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Monday, December 05, 2016

Raspberry Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars


Raspberry Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars are a crunchy brown sugar shortbread cookie base layered with raspberry jam and a crumbly coconut and chocolate chip topping. A new family favourite!


There's nothing like the desperation of necessity in a baking emergency to bring out that "mother of invention".   So it was this past week when I needed another dessert for our church supper.  I had several cake desserts prepared for the buffet table but wanted a crunchy cookie to balance the soft texture of the various cakes.  As time was marching by in double time I had to hustle to get something made.  I didn't have time to scoop cookies so I decided a pan of squares or bars would be the way to go.  But what to make with the ingredients I had on hand?  And then, like a music composer who hears a new composition in his head, I saw the cookie bars in mine and I just started making them as if I had made them dozens of times before. 

The cookies were well liked at the supper.  A few of ladies were trying to figure out how they were made and asked me for the recipe.  Ha, what recipe. I told them I'd write it out for them so I'm glad I made a mental note of how much and what went into the bars so I could make them again.

As it happened I didn't get to taste the bars until after the supper was over and they were delicious. (I'm glad I did remember how they were made.) The crunchy brown sugar shortbread cookie base was the perfect platform for the raspberry jam and the crumble with the chocolate chips and coconut was just the perfect topping.  

Of course the new recipe needed a name so, ta da,  I give you. . .
 
Raspberry Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars
1 cup butter, room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup raspberry jam

½ cup reserved crumbs
½ cup fine or medium coconut, unsweetened or sweetened
½ cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper for easy removal.  No need to grease the pan as there is plenty of butter in the shortbread base.

Beat the butter and sugar together until you have a creamy mixture.  You may do this with your mixer or by hand.  Stir in the flour and salt until you have a soft crumbly mix that sticks together.  Remove ½ cup of the shortbread mixture and reserve for crumble topping.

Pack the shortbread cookie mixture into the prepared pan.  Evenly spread the raspberry jam over the cookie base.  

Make the crumble topping by combining the ½ cup reserved crumbs with the coconut, miniature chocolate chips and the tablespoon of butter.  Spread the crumble topping over the jam.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until the the topping is golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool completely in pan.  If you have lined the pan with parchment paper lift the bars out by grasping hold of the edges of the paper and gently lifting out onto a cutting board.

Cut into 24-36 bars using a sharp knife.  Press the knife firmly into the slab. Wipe the knife after every cut to keep the bars neat and clean.  Store bars in a covered container or freeze until needed.  

Makes 24-36 bars.


Beat the butter and sugar together until you have a creamy mixture.  You may do this with your mixer or by hand.  Stir in the flour and salt until you have a soft crumbly mix that sticks together.  Remove  ½ cup of the shortbread mixture and reserve for crumble topping.

Pack the shortbread cookie base into the prepared pan.  Cover with the raspberry jam.

Make the crumble topping by combining the reserved crumbs, coconut, chocolate chips and butter.  

Evenly spread the crumble topping over the jam layer.

Bake 30 minutes in 350 preheated oven until crumble topping is golden brown.

When the bars are cool they can be removed from the pan by lifting the sides of the parchment paper.  

Once the bars are removed cut into 24-36 bars.  Use a long sharp knife and cut down firmly.   Wipe the knife off after each cut to keep the cuts clean.

Store the bars in a covered container until ready to arrange on a pretty holiday plate.

A new family favourite!



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