These were clearly a mistake. I cannot stop eating them and I might need an intervention soon! So, please hurry. The plan was to bake and freeze, but after half a dozen bars in I gave up on the idea of stocking the freezer for Christmas. There is always next week.
If you are a chocolate and coconut lover, you will love these bars. They are the most delicious chewy chocolaty coconut bars I have had in a long time. They are easy to make and can be stored in the freezer for later. That is if you can resist them long enough to make it to the freezer. Take a look!
Like so many bar recipes, the chewiness comes from condensed milk. Where would we be without that stuff? I remember when I was younger, my sister could eat it out of a can. Sorry, if you are reading this right now....ha! I never quite understood the eating of condensed milk. Well, maybe she was on to something because it does hit the sweet spot.
In the case of these bars, it is just poured directly over the bars before baking. That easy! No worries if you don't have condensed milk because it can be substituted by using evaporated milk and sugar. Simple. Just put about 1 cup/200 grams of sugar along with a can of evaporated milk in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and then reduce heat to low and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Easy and no need for an extra supermarket run.
You are probably wondering if you can use just regular fresh milk. The answer, yes you can. If you want to do it this way, add about 2 cups/480 ml of milk to the saucepan along with 1 cup/200 grams of sugar. Using the same method of boiling and reducing to simmer. This process will take about 10 to 15 minutes longer than by using the evaporated milk. Once it has reduced and thickened cut in about 2 tablespoons of butter and a dash of vanilla. Stir and voilà, condensed milk a different way.
So as you can see, there are many ways to get around not having condensed milk in the cupboard.
Now that we got that whole condensed milk thing out of the way, lets talk bar cookies. This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewert. I say adapted not copied simply because I didn't use all the same ingredients. This recipe uses walnuts instead of pecans (I didn't have pecans). I used milk chocolate chunks because I had a big ol' chocolate bar that was just waiting to get used and I used digestive biscuits for the base because you can't buy Graham Wafers in my part of Spain. Other that than, pretty much the same. Except hers look much prettier...ha!
As you can see, substitution is key when baking. If you don't want to be let down by your ingredients on hand, there are usually ways around it. You can still enjoy baking the recipe you see on the screen, in the book, or jumping out of the glossy pages of that new baking magazine you just picked up.
Thankfully, I didn't manage to eat the whole tray of bars myself. Only because I gave half away to a friend, so they are his problem now...ha! Go on try them for yourself and try to eat just one. Happy baking!
Chocolate Coconut Bars
Makes 30 (approx) / Prep time: 15 minutes / Bake time: 25 minutes
3 Cups/330 grams ground cookies crumbs
1/4 Cup/50 grams sugar
3/4 Cup/170 grams butter, melted
1 Cup/125 grams walnuts, roughly chopped
1 Cup/175 grams milk chocolate chunks
1 Can (14 ounces) condensed milk
1 1/2 Cups/90 grams shredded or flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and line a 15 x 10 inch baking tray. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the cookie crumbs, sugar and butter. Mix well. Pour onto baking tray and press it firmly into the tray. Bake for around 12 - 15 minutes, turning halfway through baking. Remove from oven and leave to cool for about 15 minutes.
Sprinkle over nuts and chocolate pieces. Then evenly drizzle over the condensed milk and top with coconut. Return to oven for a further 12- 15 minutes or until the coconut is golden. Remove from oven and leave to completely cool.
Cut into bars or squares. Can be frozen!
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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