown.
  7. Cut into bars or diamonds while still warm. Let cool completely before removing from the pan. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Recipe Notes

~ Free Tip ~

  • *If you don't have golden syrup available, try these sweeteners as an alternative: molasses, corn or maple syrup, Agave, or honey.
  • For the crunchier and thinner crunchies, bake in a 9x13 pan.
  • For a healthier version, replace all but 1/4 cup brown sugar with 2-3 mashed bananas and use only 1 stick of butter.

Pin it now: South African Oatmeal Cookie Bars – Crunchies

Traditional South African oatmeal cookie bars aka crunchies with coconut and almonds are super delicious, easy to make and perfect for Christmas cookie exchange, at breakfast or as a snack. | allthatsjas.com | #cookie #granola #oatmeal #African #coconut #dessert #Christmas

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publisher and creative director at All that's Jas
Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates or purchase the full version below. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
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26 Comment

  1. Reply
    Mrs Shoes
    December 15, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    They are in the oven RIGHT NOW. If they are a hit with my Homeboys, I’ll be back to pin it.
    p.s. Rarely am I inspired to jump up in the middle of my allotted computer time to make a recipe IMMEDIATELY.
    p.p.s. It may be because I am a little bit day drunk.
    p.p.p.s. You know you wish you were me right now…
    p.p.p.p.s. Luv ya Jas

    1. Reply
      Jas
      December 15, 2017 at 11:58 pm

      Yay! I hope you like it.
      p.s. I’m honored!
      p.p.s. I do wish I were you, I could use something to take the edge off.
      p.p.p.s. Right back at ya!

  2. Reply
    Mrs Shoes
    December 16, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Pinned it!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      December 17, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      YASSSS! Glad you liked it. Thanks for the review and pinning 😀

  3. Reply
    Leanna
    December 17, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    These look really good and I bet the texture is fantastic. Pinning.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      December 18, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Hi, Leanna! I love the crunchy but not too crunchy texture. Thanks for stopping in! Happy holidays!

  4. Reply
    Kelly @ Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats
    December 19, 2017 at 8:34 am

    These look so yummy! I have never heard of these before and was so intrigued! Awesome recipe.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      December 19, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      Thanks, Kelly! It’s so nice to taste travel without leaving your kitchen. 🙂

  5. Reply
    Linda S
    December 22, 2017 at 9:47 am

    My kids eat granola bars for snack often and I’ve been looking for homemade options — have to try this! Thanks for sharing the recipe and recommendation, Jas

    1. Reply
      Jas
      December 22, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      Hi, Linda! Glad you like them. You can also leave the nuts out or use a different kind. 🙂

  6. Reply
    Jann Olson
    December 22, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    They look super yummy! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    1. Reply
      Jas
      December 22, 2017 at 9:41 pm

      Thank you, Jann! Happy holidays!

  7. Reply
    Amy (Savory Moments)
    December 23, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    These sound super delicious! Thanks for linking up to the Friday Frenzy!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      December 26, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      Thank you, Amy!

    2. Reply
      Michelle Leslie
      January 1, 2018 at 12:58 am

      LOL my friend, if I had to send you a recipe it would be very dangerous. But I’ll get my Mom in law to send me her favorite recipe though. She actually published a book about the History of South African Food which caused quite a bit of a stir and debunked a whole bunch of myths about our style of cooking.

      1. Reply
        Jas
        January 2, 2018 at 11:02 am

        Oh, that sounds amazing. What is her book title and where can I find it? I hope your 2018 is off to a great start, my friend! XOXO

  8. Reply
    Michelle Leslie
    December 24, 2017 at 1:14 am

    Yay Jas, you’ve just made my day. A South African recipe from the master baker. We always have hawermoutkoekies in our biscuit tin and they are delicious. I can’t wait for my daughter to get back from her Canadian holiday so she make some using your recipe. If Cape Town is on your bucket list my friend (you’ll love it BTW) perhaps you can add our traditional bobotie to your repertoire of international cuisine. It’s my all time favorite South African dish

    1. Reply
      Jas
      December 26, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Yay! I love bringing happiness to people, especially friends! I have promised myself to add more African dishes to my blog in 2018. I have seen many bobotie recipes but have never tried it myself. Do you have a true and tried one that you love? If so, will you share it with me, please? Then I can trust that it’s authentic (you can message it [and any other recipes you like] to me and I’ll give you the credit). 😀

  9. Reply
    April J Harris
    December 26, 2017 at 6:13 am

    I have never been to South Africa either, Jas, but I would love to try these squares. They look absolutely delicious. Pinning! Thank you so much for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      December 26, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Thank you for your kindness, April! Happy holidays! 😀

  10. Reply
    Maisy
    December 29, 2017 at 1:48 am

    Congratulations! I have featured you at the Friday Favorites linky party this week. Come check it out! https://be-alice.blogspot.com/2017/12/friday-favorites-week-405.html Hope you pop by and visit again this week 🙂

    1. Reply
      Jas
      December 29, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you, Maisy! I’m thrilled 😀

  11. Reply
    Nina Lewis
    December 29, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Oh my! How do you pronounce Hawermoutkoekies? I’ll have to give them a try! Thanks for participating in our Party in Your PJs!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      December 29, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      LOL, no clue. Just say crunchies, ha! Thanks for stopping in! 😀

  12. Reply
    Michelle Leslie
    March 6, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Her books hasn’t been translated into English yet unfortunately, but I did find a small English write up in one of our local newspapers https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Boerekos-not-of-slave-origin-20040421 and the wikipedia article on bobotie refers to her original thesis on the origins of South African food

    1. Reply
      Jas
      March 7, 2018 at 9:50 am

      I could spend days discovering about each cuisine origins. It’s right up with my ancestry interest. If I were given one superpower, I’d choose traveling back in time 🙂

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