This week has been a crazy week for me. I'm not sure how anyone who works in the medical field manages to have a life. I'm working 12 hour overnight shifts and one 16 hour day. I'm over tired and a tad cranky.
I feel like every moment of free time I have is spent sleeping or laying on the couch. I'm really struggling trying to find balance in my life. I want to exercise, cook, and spend time with my family, but instead I find myself on the couch eating easy meals.
I did however manage to get my butt in the kitchen and make these coconut bars. I was craving cookies so bad the other day, but wanted something a little different. I am a huge fan of everything and anything coconut. These bars hits the spot.
I wish I could have enjoyed more of these bars, but a hog monster, also known as my husband, ate them all with the help of my father. I was glad to see them enjoy them so much and I hope you do too!
1 cup of salted butter
1/2 cup of sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tbs of milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Coconut Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup salted butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups toasted sweetened coconut
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In your electric mixer with paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together until smooth.
In a separate bowl combined flour and baking powder together.
Add milk and vanilla to creamed butter and then add in half the flour mixture. Mix until well combined and then add the other half of the flour mixture.
Once your dough is completely combined, push the dough into a greased 8" baking pan. Push the dough evenly to each corner, bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until slightly browned on top.
Remove from oven and let cool.
In a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium heat add butter, brown sugar, and heavy cream. Let the butter melt and sugar dissolve. Bring to a rolling boil and then cook sauce until it thickens. It took me about 7 minutes.
Once your caramel sauce has thickened remove it from heat and mix in vanilla extract. Set aside.
Turn your oven down to 300 degrees and toast 3 cups of sweetened coconut. Watch the coconut closely it will burn fast!
Once the coconut is a light golden brown remove from oven. Mix two cups of toasted coconut into caramel sauce and set the other cup aside.
Spread coconut caramel sauce over crust evenly and then sprinkle remaining coconut over top. Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave if you're lazy like me or in your double boiler. Put melted chocolate in a zip lock bag with one the ends cut. Squirt chocolate as desired all over bars.
Let the bars cool for an hour in the fridge before cutting them so the caramel isn't a sticky mess!