I love alliteration. Can you tell? I almost made coconut almond caramel cookie bars but that didn’t have the same ring to it. So here we are.
What can I say about these cookie bars that isn’t abundantly clear from the title alone? They’re delicious. They’re dreamy and fun and you should probably make them this weekend. They don’t come together quite as quickly as some bar cookies do because of their three distinct layers. But hey, sometimes a little extra time in the kitchen is worth it.
What am I saying? It’s always worth it.
And sometimes a bar cookie just hits the spot right? Especially when that bar cookie covers all the textural bases (crunchy, creamy, crumbly) that you could possibly want from a sweet treat.
The combination of sweetened condensed milk and a crumbly crust just does it for me every time. Think magic bars and their delicious graham cracker crust topped with the gooey filling. It’s just sososo good. These have a similar textural profile. (Is a textural profile a thing? It is now.) The caramel filling isn’t exactly gooey, but it’s really creamy so it provides a nice contrast to the crumbly shortbread and crunchy cashews.
The cookies’ coconut flavor isn’t super-pronounced. There’s just a hint; if you want more you could add a little more coconut extract to the crust. I preferred just the suggestion of coconut flavor.
You could also use any nut you’d like. I kind of think salted peanuts would be amazing and I’m adding that to my list of to-try recipes. The list grows longer by the day. The hours I spend on Pinterest don’t help. . .true life.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into chunks
- 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
- 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces milk or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13-x9-inch casserole dish with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, coconut, and salt until coconut is finely ground. Add butter and coconut extract and pulse to create a mixture is cohesive. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until light golden brown.
- Combine the sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup, and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring until thick and golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in cashews and salt. Spread evenly over shortbread layer and bake 10 minutes more.
- Allow cookies to cool completely. Once cool, place chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Spread chocolate over cooled cookies, sprinkle with flaked coconut, and refrigerate until chocolate is set. Cut into bars and serve.