Gooey Coconut Dream Bars

by Holly on December 14, 2008

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I am not going to complain here, but seriously, has everyone else’s December been as busy and whacky as mine has? Wow. I keep waiting for things to slow a bit and give me a bit of breathing room, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening.

Whew. Anyway, I promise, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, and I have even been baking, and have things to tell you about, but finding some time to get a post written that doesn’t just have a random picture and recipe has been a challenge this month.

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So, here I am, and I finally have a few minutes to tell you about these Coconut Dream Bars we made the other day. I have been recording the Martha Stewart show the past few weeks and I was really happy I was when Amy Scherber was on the other day. Her latest book was their topic of conversation and I can’t wait til I have a bit extra in the budget to get my hands on it. From the book they made Lemon Bars and these Coconut Dream Bars.

I have to tell you, these are ridiculously easy to make, and you only have to have a few easy ingredients on hand. If you are looking for something easy and fun to make with your kids, this recipe is the one. I pretty much let my five year old make these. I didn’t have any chocolate chips on hand, so I just chopped some good chocolate. That was basically the most difficult part. Yeah. Awesome.

The only other thing I changed was to make only half the recipe, much to my dismay. The only reason I did that was because I couldn’t get to the store and didn’t have enough graham crackers to make the whole batch, which I have to tell you, is just very, very sad. This recipe is worth making the whole batch.

So, if you are stalling mon the decision to make these for some reason, then seriously, just go for it. These bars are not only easy, they are fantastic tasting too. If you want something fast and easy to make, but still want to impress someone, look no further. These even bumped some other items and made it onto my baking sheet for this year’s Christmas treats gifts. More on that soon!

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Gooey Coconut Dream Bars
Source: Amy Scherber, of Manhattan bakery Amy’s Bread, from The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread

Makes 20 bars

FOR THE CRUST
3 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 crackers)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

FOR THE TOPPING
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center of oven. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper; set aside.

To make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and salt. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press into bottom of pan using your fingertips.

To make the topping: In another medium bowl, mix together chocolate chips and coconut; sprinkle evenly over crust.

Pour condensed milk evenly over coconut and chips, covering the entire surface. Transfer to oven and bake, rotating pan halfway through baking, making sure the milk does not get too brown or bubble over in the pan, 26 to 32 minutes.

Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 20 squares. Serve immediately, or wrap each bar tightly with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Makes 20 bars

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Melanie December 14, 2008 at 4:45 am

These look amazing, Holly! Seriously, I am bookmarking to make them very, very soon. I love that they are so easy and still very delicious. Yum! (And I hope your December slows down a bit so you can just relax!)

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jen December 14, 2008 at 5:00 am

I watched this episode and thought how perfectly simple these were, so glad you enjoyed them. I’ve been baking today since it was snowing… somehow it gets me in the mood. 🙂

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Cristine December 14, 2008 at 8:34 am

Looks yummy! Hope you get some relaxing time soon!

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sweetpotato December 14, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Oh yes, I would surely call those dream bars. YUM.

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Manggy December 14, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Wow, that good huh? How fortunate then that you still thought to record Martha! 🙂 They look absolutely gooey and delicious!

I hope you’re able to find some rest soon, Holly 🙂

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Erin December 14, 2008 at 4:59 pm

These look so yummy! I love chocolate and coconut treats! Hope your December slows down a bit!

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Peabody December 15, 2008 at 8:08 am

I think I just had these the other night. I hope this is the recipe for them because they were sooo good.

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Jodie December 15, 2008 at 3:23 pm

I LOVE THESE! Anything with sweetened condensed milk is pretty much heaven, right?

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Maria December 15, 2008 at 7:25 pm

These look fabulous! And yes, Dec. has been crazy busy!! Welcome to the holidays:)

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Melissa December 16, 2008 at 12:30 am

These look so moist and wonderfully rich. My mouth is watering!

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Deborah December 17, 2008 at 2:05 pm

My whole life seems to be busy like that lately – I keep waiting for things to settle down! And I think you’ve talked me into making these – they sound amazing!

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Kevin December 20, 2008 at 8:54 pm

Those look so good!

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Dianna March 12, 2009 at 2:23 am

I just came across this recipe, but ironically I made almost the same thing over the weekend. One addition: I cut about a cup of caramel squares in half and added them into the mix. I made one pan with graham crackers and the other pan with finely processed chocolate teddy grahams. It was chocolatey goodness!
Love your blog!

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Team Jensen March 24, 2009 at 5:00 am

Holly, Holly, Holly. With deliciousness like this, who really cares about getting anything else done but baking then eating these! I can’t wait to make them…and YES…I’ve bookmarked this recipe! Wahoo!

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