Magical Coconut Cookie Bars

On Monday night, the fiance and I planned a simple dinner for Valentine’s Day since we celebrated ahead during our fun weekend in San Diego for Valentine’s weekend.

We had a simple salad, whole roasted chicken and dessert on the menu.

We both worked on Monday, came home late and started eating around 8pm. I must have been in a rush preparing the salad because I didn’t do a good job washing the lettuce.

Chris found bugs in his salad that I prepared for him. I’m thinking it came from the lettuce bunch that I washed and chopped myself 😦 He lost his appetite right after he picked the bugs from his mouth (yeah I know…eeew). The good news is that he already ate his chicken and tortillas before he ate the bugs, so he had a hearty dinner in his stomach before he called it quits on dinner.

As for me, since I didn’t see bugs in my food, I continued eating what was on my plate.

We laughed and it made for a memorable night.

Instead of showing you the bug-filled food, I’ll just show you the delicious Sushi dinner we had on Saturday night in San Diego.

Every time we go to a Sushi restaurant, I always want to order Seaweed Salad. This serving was tasty, not too sweet, not too salty and just the right amount of vinegar.

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I don’t eat raw fish, I have tried many times in the past to eat it, and there’s just something about the texture of raw fish that I don’t like. Chris is a sashimi lover so raw fish is always present in the house.

Baked Salmon sushi rolls was the highlight of our dinner for me.

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We shared the Spider Roll and California roll too.

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Chris ordered a few extra rolls that escaped the camera.

Magical Coconut Cookie Bars

I made these bars for my sister’s baby shower last week and also for Valentine’s Day.  These bars have a few layers in them so there is a good mix of flavors all in one bite.

The coconut and chocolate are the strongest flavors.

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Layers up close

 

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***Important note: These bars require several hours of chilling (overnight is best) to firm them up before slicing, so plan accordingly.

I adapted my version of these magical bars from the recipe on Post Punk Kitchen.

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Ingredients:

One 14 oz can lite coconut milk (about 1 3/4 cups, I used Trader Joe’s brand)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 cups Cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
2 cups flaked, sweetened coconut
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with parchment paper

In a large saucepan whisk together coconut milk and brown sugar over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mixture may form a thin skin on the surface; just stir it back into the liquid. Remove from heat and let cool while preparing the crust.

Since I used whole cinnamon graham crackers, I put the crackers in the food processor to make crumbs. I left a few chunks in the mix.

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In a large bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar; mix well to moisten crumbs completely. Firmly press mixture into prepared pan, pressing evenly from center to sides of pan.

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Tip: Press the graham cracker crumb crust like crazy into the pan; the more you pat it down the firmer the resulting crust will be.

Pour warm coconut milk mixture evenly over crumb base. Top with an even layer of chocolate chips, flaked coconut and nuts, in that order.

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Firmly pat everything down until coconut milk mixture soaks upward into the toppings. Bake for 28-30 minutes or until coconut is deeply golden and filling is bubbling, remove from oven and let entire pan cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

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Transfer pan to the refrigerator to completely cool and firm up for at least 4 hours, even better overnight or until very firm. Use a sharp, heavy knife to run along the edges of bars, slide bars on parchment paper out of pan onto a cutting board then to slice into 24 squares. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. These also freeze well, tightly wrapped and allowed to thaw for 20 minutes before serving.

Crunchy toppings.

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Oooey gooey melted chocolate

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You can cut them bar size or

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Cute bite size bars (baby shower party plate).

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Comments

  1. Yummmmmmm! These have a lot less sugar in them than I would have guessed. Perfection. The sushi is so gorgeous too. Thats funny about the bugs ;). At least you know your lettuce is real and natural 😉

    • I cut the sugar from the original recipe and I’m even tempted to use less sugar next time I make it and also use an oatmeal based crust 🙂 The chocolate and shredded coconut provides enough sweet for me.

      I think the fiance might have a salad phobia now, lol! Well, at least salad prepared by me.

  2. Annette (Defiant Vegan) says:

    Yummy thanks for sharing the recipe and poor guy to eat bugs well you can tell him he had more then his share of protein and that will make for a good laugh. LOL

    I’m glad you enjoyed your time.

    😉

    • Hi Annette,

      Yeah I tried to play it off and said something like “Bugs? it’s ok, that’s all natural”…but the one that was in his food was a little big and was still moving 😦

      It made for a fun night because we just laughed.

  3. Any of the “magic” cookie bars get my heart all a flutter… they’re one of my favorite things to make!

    • How did I know that already? I saw you bake a storm during the holiday season. Did you save and freeze some for rainy days? or is it all gone?

      I have these bars wrapped individually and keeping them frozen so I can have one everyday if I want to for a month, lol!

  4. I love that seaweed salad. As a friend of mine once informed me, she could eat an entire mixing bowl of that seaweed. Those bars look like little pecan pie bites.

    So sad to hear about the buggy salad. I once purchased a bunch of kale from the Farmers Market and when I washed them , I noticed a million bugs in the water. Even after washing it 3 times, there were still millions of bugs. I almost threw up.

  5. Thanks for sharing those bars!! They look fantastic…I may have to try to make them soon. 🙂

  6. I can’t believe the bugs!!! Eek! Actually, I can, but I can’t believe it has never happened to me!
    Really excited to meet you next month – I’ll email you!

  7. The bars look ridiculously good and not too sugary. Yum!

    Last week I tried to make kale chips and the kale was covered in bugs. I freaked out and had to throw it all away and scrub my kitchen- sometimes I spaz out like that.

  8. Your food looks so good. I’m obsessed with sushi and those bars don’t look like they have a lot of sugar (which is perfect for me since in prediabetic.)

    • Thanks Hollie, you can even make them with less sugar if you want. The chocolate and sweetend coconut provides enough sweetener.

      I just had one tonight, one of the bite size bars straight from the freezer and I was thinking that I can get away with less sugar next time.

  9. Those salmon sushi rolls look amazing! And I LOVE that you posted this recipe – WOW – everything about it looks and sounds awesome.

  10. Those bars look out of this world delicious! I love a treat that freezes well too. That way I always have a sweet on hand 🙂

  11. wow, those bars look amazing! I have been on such a coconut kick here lately putting it in everything! I even sprinkled it on my salad last night LOL.

  12. Aww, sorry about the bugs, but it looks like your dinner out in San Diego was amazing! My parents both grew up there, so I’ve been several times. 🙂

    And your coconut bars do look magical!

  13. at first i was super jealous of your sushi but those bars….oh my god those bars…. almost worth an overnight flight to cali. haha just kidding 🙂

  14. Those bars look so incredible! I definitely need to try making them. So yummy!

  15. Those bars look fantastic!

    I love that you ate your food anyway, I would totally do the same. As long as I dont see any bugs, we’re good. 🙂

  16. Your coconut bars look fabulous! As for the bugs….we saw them in our salads as kids b/c all the greens came from our veggie garden and sometimes you just can’t wash it enough. My Dad always called them “protein”. No thanks! 😉

  17. So gooey and rich and sweet. I absolutely want some right now (for breakfast…ha!) I’m sure they’d be delectable anytime of day. I should use more coconut. Thanks for the post and recipe!

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