Chocolate, Butterscotch and Coconut Grutch Bars

Sharing a holiday family favorite today!

These Chocolate, Butterscotch and Coconut "Grutch" Bars are a holiday favorite and are so easy to make!

We’ve officially entered the month of December, which means it’s officially okay for me to start sharing all of the cookie and bar recipes I’m loving this year, and these Chocolate, Butterscotch and Coconut Grutch Bars are no exception.

I mean, these bars have so many layers of goodness, packing tons of indulgent, delicious flavor into every bite. They are incredibly rich (which is why they are dubbed “grutch” bars in our household) so a little serving goes a long way, but they are just too decadent to pass up. There’s a reason these are my mom’s most requested baked good from us kids once Christmas rolls around!

These Chocolate, Butterscotch and Coconut "Grutch" Bars are insanely delicious and bound to be an instant hit over the holidays.

So here’s what all goes into said Chocolate, Butterscotch and Coconut Grutch Bars (since I couldn’t reasonably fit every ingredient in the recipe title):

A layer of OG graham cracker crust
Flaked coconut
Chopped walnuts or pecans (you choose your fave! I love both.)
Butterscotch chips
Chocolate chips
And, finally, a hefty drizzle of condensed milk

Now, if that doesn’t make you just start drooling already, I don’t know what will!

Seriously though, this combination is deadly and I’m thinking I need to find multiple other ways to combine all these flavors in different types of baked goods to whip up throughout the year. Once every 12 months is not enough. What do you think? Any ideas?

So many layers of goodness in these Chocolate, Butterscotch and Coconut "Grutch" Bars!

The other thing I love about this recipe (besides how insanely tasty it is) is how easy it is to make. I mean, you don’t even need a mixing bowl, people!! That’s right, we layer everything right into the baking dish and pop it into the oven. And seeing as I have a newborn attached to me prettttty much 24/7, this is just the kind of recipe I need if I have any hope of baking up any sweet treats this year.

One little bit of advice: As tempting as it may be, practice all your will power not to cut into these bad boys before they are completely cool. In fact, you may want to pop them into the refrigerator for a little bit to reset after they are done baking and before you slice. Otherwise, you may have a bit of a crumbly mess on your hands (although if this ever happens to me I use it as an excuse to “taste test” and proceed to probably eat the equivalent of one or two entire bars in crumbs.)

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love all of the sweets and treats recipes that show up on blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. this time of year. I find that I’m always super ambitious at the beginning of the month and bookmark tons of recipes to try, only to fall back on a few favorites once I realize how little free time I actually have. This year, I’m already being forced to slow down a bit with the baby and all, and I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself as far as getting in the kitchen. I try to cook or bake a little something every day, but if it happens, great and if it doesn’t, I’ve got a beautiful baby girl to spend this special time with.

Give the gift of these indulgent Chocolate, Butterscotch and Coconut "Grutch" Bars this holiday season!

The good news is, I know mom will be making plenty of Chocolate, Butterscotch and Coconut Grutch Bars to keep us satisfied, at least until the New Year when it will really be time for me to get my butt back into pre-pregnancy shape!

Until then, do you have any favorite family recipes to share with me for the holiday season? I’d love to see them or Pin them for future, so please leave ‘em in the comments below! Xx

5 from 1 vote
These Chocolate, Butterscotch and Coconut "Grutch" Bars are a holiday favorite and are so easy to make!
Print
Chocolate, Butterscotch and Coconut Grutch Bars
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

These decadent bars are full of so many layers of goodness they're bound to be a hit with your friends and family this holiday season.

Course: Dessert
Servings: 24 bars
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick)
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (325 degrees Fahrenheit if using a glass pan.) 

  2. Melt butter in a 9-by-13 inch baking dish and sprinkle on graham cracker crumbs. Press down lightly to form a crust.

  3. Sprinkle, in layers, the coconut, nuts, butterscotch chips and chocolate chips.

  4. Drizzle condensed milk evenly over the top, trying your best to avoid getting any on the inside of the pan.

  5. Place in preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. 

  6. Cool completely before cutting into bars. You may want to refrigerate the bars once they have cooled slightly to speed the process along and prevent the bars from becoming too crumbly. 

  7. Keep in a resealable container either at room temperature (if it’s not too warm wherever you are) or in the refrigerator. 

Butterscotch Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon Glaze

Sometimes all you need is a second chance.

Butterscotch Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

That’s all I needed to make these wonderfully perfect Butterscotch Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon Glaze at least.

You see, I first made these little bites of deliciousness when I was up at my parents’ house last weekend and, even though they disappeared in less than 24 hours, they weren’t exactly what I had been hoping for. They bordered on “breakfast biscuit”…They weren’t overly sweet (save for the butterscotch chips), and all I could think about was wanting to dunk them in some sort of hot beverage.

For me, if I want to eat a cookie, I want it in all its glory – sweet, buttery and indulgent – so I decided the recipe needed a few tweaks, a second chance. That’s both the up- and downside of being a food blogger. The upside is that you have the freedom to make and retest a recipe as much as you’d like – there’s no one standing over you with tight deadlines or hungry guests sitting at a dining table. The downside is that you can put soooo much work into a recipe, with the highest hopes for its success, only to have it completely fail on you.

Butterscotch Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

Lucky for you, I’m here to do all the testing, so that you don’t need to worry about the recipes that you try from this blog falling flat on you (and if it does, I really hope you’ll tell me so I can fix it!) That’s one of the main purposes of CaliGirl Cooking, after all, to make EVERYONE feel confident in the kitchen, no matter your culinary history or skill set.

Speaking of recipe testing, I’ve certainly been doing my fair share of it over the past week or so. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll have seen that tomorrow I’m hosting a Feed Supper at one of our local hotels. I’m extremely excited and honored to have this opportunity, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous!

This situation is quite different from my usual day-to-day recipe production (only cooking for myself and my husband and maybe a couple of friends) and let’s just say I’ve been feeling the heat. There’s a lot more pressure when cooking in a public place, for people you don’t necessarily know, than when I’m just tinkering around at home and have room for a tiny adjustment or two.

BUT, I’m happy to say that all of the recipes I tested were great successes, and as long as I can get everything prepped and ready before they shut off our power for routine maintenance tomorrow, I’ll be good to go and ready to party for a great cause.

Alas, I digress. Let’s talk about these Butterscotch Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon Glaze because they definitely deserve their fair amount of attention.

Butterscotch Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

A few weeks ago I realized I had not ONE cookie recipe up on the site…the horrors! With the holidays just around the corner, I figured I needed to right that wrong ASAP. My recipe wheels started turning and I started dreaming up what I thought would be the perfect fall cookie: tiny chunks of apple tucked into a brown butter-y, brown sugar-y oatmeal cookie, laced with butterscotch chips (caramel apple flavor, anyone?)

That’s where I started in my first round of testing, and I’ve already explained how these didn’t quite fit the bill of what I was looking for in THE debut cookie recipe from CaliGirl Cooking. Plus, these were only Butterscotch Apple Oatmeal Cookies…can you see we were missing an integral part of the puzzle? That’s right folks, no bourbon glaze 🙁

So here’s how I decided to spruce things up the next time around: As I mentioned, the original cookies were cakelike and not too sweet. I wanted them sweeter and more moist, decadent was the word I was looking for. For the second batch, I added another egg and upped the amount of brown sugar, and this did the trick!

But I still wanted something more, because I’m a food blogger and just can’t leave things be. Enter: bourbon glaze! I threw some powdered sugar, vanilla almond milk and bourbon into my stand mixer, and quickly whipped up the perfectly consistent drizzle. If you want to keep these cookies “kid-friendly” you can just double the amount of almond milk and omit the bourbon, no biggie! But if you’re just feeding “big kids” (over 21 that is) I highly recommend you leave the bourbon in.

Butterscotch Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

I used a piping bag with just the tip cut off to generously drizzle the glaze over the already-delicious cookies and, voila! Butterscotch Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon Glaze were born, tastier than ever.

These cookies are literally the taste of fall in one bite. The sweetness of the butterscotch and apples is balanced perfectly by the heartiness of the rolled oats, while the bourbon glaze adds the perfect kick. We’re still experiencing 70-80 degree weather here in Santa Barbara, but right now all I want to do is make a batch of Butterscotch Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon Glaze and a warm mug of coffee and head to my nearest pumpkin patch. Who’s with me?

Butterscotch Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

Butterscotch Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon Glaze

55 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 7 minutes

Yield: Makes 40 small cookies

In these bite-size cookies, oatmeal is laced with chunks of fresh apple and butterscotch chips and topped with a sweet bourbon glaze.

Ingredients

    For the cookies:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup chopped Fuji apple (about ½ of a medium apple)
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips
    For the glaze:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

Instructions

  1. Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let sit on heat until butter has melted and browned slightly, releasing a nutty aroma. Transfer to a heat and freezer safe container and let cool slightly, then place in freezer for 30-45 minutes.
  2. Remove butter from freezer and let soften ever so slightly (you just want it to be able to mix well with the sugar.) I microwaved it for about 30 seconds to help it soften up.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine brown butter and brown sugar. Mix at medium speed until the two ingredients are well incorporated, then mix in the eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredient mixture and beat until just combined. Remove bowl from stand and stir in apples and butterscotch chips using a wooden spoon or spatula.
  6. Using a small cookie scoop (or a tablespoon measure,) scoop dough onto prepared cookie sheets, leaving only about an inch and a half of space in between each scoop. Flatten dough slightly with hands before baking.
  7. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are a light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  8. While cookies are cooling, make the bourbon glaze. Combine powdered sugar, almond milk (or regular milk) and bourbon (or more milk if making this recipe for kids) and mix using a stand mixer, hand mixer or whisk until a glaze has formed. Scoop glaze into a piping back or gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Cut off the tip of the bag and drizzle glaze generously over the cookies. Let dry about 15 minutes before serving.
  9. These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
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https://www.caligirlcooking.com/butterscotch-apple-oatmeal-cookies-with-bourbon-glaze/

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Butterscotch, Apple, Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

All the goods.

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