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Monday, December 1, 2014

Layered Coconut Cookie Bars (or Pie)

For Thanksgiving I often make one apple cranberry pie and then try something new. This year I tried these cookie bars. At first I thought they were too sweet, even after switching the chocolate to dark instead of semi-sweet, but then they grew on me and they were popular with one of the littles in the household. They were a hit at a small family gathering, too! Also, I swear these get better after sitting a day or two.

I didn't make any high altitude adjustments, and I didn't notice any problems.

the last slice


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Layered Coconut Cookie Bars (or Pie)


Source: Half Baked Harvest
Yields a 9x13 pan or 2 "pies"

1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 teas salt
3 teas vanilla extract, divided
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour (I used half white whole-wheat flour)
1 teas water
1 (13.5 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 T salted butter
1/3 c maple syrup
1 1/2 c roughly chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1 1/2 c shredded coconut (I used sweetened because that's the only thing I can find; I may try it with unsweetened coconut flakes next time)
2 c dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 pan or 2 pie plates with parchment paper allowing the side to hang over the dish.

In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine the unsalted butter, brown sugar, salt, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Using a mixer beat the mixture until it is smooth, scraping down the sides a few times. Add the flour and water, and beat until combined.

Press the dough into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden; remove from oven.

Meanwhile, make the "caramel" sauce. Heat salted butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Add the sweetened condensed milk and maple syrup. Cook the sauce over low heat for 8-10 minute, stirring often to prevent the caramel from burning and sticking to the pan. Cook until it thickens slightly and turns light golden in color. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Sprinkle the top of the cookie base with chocolate chips. Next, sprinkle on the nuts and 1 cup shredded coconut. Pour the "caramel" over top of everything in an even layer. If needed, use a spoon to gently spread the caramel. Sprinkle the top with the remaining coconut. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is beginning to brown and caramelize. Serve either warm or cool.

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