This is an adaptation of a recipe I used to make as a kid. A
shortbread crust is topped by a simple mixture of coconut, pecans,
eggs, and sugar; the surprise here is a layer of chocolate between
the crust and the coconut-pecan topping.
aren't difficult to make, but they take a little time, and they
cut more neatly if allowed to stand at least 6 hours after baking
(so the chocolate layer has a chance to firm up). The bars will
keep at room temperature for a few days if stored airtight,
but I think they tend to dry out if kept that way for longer
than a day or two, so I freeze them for longer storage. You
might like to sift a bit of confectioners' sugar over the tops
of the bars just before serving, to dress them up. These are
nice for any informal occasion.
eggs, graded "large", preferably at room temperature
cup granulated sugar
cup firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
cup unsifted all-purpose flour
tsp. baking powder (if lumpy, sift before measuring)
rind of 1/2 small orange (zest only--no white pith)
cup shredded sweetened coconut flakes
cup chopped pecans
cup unsalted butter, softened
cup confectioners' sugar
cups unsifted all-purpose flour
ozs. good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped medium-fine (or
use good-quality chips)
a 13 by 9 by 2 inch pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny
side up, pressing out as many creases as possible. If there
is any overhang, fold the foil back against the outer edge of
the pan. Adjust rack to center
of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Topping: In medium bowl, combine eggs, granulated sugar, and
1/3 cup brown sugar (reserve remainder). With large spoon, stir
to mix, pressing out any brown sugar lumps.
small bowl, combine reserved brown sugar, flour, baking powder,
and salt. With small spoon, blend thoroughly, pressing out as
many lumps as possible with back of spoon. Add to egg mixture.
With large spoon, beat well to combine, about one minute,
again pressing out any lumps with back of spoon. Beat in orange
rind and vanilla. Stir in coconut and pecans. Cover loosely;
set aside at room temperature until needed.
Crust: In clean medium bowl, combine softened butter and confectioners'
sugar. Mix well with large spoon. Stir in flour until incorporated.
By small spoonfuls, place this mixture all over the bottom of
the pan. Keeping your fingers lightly floured as necessary,
press out crust mixture into as even a layer as possible on
pan bottom (I use floured fingertips and knuckles; I've tried
spreading the crust mixture with a spoon or spatula, but that
doesn't work for me).
crust in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, turning back-to-front
once about halfway through baking time. The edges of the crust
should be a golden brown.
crust from oven and place on rack. Immediately
sprinkle on chopped chocolate or chips as evenly as possible,
then cover pan with larger cookie sheet and allow to stand for
4 minutes. After 4 minutes, remove cookie sheet. With back of
spoon, gently spread melted chocolate evenly on crust, stopping
just short of the edges (a few small pieces of unmelted chocolate
are OK). Do not work over any one area of the crust too much,
or the melted chocolate and crust will pull off onto the spoon.
cover from Topping. Stir Topping well (coconut and pecans will
probably have come to top of bowl while Topping stands). By
large spoonfuls, place Topping all over melted chocolate; spread
as evenly as possible, right to edges of pan. Return pan to
22 to 25 minutes. When done, the top should be a light golden
brown (the edges will be a bit darker). When the pan is shaken
gently, the center will no longer quiver. Do not overbake, or
the bars will lose their chewiness. Cool completely on rack
before covering airtight. Allow
to stand at least 6 hours before cutting. If desired, lightly
sift confectioners' sugar over bar tops just before serving.
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