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. Maybe if I understood the game of football 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. 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. They remind me of a samoa cookie in bar form with extra shortbread; if a samoa cookie were to mix with a twix bar. Yes, that's it! The caramel and coconut melded so nicely together on top of the slightly salty shortbread. 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
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).
cook notes: 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.