Chocolate Coconut Bars (regular and Gluten Free variation)
Anyone gearing up for treats, treats, and more treats?? It’s Holiday time, remember? There’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day……..all sorts of holidays to celebrate and make treats. You know, in case you need a reason.
Growing up, my mom used to make Cherry Cheese Sweet Bread. Every year. It’s a braided danish type thing that has cherry pie filling (or any kind of fruit) and cream cheese-y filling and then a glaze and nuts on top. She would make it for us, the neighbors, friends, or anyone walking down the street. She spread Christmas cheer everywhere with this stuff (it’s always more fun to fatten up together, right?) I don’t know a year she didn’t make it. Until many of us in the family got this Celiac thing several years ago. We haven’t found a good dough to make it just right. Bummer. (Because we have tried…..and it’s just not the same.)
Soooooo, no need to feel sad about that…….I just try and find substitutes. It’s a great way to branch out. And make yummy new things. And find new Holiday Food traditions.
So a week or two ago…..a gave a new recipe a trial run. Because I need to practice. And then take practice bites and then more practice bites. See? I don’t go without. :)
I altered a recipe (to make it gluten free) found at Martha Stewart. And loved it.
Beware: It’s totally rich and totally delicious. And you may only need 1 square of it. (Or 3-4 if you can handle your sugar like I can.)
But the top is covered in toasted coconut and the center is chewy and chocolatey and delicious.
And yes, even a little gluten free cookie crust to hold the bar all together.
And you can either follow Martha’s directions here and make it the original way…….or you can pick up a bag of mild Gluten Free cookies and make them my way. (I found these at Wal-Mart. But have seen them many places. They’re not that great plain….but they worked perfectly for the crust.)
Chocolate Coconut Bars
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
- 3 cups finely ground gluten free cookies, some sort of mild cookie works best (there’s enough sugar in the rest of the recipe)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup (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
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter until combined. Evenly press onto bottom and about an inch up the sides of a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Bake, rotating halfway through, until firm, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool, about 20 minutes.
- 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.
- Bake until coconut is toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. (Mine took a little longer to bake and really toast the coconut.)
**These taste the best (and stay together better) after they are completely cool. They are more chewy and easier to eat. Yum.
And if you eat more than one, don’t blame me. They are slightly addicting.
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If you need more gluten free ideas…….all of the recipes posted in my recipe section are either naturally gluten free or I have adapted them to be gluten free. Hope that helps you GFers.