Monday, December 3, 2012

Chocolate Coconut Pecan Bars (aka - Faux Samoas)

I am lucky to have some family that lives close to me. I have a sister and her family, my parents, and my aunt and uncle on my dad's side and their family. It gets crazy! We sing Happy Birthday as off key as possible (it is so awful that it used to make my niece cry!) and open presents. Oh, and we eat cake and ice cream. Of course.

It's actually one of the best parts of the party! We always try new recipes, try to impress each other with our cakes and creations. And I so don't mind being the guinea pig for new dessert recipes! Bring it on!

Tonight we had a party for my son who just turned five. He wanted a Star Wars cake. I vetoed that cake. I am not a cake decorator nor to I work with fondant or have super amazing creativity when it comes to such things. So I vetoed it. But I didn't tell him that. He thought he was getting a Star Wars cake until he saw what I made. Luckily, I made Mario cupcakes or he would've been sad. Someday my kids will realize that when I'm asking what kind of cake they want for their birthday that I'm really asking for a flavor or something, not a theme.

Anyway, the Mario cupcakes were so cute and easy. They were basic cupcakes, frosted with red or green frosting with white dots (mint Mentos!). I made Mario mushrooms - we call the Big Mushrooms and One-Ups, but I'm not sure of their real names. And I got him a set of Mario figurines, so I used those on the cupcakes as decoration, and then he could play with them after.

Okay, so not the best, but good for me!

Anyway, I needed an "adult" dessert! As cute as these were, I didn't want a cupcake. I needed something amazing! So I found this recipe on Martha Stewart's website. However, it is not realy her recipe. It is an old recipe found on the back of a can of sweetened condensed milk from like 1930. Way before Martha was around! But I figure if Martha liked it, and it was as easy as it sounded, I was in!

This recipe is so easy to make and so good to eat! It's like a gourmet Samoa cookie - (hooked you right there didn't I??)
 Chocolate Coconut Pecan Bars
by Girls in Aprons

3 cups finely ground cookies (12 ounces), such as graham crackers or chocolate wafers, or a  combination (I used graham crackers, but I'd like to try Nilla Wafers!)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter until combined. Evenly press onto bottom and up sides of prepared baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool, about 20 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle cooled crust evenly with pecans and chocolate. Pour condensed milk over the top, spreading to cover completely (do not let it drip over the edges). Sprinkle with coconut.
  4. Bake until coconut is toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool completely before serving (it won't hold together if you cut it while warm).

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