Caribbean Coco-Almond Bars

Servings: 16


Ingredients:

Cookie crust:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
3/4 cup toasted and finely chopped almonds (about 3 ounces)*
1 tablespoon dark rum**

Coconut filling:
1 1/2 cups medium shred unsweetened coconut***
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dark rum
1/4 teaspoons salt

Chocolate layer:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 60% cocoa), chopped
2 tablespoons heavy cream or evaporated milk
Additional 1 cup shredded coconut and/or sliced almonds

Cooking Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch square pan with heavy-duty foil that extends over edges of pan; butter foil.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade or in a large bowl with a pastry blender, combine first 5 ingredients; add butter in small intervals while mixing until texture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add nuts and rum; blend.

Press dough firmly and evenly into pan. Bake until crust deflates (it will puff at first) and edges are barely firm to touch, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly on wire rack.

As crust cools, blend filling ingredients together in a bowl. When crust is firm and still warm, spoon on filling; spread evenly. Return pan to oven and bake until edges turn golden, about 15 minutes. Remove and cool in pan on wire rack.

Make chocolate layer by combining all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat or microwave-safe bowl. Heat (in 30 second intervals, if in microwave) while whisking until melted and smooth. Pour hot topping over filling; spread evenly. If desired, sprinkle coconut and/or almonds evenly over top while chocolate layer is still hot.

*To toast almonds, place nuts in a single layer in an ungreased shallow pan. Bake at 350°F for 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pan to cool.

**Fruit juice (such as orange juice) may be substituted for dark rum.

***Unsweetened coconut can be found at many specialty and health food stores.

Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before bringing to room temperature and cutting into bars.

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Reviews

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I tried these bars... very good! However the step to cover the pan with aluminum foil and then butter it didn't make sense and after baking the bars it made even less sense. the bars stuck to the aluminum foil and had to be turned over and the aluminum foil peeled off. I think parchment paper with shortning and flour would work so much easier.
Reviewed on 12/21/2011 by dcampo