Sunday, July 1, 2018

Chocolate Coconut Bars

My husband loves these chocolate coconut bars!  He requests them for special occasions.  They're essentially a no-bake cookie base topped with coconut buttercream and a thin layer of chocolate.  The first time I made them with Oreos, like the original recipe over at Taste of Home says, but they were so over the top sweet that I've made them with Nabisco Famous Wafers since.  They're still very sweet, but not as sweet as with Oreos.  Someday I would like to make them with chocolate graham crackers, but I can never find them at the store when I'm planning to make these.  My husband has a huge sweet tooth though and you probably won't mind all the sugar if you do, too!
The recipe below has a few changes from the original, other than the type of cookies used.  I basically added more coconut flavor.
Also, if you ever find yourself needing a coconut buttercream, you could use the coconut filling recipe and end up with a really delicious frosting!  Just double the recipe and only add powdered sugar until it reaches a normal frosting consistency.  As written, the filling recipe is quite stiff, which is needed for this bar recipe, but less powdered sugar will change that.
Note that the cream of coconut is not canned coconut milk, it's the sweetened goopy stuff used in mixed drinks.  The brand we purchase is called Coco Real.
Chocolate Coconut Bars
cookie base:
3 C Famous Wafers crumbs or chocolate graham cracker crumbs (this is about 1 1/2 packs of wafers)
2 C sweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 C cream of coconut
2/3 C butter, melted
coconut filling:
1/3 C butter, softened
4 Tbsp cream of coconut, or more as needed
1/2 tsp coconut extract
3 C powdered sugar
chocolate layer:
1 1/2 C semisweet chocolate chips
4 tsp canola oil
To make the base layer, just stir together all of the base ingredients until well combined.  Press it evenly and firmly into the bottom of an ungreased 9 by 13 dish.  Refrigerate for an hour so it can firm up, then make the coconut filling.
To make the coconut filling, beat together butter, cream of coconut, and coconut extract, then mix in the powdered sugar.  It will be quite thick, you want it to be thin enough to spread but still pretty thick so it doesn't squirt out the side of your bars when you slice them.  Add more cream of coconut if you need to thin it any more.
Spread the coconut filling evenly over the cookie base and set aside while you make the chocolate layer.
To make the chocolate layer, melt the chocolate and oil together however you'd like: over a double boiler, or on 50% power in the microwave for 1 minute to start with, then 20-30 second increments afterwards, stirring between stints in the microwave.  Don't let the chocolate get too hot or it will seize.
When chocolate is melted, pour it over the bars and spread with a spatula.
Refrigerate bars until the chocolate has firmed up.  After that, you can store the bars at room temperature.
Cut into pieces and enjoy!
Yield: about 12 servings

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