Honey Bunches of Coffee

by Sarah on June 20, 2011 · 23 comments

“Hey, Sarah, I ate one of those little treats* you left on the counter.
It was probably the best little bite I’ve ever eaten.”
*OK, she really said “things” but that doesn’t inspire you to keep reading in the same way, does it?
Want the recipe?

Yeah, I thought you did.
——————–

Time for another trip down memory lane….back to Charlottesville, where we shall visit a local coffee shop that is best described (by the owner himself, when I visited two weeks ago) as “the living room of the city.”
How can you NOT feel happy (even pre-caffeine fix) at the site of these joyful, frolicking metal statues?

Oh, C’ville Coffee…you really are like a comfortable couch in the living room–casually inviting and a place where you want to (and easily can) waste a few hours over a cup of coffee…
… and perhaps a yummy sandwich? With names like ‘Havarti Dillicious’ and ‘Turky Lurky’ you know this is my kind of shop. [The fact that everything is written in lowercase also brings me strange satisfaction.]
I have to say, I cannot claim the revelation of C’ville Coffee‘s magnificence. Its discovery (at least in my collegiate circle) can only be accredited to my friend Lizzy. In fact, when I told another dear friend about visiting the shop, she said, “Oh, that’s Lizzy’s place!” with nostalgic happiness. Yes, this was Lizzy’s place, but she did a great job picking a ‘home.’ Coffee mugs strung from the ceiling?The menu written on chalkboards?And “Adult Zone”?Oh, and let’s not forget the giant turtle!Because, yes, there is a kid-friendly section with books and toys…and occasionally a kid-centric guitar player hosting a sing-a-long for small children.
While Elizabeth had a deep love for the Berry Turkey sandwich* (and I had a strong devotion to the Zero Cookies) there was one thing she loved above all other treats found at C’ville Coffee: the Honey Bunch.

*maple turkey on wheat with brie, cranberry sauce, herbed mayo, and lettuce

You want to make Lizzy happy? Bring her some Honey Bunches.

I actually had made them before, googling “honey bunch” (and knowing the ingredient list) then messing around with proportions until I came up with a comparable interpretation. It’s not the real thing…but it’s pretty darn good. [And I have no true loyalty to the original, so I’m satiated with this.] The ingredient list is pretty simple: butter, brown sugar, quick oats (smaller than old-fashioned, for better texture), shredded coconut, and…well…honey, of course.Seriously, how can they NOT be good?You mix oats, some flour–I used oat flour, but rice or all-purpose or spelt would work well here I’m sure–and your coconut together. I throw in a dash of salt, as well as a little cinnamon (just because it pairs so well with honey).In a small saucepan, melt together a stick of butter, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of honey, then pour it over your dry ingredients.
And mix well!
At this point, you can start making some variations.
Nuts, chocolate, dried fruit…all are welcome additions to the mix.
My favorite Honey Bunches were the white chocolate macadamia version, but chocolate chip was a very common alteration. At one point I made peanut butter ones…and yes, those were “oh my goll, y’all” good.
I most recently made a variation with slivered almonds and dried apples…yum!
The mixture will be sticky, but stuff it (just use your fingers) into a cooking-sprayed mini muffin tin and bake for about 12-15 minutes at 250 degrees.
Allow them to cool in the pan, or they will be VERY tricky to remove. [Trust me. I’m not going to tell you how I know. Just trust me.]
And that’s it! Deliciousness in a little bite ‘o sweetness. Eat ’em on their own…or perhaps with coffee?

Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch…you know that I love you…
Honey Bunches
[Makes 24]

1 1/2 + 2 Tbsp. quick oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup flour (oat, rice, spelt, all-purpose)
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
Optional mix-ins: dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Coat a mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine oats, coconut, salt, cinnamon, and flour.
4. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt together butter, brown sugar, and honey.
5. Combine butter mixture with oats mixture. Stir well to combine. [Add any mix-ins now.]
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until browned.

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