Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Coconut Joy Bars

I've decided that all this month I am going to be blogging about Christmas treats!  What could be better?  Every post will be a delicious goody that you can make for your family, bring to a get-together, or give away as gifts.  I've already shown you how I make my sugar cookies.  Today I want to show you how I make a homemade version of a Mounds or Almond Joy in bar-form.  These are so rich and delicious!  I made them for Thanksgiving.  I needed to use some leftover coconut milk, because I made my Daddy his favorite Coconut Cream Pie and it only uses half a can.  I saw this recipe in a magazine and gave it a shot.  They were a hit!  Here's how I did it:

This recipe make an 8x8 square pan.  You can easily double the recipe and make it in a 9x13 pan.


1/2 a (14oz) bag of shredded coconut
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 TBS powdered sugar
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1/4 + 1/8 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 TBS + 1/2 tsp cornstarch*
1/2 can coconut milk, stir it well first
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

*This may seem like a weird amount of cornstarch, but this is half of 1/3 cup.  So if you double the recipe, use 1/3 cup cornstarch.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast 1/2 cup of the coconut until lightly golden on the edges, stirring often.  Be careful not to burn it!  Line a 8x8 square baking dish with foil (let the foil extend over the side a bit) and butter the foil.  In a food processor, finely grind the toasted coconut.  Add flour, powdered sugar, and a small pinch of salt.  Pulse to blend.  Add room temperature butter.  Pulse until blended.  With a spatula, spread dough in an even layer into prepared dish.  Bake 25 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.  Here's what the baked crust looks like:

While the crust is cooling:  In a medium-sized pot, whisk granulated sugar, cornstarch and a small pinch of salt.  Whisk in coconut milk until smooth.  Turn on the heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a simmer, whisking frequently.  Simmer for 2 minutes or until very thick, whisking the whole time.  Remove from heat and fold in the untoasted coconut.  Here's what it will look like:

Cool this slightly, then spread it over the cooled crust.  Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until almost completely melted.  Stir until smooth.  This does not take long.  Spread the melted chocolate over the coconut filling in the pan.

Chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set.  Use the foil to lift out of the pan.  Cut into small bars.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.  Here's what the finished bars look like:

They taste like a Mound's bar!  Yum!

If you want to make them more like an Almond Joy bar you can make these variations:  Use milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet and sprinkle some slivered almonds over the coconut filling before you spread on the chocolate.

So, there you have it.  Coconut Joy Bars are another sweet treat you can make this holiday season.

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