November 28, 2011

no holds barred

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
(from Hershey's)
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.

50 comments:

Berni said...

Oh my goodness, that sounds delicious!! Now I'm hungry, hehe. I'll definitely be trying out this recipe :)

Hotly Spiced said...

I love bars too. Mostly, they are fairly simple to make. That looks absolutely delicious and I'm so ready for a sugar fix right now and we have NOTHING to content me in the house.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I like bars more than cookies too. These look incredible..I really couldn't resist!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Fabulous! That filling is so luscious.

Cheers,

Rosa

Foodycat said...

Coconut and chocolate oh my! Such a good combination!

I also like the variation in texture you get in a bar, with crispy edges and corners and gooey middles. I am all about the gooey middle.

bellini said...

I absolutely love everything with coconut in it.

The Blonde Duck said...

Now I've got to browse your bar archives....

Elizabeth said...

I totally agreed! Bars are SO much better than cookies!!

Kay Heritage said...

I adore anything with coconut and this looks wonderful to me! I am always looking for good recipes like this for my church cooking. Thank you and THANK YOU, Grace!

Sue/the view from great island said...

Photo # 2 won't leave me alone. I know it's not going to stop pestering me until I make these :)

Faith said...

Mmm, a Mounds or Almond Joy candy bar in bar cookie form? You are brilliant, Grace!

Deborah said...

I'm with you - as much as I like cookies, I do prefer bars! These sound fabulous!!

Becki's Whole Life said...

I love Almond Joy - my favorite candy bar hands down. The coconut macaroon layer in the middle looks sinful.

Definitely with you on the bars vs. cookies. From a baking perspective, I get really tired of the scooping and changing out pans...whereas a bar is a one shot deal. Plus I like the middle pieces of a bar and the gooey insides.

Beth said...

These bars look incredible! I'll definitely be adding that recipe to my collection.

Pam said...

I just realized that I rarely ever make bars (always make cookies) and I prefer bars to cookies!! Weird.

I.WANT.THESE.BARS.NOW!! Please?

Mini Baker said...

your close-ups are amazing. they literally make me feel like I'm eating the dessert right off my computer screen!
xo,
mini baker

jillian said...

Coconut! These look amazing!

A Plum By Any Other Name said...

I love a good bar. And a good cookie, for that matter. Though, now that you mention it, I do seem to gravitate towards bar forms over rounds. Maybe it is the ability to self medicate with a self-cut dose. ;)

A Plum By Any Other Name said...

I love a good bar. And a good cookie, for that matter. Though, now that you mention it, I do seem to gravitate towards bar forms over rounds. Maybe it is the ability to self medicate with a self-cut dose. ;)

shaz said...

Hoo-boy! I can just hear my dentist tut-tutting at me as I pine over this cookie/bar thingy. It is calling out to me with a megaphone. Grace, you have truly outdone yourself this time I think.

Barbara said...

OMG, there's condensed milk in these bars. Look no further...I'll love them!
And yes, I agree....I much prefer bars, but find around this time of year, I am making more cookies than bars.

MaryBeth said...

This looks so moist and of course over the top delish!

~~louise~~ said...

Bars or cookies I have no preference. However, when I see the word Mound..ish, I'm nutty as a cookie bar. Thanks for sharing, Grace. There's a very good possibility I will be up all night dreaming about these bars:)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I'm going through a bar phase as they're great to pop in hubby's lunchbox. Putting these in however might start a riot at his work! ;)

Von said...

I like the idea of doubling the filling! :) The filling looks amazingly good- this definitely wins over any cookie!

Vianney Rodriguez said...

I love bars over cookies any day, easier and one pan, loving this!!

Lucy @ Lucyeats said...

Haha, I first read that as "bras" instead of "bars" and wondered how it was relevant.

I used to be a cookie fan but, wow, your closeup pictures have convinced me otherwise!

Asmita said...

Coconut and chocolate how can you go wrong. Delicious!

Angie's Recipes said...

gosh..this looks so deadly tempting and delicious!

Bunny said...

Before I read the post and saw the picture my first thought was a Mounds Bar! YES!! Excellent!!

Joanne said...

I choose bars over cookies anyday. I think it's a texture thing...bars are ALWAYS chewy and with cookies it's kinda hit or miss or luck.

That ooey coconut filling is. Awesome.

lisa is cooking said...

I've been fascinated with making homemade candy bars lately. This needs to be on my list of ones to try!

Helene said...

I am a bar person also. That filling is incredible.

Robin Sue said...

Any time I make something with nuts or coconut, I have to make one without for my allergy kid. Double the work but worth it so I can have that yummy coconut!

Cara said...

I agree, there's something a lot more satisfying about sinking one's teeth into a bar :)

Silver Strands said...

I agree with you about bars - definitely going to make these! Speaking of bars, I saw the easiest dessert recipe the other day. A layer of ice cream bars topped with chocolate syrup topped with whipped cream, repeat the layers. Then when you cut into them, they look like you've spent hours creating this delectable dessert!
xoxox

Jeff @ Cheese-Burger.net said...

Mouthwatering goodness! This looks so delicious. I can't wait to try this recipe.

Erica said...

Wow! These look amazing! I am drooling here :) I am going to make these for my son!

foodhoe said...

yes, thrilling indeed. I love coconut and chocolate... your posts always make me want to bake, something I do very rarely!

Marjie said...

I don't like making cookies. Way too much work. The bar is such a great invention, and these look really good, especially since only one of the guys in the house will eat coconut, leaving more for the girls!

Julie M. said...

It's funny. I love bars but for some reason I tend to forget about them and lean to cookies. Not that I think they are any better because these bars take the cake. Anything reminiscent of an almond joy or mounds is a winning combo!

vanillasugarblog said...

i never ever have enough coconut. AND i drink the coconut water (the real stuff not that fancy schmanchy designer crap) everyday.
i don't know why i crave it all the time.
so yes ma'am these bars look GOOD!

Jaime said...

I heart mounds :) chocolate and coconut are meant for each other!

5 Star Foodie said...

These look so amazingly decadent, yum!

scrambledhenfruit said...

These bars look soooo good! I love chocolate and coconut, both Mounds and Almond Joy. (Sometimes I feel like a nut...sometimes I don't.) The sound of your "candy bar" variation is yummy!

Loveforfood said...

Oooo, I want these right now!

Camille said...

I love Mounds and Almond Joys - I can't wait to try these out!!!

Carolyn Jung said...

Now, that's a fresh take on the staid coconut macaroon. ;)

Anonymous said...

There are almonds mentioned in the directions but not the list - how many are needed.

grace said...

good eye, anonymous--it's fixed!