Here I am again playing catch up. I really don't have much to catch up on in terms of this blog, actually, because I have been in a very boring routine of cooking lately, and have made nothing exciting outside of dessert. What can I say? It is summer break, but summer is nowhere to be found. This means I am funked out and need some sugar so that I can pretend to keep up with my wild things. And they just got back from 5 days with grandparents, so yes, they ARE wild. Anyway, I really want to talk about these Hello Dolly Bars. Technically, they are called Chocolate Coconut Bars (so says the recipe), but really, they are Hello Dolly Bars. Same thing. If you are from the South, you will know this as a Hello Dolly Bar. You might also know this as a Seven-Layer Bar. Whatever you call it, it is wonderful. This is a simple bar with a crushed up graham cracker crust, covered in sticky sweetness, and topped with nuts, chocolate, and coconut. Totally awesome, totally easy, totally bad for you. Make them anyway.
Chocolate Coconut Bars
-from marthastewart.com (someone please tell Martha that it is obvious this is a Hello Dolly Bar...no need to change the name)
- 3 cups finely ground graham crackers (you can play nice and do this in a food processor, or take the barbaric approach that I do: place in a large ziplock bag and then beat them to crumbs with a rolling pin like a mad woman)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 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. Lightly splash a 15-by-10-inch rimmed baking sheet evenly with water, then line with parchment paper. I know that sounds odd, but just do it. The water holds the parchment down. In a large bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter until combined. Evenly press onto bottom and up sides of prepared baking sheet. 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. Cool completely and cut into equal-size bars. If you want to make an easier job out of cutting them, stick them in the fridge for a few minutes. After I cut them, I remove them from the pan and place the bars in a 9x13 pan (with parchment between layers) and then store them in the fridge. They are much easier to devour this way, and when chilled, they are perfectly chewy AND gooey.