Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Coconut Mud Bars

I made this for our FHE caroling activity. I got the recipe from Mrs. Field's Best Ever Cookie Book. Since I had some whipping cream in the fridge from the pumpkin pie cake I made last week, I looked for a recipe where I could use up the rest of it. I wouldn't recommend substituting milk for the cream here. I didn't use coconut extract.

Bottom Layer
1 1/3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 c. (packed) dark brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 c.) unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into small pieces

10 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 c. heavy cream

4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. coconut extract (optional)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. shredded coconut
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan.

Make the bottom layer: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. With a pastry blender (mine broke last week - it was the best $1 purchase at DI !), cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is set. Place the pan on a rack to cook, but leave oven on.

Meanwhile make the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Ins a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate; let stand for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Pour the ganache over the crust and refrigerate for 15 minutes to set the ganache.

Prepare the topping: In a medium bowl, cream the butter. Add the granulated sugar, vanilla, and coconut extract, if desired, and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the coconut and pecans.

Drop the coconut-pecan mixture evenly over the ganache and spread gently. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Set the pan on a wire rack to cook. Cut into bars. The recipe says 24, but I cut it into 32.

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