Fact: I prefer bars over cookies (as evidenced by the fact that I have twice as many bar posts as cookie posts). Clearly, this isn't because I make 50 batches or so a week for my job--if anything, that's a deterrent!
No, I like a)their simplicity in making and baking, b)the fact that just about any typical cookie dough can be pressed into a pan and turned into a bar, and c)you can cut each bar as large or as small as you feel you need at that moment.
These beauts are an example of cookie-inspired bars. When one examines the macaroon (my definition of it, anyway--many variations exist), one finds coconut combined with egg whites and sugar and baked in little blobs that often get dipped in chocolate after cooling. Ground nuts are sometimes involved.
The similarities between these bars and coconut macaroons begin and end with the presence of coconut, chocolate, and nuts. I think these are more like short and squashed Mounds or Almond Joy bars, and that's thrilling to me. The filling is something I can see myself using between cake layers or as a slightly sinful snack. My next plan of attack is to double the filling, cut them into long, thin rectangles, and pour chocolate such that it drapes over the sides and the end result is more candy-bar-like. Who would ever want a dinky little cookie after that?
Mounds-ish Macaroon Bars
2 cups oreo cookie crumbs
6 tablespoons (3 oz) butter or margarine, melted
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
3-3/4 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup almonds
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup vanilla or white chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
Combine crumbs, melted butter, and powdered sugar in large bowl. Firmly press crumb mixture on bottom of prepared pan. Stir together sweetened condensed milk, coconut, and almonds in large bowl, mixing well. Carefully drop mixture by spoonfuls over crust; spread evenly.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until coconut edges just begin to brown. Cool.
Place chocolate chips and whipping cream in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Cool until slightly thickened; spread over cooled bars. Sprinkle top with white chips. Cover; refrigerate several hours or until thoroughly chilled. Cut into bars.