These buttery coconut bars with chocolate chips are an easy dessert filled with lots of coconut and a little bit of chocolate. A shortbread crust is topped off with a rich coconut and chocolate layer. This is a great recipe to share with friends for your next picnic or potluck supper.
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I enjoy making bar cookies because they provide all the yummy cookie deliciousness my family loves, yet they are simple to bake. These easy sugar cookie bars and these gingerbread cookie bars are some of my family’s favorite bar cookies, and these coconut ones are new family favorite.
These coconut bars with chocolate chips are kind of like a mounds bar in cookie form! They have lots of sweet coconut combined with chocolate all on a soft and chewy crust.
Easy Dessert Recipe
One of my favorite thing about this recipe is how easy it is to make. The bars take about an hour to make, but most of that is waiting for the bars to bake. The hands on time for making these cookie bars is much shorter.
In addition there is no need to break out your mixer or any fancy tools for this recipe. I store my mixer in a low kitchen cupboard and it is amazing how much that deters me from making a recipe sometimes! Realistically it would take me less than 5 minutes to clear some counter space, get it out and set it up. But still there are many times I veto a recipe just because that seems like too much effort.
That isn’t a problem with these coconut bars. One or two bowls, a baking pan and a whisk make this something you can make without any fancy equipment.
The easy preparation makes this perfect for whipping up a simple weeknight dessert. It is also a great recipe for kids to help with in the kitchen. This is because it is so simple there isn’t really anything they can mess up! Pressing the dough into the baking pan is a great job for kids, and they can’t over mix the filling.
How to Make Coconut Bars with Chocolate Chips
The first step in making these coconut bars with chocolate chips is to make prepare the baking pan. You want to be able to just lift the bars out of the pan after baking so you can cut them into neat squares. So the best way to do that is to line the pan with parchment paper or foil. I use a basic 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish for baking these cookie bars.
The crust is a simple mixture with only three ingredients – flour, brown sugar and melted butter. When it is all mixed together it will be thick, not like a cake batter. You can press it into the baking pan using your fingers and then use a spatula to flatten it.
Then the crust needs to bake for 15 minutes or so, until it is lightly browned. After that take the crust out and let it cool for 10 minutes while you mix the filling.
Filling for Coconut Bars
Making the filling is simply a matter of dumping the ingredients in a bowl and whisking them together. The base of the filling is a combination of flour, brown sugar, eggs, melted butter and sweetened condensed milk.
Then I add in 3 cups of shredded coconut and 1 cup of chocolate chips and mix it all together. This filling is poured over the baked crust. This will bake into a sweet and slightly gooey topping for the cookie bars.
Now this is a lot of coconut, but this recipe is all about coconut! So, to make it even more full of coconut, I sprinkle another cup of coconut on top of the bars. This layer browns nicely and adds some toasted coconut flavor to the dessert. Put the baking pan back in the oven at a slightly lower temperature than used for the crust and bake the bars until they are golden brown.
Serving the Coconut Bars with Chocolate Chips
Once the coconut bars are baked and cooled for about 10 minutes you can lift the bars right out of the baking pan. Carefully lift the sides of the parchment paper or foil and put the bars on a cooling rack.
Then once they have cooled completely you can cut them into nice neat squares. My husband has a hard time letting things cool completely and frequently tries to cut a serving for himself while they are still warm. So take my word for it, if you cut them when they are warm you will not end up with nice neat squares, although they will still taste delicious.
How many servings this recipe makes depends on how big you like to make your cookie bars. I usually cut 12 bars out of a 13 x 9 inch baking pan, but you could make smaller bars and get twice that many.
These bars travel well, so they are a great treat to take along for a picnic, barbecue or a pot luck dinner. They keep well in an airtight container for 3 days and you can freeze them although they will be best used within a month or two.
These coconut bars with chocolate chips are delicious and are loved by all ages. The shortbread crust is soft and chewy which makes it perfect for the filling which is soft and slightly gooey. If you have a coconut lover in your life make these bars and they will thank you!
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 4 cups sweetened shredded coconut, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Line a 13x9 inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper extends up the sides of the pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine 2 cups offlour and 1 cup of brown sugar and stir to mix well.
- Melt 1 cup of butter in the microwave. Stir the melted butter into the flour mixture until well combined.
- Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F degrees.
- To make the filling in a large bowl whisk together ½ cup of flour, ¼ cup of brown sugar, 3 eggs, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
- Melt ¼ cup of butter in the microwave and then stir into the filling mixture.
- Add the 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips and 3 cups of the shredded coconut to the filling mixture and stir well.
- Pour the filling mixture over the baked crust. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 cup of coconut.
- Bake the coconut bars as 325 F for 30 minutes, until golden brown on top.
- Cool the bars in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully remove from the pan by lifting the sides of the parchment paper and moving the bars to a cooling rack.
- Cool completely to room temperature, then cut into bars and serve.
These are also delicious with dark chocolate chips
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 566 Total Fat: 33g Saturated Fat: 23g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 98mg Sodium: 262mg Carbohydrates: 64g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 39g Protein: 6g