For those of you that watch football you know that one saying the announcer says before Monday Night Football. The one where he says "Are you ready for some foooooootbaaaalll!"
I love that part. And then I can change the channel LOL! Maybe I understood the game then I might appreciate it. It just seems all the football players do is get in a nice straight line, shout something out, then all run into a pile. Why isn't there a guy that runs to the goals while everyone runs into the pile? So when I bite into one of these caramel coconut goodies all I can hear is: "are you ready for some shhhhhhortbreaddddd!"
These bars were amazing. Normally I don't eat a lot of the stuff I make because I'd eat it all! Normally I send it off to whomever is next on the list, be a friend, doctors, clients, hubbys' office, etc...t's so fattening; But I kept this batch home. The caramel and coconut melded so nicely together on top of the slightly salty shortbread. Does this taste like the girl scout samoas? Oh yes indeed, very close in taste, not perfect but pretty good. And yes, they do taste like a better version of a Twix bar.
caramel-coconut pecan shortbread bars
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
¼ cup of toasted pecans (optional)
20 ounces soft caramel candies (or make your own caramel sauce)
5 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups shredded coconut, toasted
1 cup milk chocolate chips, melted
Preheat the oven to 350°. Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then add to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed just until the dough comes together.
Press evenly into a 8 x 8 non-stick baking dish.
Then sprinkle the chopped pecans over the dough (do not press into dough).
Bake until lightly golden, 30 – 40 minutes, depending on oven (mine took 35). The shortbread might be a still a little soft, that’s ok. Recipe by Dawn Finicane of vanillakitchen.blogspot.com It hardens when it cools down. You are looking for a very light golden brown. (this is not a cookie so you don’t want brown edges).
In a medium saucepan, melt the caramels with the cream and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt over medium heat. Stir in the coconut, then spread over the shortbread. Let this cool before adding the chocolate. (I put it in the fridge to cool).
I put the melted chocolate into a plastic bag, closed it up then snipped off a small tip at corner and drizzled the chocolate on that way.
Let cool completely before slicing. This is really hard to slice when cooled, so use a sharp knife that is warmed up before slicing (run under hot water).
Note: If you don’t have a non-stick pan, then line your pan with foil (plus the edges) as you will need help removing this from the pan; caramel makes it stick. I found that removing this from the pan then slicing it on a cutting board was much easier than cutting it in the pan.
The next time I make this I might want to incorporate a layer of chunky peanut butter somewhere. You can also make your own caramel sauce for these, I just didn't have time to.