This isn’t really a “new” recipe. In fact, it’s not much of a recipe rather than a last-minute bake-off to use my shredded coconut before it expires – because letting anything expire in your pantry is just so sad. But my oh my, this accidental treat is yummy yummy yummy in my tummy (and a problem for my hips!). These bars are SO sweet and decadent, yet there is something about the combination of caramel and coconut and hazelnuts that is just to die for. The caramel brittle at the bottom just has the right combination of salty crunch and sweet caramel, and the coconut layer is chewy and delicious, and of course you then come aross the bittersweet chocolate layer on top with the added crunch of the toasted nuts. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry because I have no more bars left. You can seriously substitute everything in this recipe and just use my recipe as a guideline, and create your own ohmygosh bars with whatever you have lying around in your pantry. Seriously, all you need is a yummy caramel base, and top it with whatever your heart desires. I simply used my pecan praline caramel cracker recipe and then modified it slightly. Trust me, make double the recipe, keep half for yourself and give the other half away. That way, you’ll seem like the most amazing and generous friend in the world – while eating your own stash secretly in the privacy of your own home. You can have your ohmygosh bars and eat them too 😉 Seriously, I have found a new religion in these bars.
- 40 salted soda crackers
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup (1/2 can) condensed milk
- 1 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit.
- Line the bottom of the baking sheet with crackers, covering all parts.
- In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the matzo or crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.
- In a small bowl, mix together the coconut and the condensed milk. You can use more of the condensed milk if you find the coconut mix to be too dry, but I found that 1/2 cup was just enough to bind the coconut together and provide the right amount of sweetness.
- Spread the coconut mixture evenly over your caramel-covered crackers.
- Bake for 15 minutes, making sure that the corners of the caramel or the coconut layer doesn’t get too dark. You want it to be golden.
- Remove from the oven, and sprinkle your chocolate chips evenly over the coconut. Return to the oven just for 2 minutes, to soften the chocolate.
- Using an off-set spatula, spread the chocolate into an even layer. Sprinkle the toasted hazelnuts over top, and feel free to drizzle even more chocolate on top. Since I also had sliced almonds on hand, I sprinkled those on top too. The more, the merrier =)