Thursday, July 29, 2010

52 Cookies - Chapter 29

It's good to be back in the kitchen and baking cookies again.  It was also good to have a week off.  Never fear, we did have cookies while we were on vacation.  I just didn't bake them.  You'll never believe this, coming from a person who only believes in homemade cookies, but, we devoured an entire package of Chips Ahoy cookies last week!  The Chips Ahoy thing has become a bit of a tradition with our family.  Back when the kids were really young and we only flew to our destinations, we had to buy all of our groceries for the week when we got to our destination.  Save for a box of granola bars tucked inside a suitcase, of course.  So that first vacation, we splurged on the Chips Ahoy and then the next year the kids would ask if we could have them again. 

And the year after that and the year after that.

Since we drove this year, I decided I would bake cookies and bring them along and then I got to thinking (I do that every so often), how about I give myself a break and keep with the Chips Ahoy tradition. 

And so it was. 

Just for those of you that might be in shock over this idea, I did happen to bake a loaf of banana bread and some brownies to take along and they tasted mighty fine between Ohio and South Carolina! 

This week's cookie was found on Martha Stewart's website back in June.  They are called Chocolate-Coconut Bars.  Martha's little description with the recipe says that "these rich bars are inspired by Hello Dollies, a popular treat in the South."  I decided to make these as a tribute to our recent trip to the South;  home of the best sweet tea anywhere!  If you ask me, these are very similar to the popular Magic Cookie Bar or Seven Layer Cookies, except it doesn't have the butterscotch chips.  Of course, no one asked me.  I should be used to that by now.  (crickets chirping)

My husband's sister and her family are in visiting from Wisconsin this week and we had a family get-together to attend, so I took a plateful of these cookies.  At first site, someone said, "Oh yum, seven layer cookies!"  So, these are not a big stretch from those cookies if you are familiar with them.  Nonetheless, they are super delicious and very addictive!

Chocolate-Coconut Bars
Here's What You'll Need:
3 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (the recipe suggests trying Oreo cookie crumbs too)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1 /2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Here's What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Take out a jelly roll pan and line it with parchment paper.  A little trick to get it to adhere to the pan - splash the pan with a little water and the parchment paper will hold to the pan. 

Melt the butter.  A few people who had tried this recipe before me posted their comments to Martha's website.  They said this recipe didn't call for enough butter to hold the crumb crust together.  So I used about 2 additional tablespoons of butter than this recipe calls for.  To the melted butter, add the graham cracker crumbs and the sugar.  Press the crumb mixture evenly across the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes and let it cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack.

After it has cooled, evenly sprinkle the pecans and then the chocolate over the top.  Pour the sweetened condensed milk and then sprinkle the coconut.  Back into the oven for about 10-15 minutes to toast the coconut.  Let it cool completely before you cut it.  Depending on how big you cut these bars, you can get anywhere from 30-50 servings.  I started out cutting them big and then realized I needed to go smaller or else I'd be in big trouble.  They are hard to walk away from.  I finally put the container in the cupboard. 

Out of site, out of mind!

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