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.


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11 Responses to Berzerk for Mazurka Bars

  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. Melinda says:

    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. Laura says:

    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. Laura says:

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

  7. carrie says:

    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. :)


  8. Vicky says:

    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. Alma says:

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

    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. Karen says:

    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. Dawn says:

    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?

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