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Monday, June 28, 2010
Originally this week's post was going to be about turning on your oven in the summer. (ie. Who wants to do that?) But the day I made these gooey bars, Toronto experienced an "earthquake." It originated about a five hours drive from here so what we felt was less intense, but for those who never experienced one before, it sends you off kilter abit.
To comfort myself, I decided to calm my nerves by trying out a dessert I had on my "to do" list.
The inspiration for this recipe came from my Martha Stewart Cookie of the Day email. It was called Gooey Coconut Dream Bars. Wow. How can you resist that? It had me at gooey. I read the recipe and thought it was similar to alot of the bar cookie recipes I like. Pretty quick and easy. It's also a bit of a kitchen sink recipe. Have a small handful of dried cranberries? Throw them in. How about these nuts? Get them in, too!
It occurred to me that the cookie recipe turned out more squares than I wanted. Besides, I didn't have 2 cans of sugary, thick condensed milk, only the one. With some changes here and there, I present to you a bar that is reminiscent of some of my favourite desserts: butter tarts, caramel and macaroons.
Oh yes, all three flavours in one bite. Think creamy, chewy, sticky and certainly, gooey. You don't need an earthquake to make these bars, any old reason will do.
1 c graham cracker crumbs
1/4c melted butter, unsalted
1/8 tsp salt
1 c sweetened coconut flakes
1/2c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2c Thompson raisins
300ml sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 8 x 8 square pan by lining it with parchment paper. Leave at least a 2 inch overhang on two adjacent sides to ease of removal.
2. Mix crumbs, butter & salt together. Press evenly into the square pan, bringing at least 1/2" up the sides.
3. Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
4. Meanwhile, mix together condensed milk, coconut shreds, raisins and chocolate chips.
5. Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth out filling ensure that corners are filled.
6. Bake for 20-26 minutes. When the filling starts to caramelize and bubble along the edges, remove from oven. Cool.
7. With a sharp knife, cut squares. (Clean off the knife after each cut for a neat look.)