Berzerk for Mazurka Bars

It all started the other Saturday when I was out with a friend. She decided to stop by our local Great Harvest Bread Company for something called a “Savannah bar”.

“What’s a Savannah bar?”

“It’s a drug.”

Ah, but she was right!

As soon as I had one I was addicted.

But at $2 a pop, I knew I couldn’t afford this particular addiction, and had to learn how to make them myself.

Of course, I had to buy several more so I could study the ingredients and try to backward engineer the recipe. ;)

The Savannah bar has a dense crust with coconut, finely chopped nuts, oats and whole wheat flour. Then comes a more cobbler-like pastry layer that is moister. Then it’s topped with fresh seasonal fruit, and baked. The ooey-gooey pastry comes up inbetween the fruit pieces and spills over, just like a cobbler does. And indeed, they are super scrumptious.

And quite filling. One bar more than fills you up for breakfast. I love how nutritious the ingredients are also. You can enjoy one as a snack or dessert, with coffee or tea or in place of breakfast, guilt free.

I sat down with Google to search for the recipe. A couple of hours later, I discovered that the Savannah bar, also called a Cobbler or Harvest bar, is based on the Mazurka.

Apparently it’s a Polish pastry that is quite popular in Seattle. Who knew?

I found a recipe for Marzurka Bars and did a little tweaking. The result, pictured here, was fantastic…

but not exactly like the Savannah bars I crave.

The pastry is a bit more crumbly, and it doesn’t ooze up around and inbetween the fruit.

So I’m putting it to you cooking experts out there.

Here’s the recipe for Mazurka Bars. They’re certainly lovely. But how can I make them taste more like my beloved Savannah bars?

Mazurka Bars

  • 2 cups Oats
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar or Sucanat
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Pecans or Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Coconut
  • 1/4 t Salt
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 sticks Butter, melted
  • 1 t Vanilla Extract

Mix ingredients together and place into a greased baking pan. Pour fresh sliced fruit over top.

Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.

Again I put to you: If you’ve ever had a Savannah Bar, how would you tweak this recipe to make it have the same texture?

If I were to venture a guess, I would think that the crust and pastry are two different batches of ingredients. Maybe the topping has more sugar, and some milk? Not sure.

HELP!

About Carrie

Happy wife, homeschooling mom of many, autodidact, best-selling Amazon author, blogger, head chef and barefoot walker. Residing just outside Atlanta, usually found reading a book while sipping a hot beverage.

Comments

  1. Elizabeth Ashe says:

    Looks really good, i think i might try to make it with whole wheat pastry flour, and maybe some homemade simple sugar syrup. You could try some cream.

    Never had one, but that is just my guess, and what i might try:)

  2. Have you tried to brown the bottom crust before adding the pastry dough and filling? That will help the toppings from sinking down into that nutty crust (like a cheesecake does). I’ve never had one of these bars, but I might have to see if they are on Amazon now (none of our local, rural stores would care it, I’m sure).

  3. Candi @ Family Stamping and FOOD! says:

    Never heard of them, but I wanna try it!

  4. Elisa Angus says:

    I think there are eggs and cream cheese in the filling on top. The bar, I think, is a blondie, with oatmeal and coconut. I am going to try making them and I will let you know! I too really want to make this work, if I can’t, I may go to our Great Harvest and ask them!

  5. My family was in Oregon for a graduation June 9 and we ordered an entire tray of Savannah bars to last us the weekend. I wasn’t paying great attention until they were all gone and my nephew asked me if I could figure them out and recreate them. A little late. But my impression during the noshing was that it was like any other “crisp” recipe (not a crumbly one though) like in apple crisp, except that they used it for the base too. I want to ask you a question, Carrie–did the dollops of dough atop the fruit have that coconut in it? I did not remember any coconut mixed into the top. But I felt at the time that the bottom dough had also been crumbled and spread atop the fruit, then baked. What I am wondering about with your perception of a softer dough in between is if that was not just the softness resulting from baked fruit juices. If it is indeed a different layer on top of the base layer, then I would experiment with an actual cobbler batter and layer it in there. One thing that is important to remember is that the flour they use is freshly ground that day, and responds to recipes differently–it has a soft result. Another test I would go with is to find a traditional crumble bar recipe, like a good date bar, and just substitute the fresh fruit in. The ones we had contained rhubarb, blueberries and I thought, for the 3rd fruit, raspberries. Like I said, analysis started after they were all gone! But now I’m on the warpath with you.

  6. http://rosas-yummy-yums.blogspot.com/2007/07/fantastic-blueberry-crumble-bars.html

    http://bakingbites.com/2007/05/berry-oatmeal-crumble-bars/

    Here are 2 recipes that may help as resources! Be sure to use the freshly ground flour in them, though.

  7. So you totally understand my addiction eh? LOL!

    I think the bakingbites recipe looks closest, that will be my next attempt. I’m brokenhearted because the Great Harvest in my neighborhood CLOSED its doors! Wah!

    I will let you know how my further experiments go. :)

    Carrie

  8. I’m addicting to these as well. Just tried making them but replacing the fat with applesauce. Not even close. Bummer. You’re site is the closest that I’ve come to even finding something comparable.

  9. I used the pastry recipe from this site, and followed their directions for baking, however, I used fresh fruit instead of dried.

    http://www.cakespy.com/blog-old/2008/5/18/the-mystical-and-magical-mazurka-the-story-of-a-seattle-bake.html

    and added vanilla and baking powder from your recipe. I used fresh peaches (about 3 for an 8×8 pan) which I added flour, dash of salt and a little fresh grated ginger. I used about 1/2 of a 1/2 pint of raspberries. I think they came pretty close to GHB’s version

  10. It’s been years, so I don’t remember the exact mix that goes into the mazurka bars, but not a lot of trouble went into it and the mix was quite sticky. We used peaches in ours and they were canned, not fresh or dried. Seems like some honey or molasses went into the mix. I don’t remember coconut at all. It’s basically some of the same ingredients used in the granola and other GH breads, just mixed a bit differently. I’m sure there’s some heart-stopping amount of real yummy butter in it. We patted (if you can call it that, considering the stickiness) the stuff out on bake sheets and it turned into something heavenly while it baked. The fruit was kind of smashed in. Definitely NO cream cheese. Maybe egg, but I don’t remember for sure.

  11. I’m still trying out recipes, in search of ‘THE’ Savannah bar. I tried your recipe, with white flour, no nuts, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 beaten eggs added to the mix. It’s a little closer, but still not it. I think maybe less oats next time?

  12. I had them for the first time this past weekend. We don’t have those bakeries here and I’m dying for another one!

  13. I was JUST introduced to them this week … and they are scrumptious!! Granted, after buying one and seeing the grease stain on the bag after it was in there for just a short time, I just can’t keep putting that in my body … tasty or not! I’d love to find an alternative for the 1.5 sticks of butter. I see that the applesauce trick didn’t work this time. Wonder why?? If anyone has any ideas how to lessen the fat on these, I’d love to try it!! They are yummy and have a great potential to be healthier too!!

  14. The guy at great harvest bread was trying to talk me into buying one of these. he said they take granola and fruit and mix them into a cakey brownie type batter and then top it off with a cream cheese frosting and then bake the frosting into the bar. Don’t know if this helps but he basically read off the recipe to me :)

  15. I had my first taste of a Savannah bar last week and immediately bought six more! Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) we don’t have a GH where we live , so I thought to myself, I can make these! Thanks to Pinterest, I found this page and with some other thoughts while eating the bars went to go try my hand at baking these. When I went to my recipe book I was going to combine the above recipe with sort of an apple crisp type topping. But in the front pocket of the recipe book was a recipe for Strawberry Jam Bars (which I have yet to make) and noticed it had cream cheese on top of a similar crust to the above recipe, so I used bits from that recipe. So, how’d they turn out? They’re not GH Savannah bars of course and the layer of cream cheese isn’t how GH does it. Maybe they add it in the oats mixture or something? The Savannah bars seem to be more of a granola-y bar. Maybe next time I’ll try more of a granola with less oats and maybe mix the cream cheese into the granola. Anyway, here’s what my recipe ended up as. If you have any ideas on making them true Savannah bars please post!
    1 C. Whole Wheat Flour
    1 1/4 C. Brown Sugar – Divided
    1 1/2 Sticks Butter – Melted
    2 C. Oats
    2 T. Honey
    Mix flour, 1 C. sugar. Add butter. Mix until crumbly. Stir in oats and honey. Press about 3 C. into a 13×9 pan.
    8 oz. Cream Cheese – Softened
    1 egg
    1/4 C. Brown Sugar
    1 t. Vanilla
    Mix cream cheese, egg, remaining brown sugar and vanilla. Spread onto crust.
    1 Peach – Sliced
    1 C. Blueberries
    1 C. Strawberries – Sliced
    Layer fruit on top of cream cheese.
    Top with remaining oats mixture and press lightly. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

  16. Thanks so much for this, I will definitely try that recipe :)

  17. I just finished off the last of the four Savannah bars that I bought yesterday (not all by myself, but it wouldn’t have been difficult). I haven’t tried to make them myself yet, but I really think that if they use oats, they have been ground with the coconut. . . Definitely a lot of butter though. I think that the fruit bar recipe or apple cobbler recipe just isn’t the same–delish, but not the same.

  18. I am a former GHB baker and can at least tell you that there is indeed a lot of butter in the crumb crust. The look of the oats is caused by mixing all the ingredients in a mixer until the oats (and coconut) break apart and the mixture comes together nearly in a ball. We just used straight frozen fruit for the filling, nothing added except to the peach and apple varieties- cinnamon, nutmeg, etc as goes with each fruit. A rolling pin was used to compact the crust both for the base as well as the top crust. Sometimes, the fruit would just poke through. The top crust was not dolloped or anything like that. There are eggs and vanilla in the crust, but DEFINITELY NOT cream cheese. I considered it a “wet” cookie dough. It has been too long to give amounts (and I think I may still be under “trade secret” contract anyway). I was wanting to make the recipe too but couldn’t quite remember how much of what to do but I believe that the cakespy.com recipe most closely resembles the crust- not the filling as I said we used frozen fruit. It was not defrosted, but I think that is because at our location we made several pans and put them straight in the freezer and pulled them out as we needed them. Hope this helps!

  19. I came here from IKEA Hackers. ;)
    That Polish pastry is called mazurek. “Mazurka” is one of the grammatical (declension) forms of “mazurek”.