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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sweet Stuff: Coconut Cream Pie Bars

I love coconut, I think everyone should love coconut (apparently, I'm incorrect here).  I have never, ever in my entire history of "not afraid to make a recipe" made a custard-type cream pie or bar or anything of the sort.  Until now.

The original recipe I spotted via Facebook is found here.  For the uninitiated, that thing I just did there is a link, click and ye shall see the recipe.  The rest of you?  Ignore me.

I wrote down (almost) all of the ingredients and ran to the grocery, pronto.  Then, I got all prepped and realized that I did not purchase unflavored gelatin.   I will not go to the store for that, I can improvise.  So, I did.  I will preface all of this with:  It was delicious.  I am awesome.  I will make it again, but with a different crust.  Filling was perfect, in my opinion.  I am genius.  Here it is, in all of it's glory:

Coconut Cream Pie Bars


2 Sticks cold butter (1 cup)
2 cups flour (Regular All Purpose)
1/2 cup powdered Sugar

Coconut Cream Filling:

3 cups each, Half and Half and Coconut Milk (two cans of unsweetened gets you there)
4 large eggs
1/12 cups white sugar
2/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes - I used a little more, like what fell in while I measured
1 teaspoon each coconut extract and vanilla extract

Whipped Topping:

2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon each coconut and vanilla extract
1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar

Let's Do This:

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a 9 x 13 baking pan with foil, I used heavy duty foil and pressed it to form the pan, leaving about an inch or so overhang all around.  This is your "bar getter outer" once done, or a sling, as referenced in the original recipe.

Cut butter into the flour and powdered sugar, using a food processor, by pulsing until it begins to combine.  Press into the foil lined pan.  I used a small roller I purchased at a home-based cooking product party.  Or you can use the bottom of a glass.  Bake for 20 or more minutes until it is golden brown.  Confession, I baked mine as instructed and it tasted a bit raw, could be my oven.  I then told everyone "It's fantastic, but, DO NOT eat the crust, it is not cooked."

Once the crust is done, spread a second cup of coconut on a baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden.  3-6 minutes should do it.

While the crust and the toasted coconut is cooling (your oven should be in the off position now), make the filling.  Combine all ingredients, EXCEPT the coconut, in a large saucepan.  Pre-scrambling the eggs helps.  With your burner on medium heat, commence to whisking steadily.  No need to whisk like your life depends upon it, just incorporate all ingredients and keep them moving in the pan.  If the mixture tries to hit a hard boil, turn in down - gentle bubbly is what you want, until it is thickened.  This takes around 20-30 minutes.  My finished filling was the consistency of a good thick cream gravy.  Now stir in the coconut flakes, not the toasted ones, until well combined.

Pour the filling over your cooled crust, using a spatula to scrape it all out of the pan.  Allow it to cool on the counter to almost room temp and cover and place in the fridge until firm.  This takes two to four hours.  I got a little jinky here, as the filling didn't look like it would set to firm, it did.  Remain calm.

Once the filling is set, pour the whipped cream and extracts into a bowl and begin beating, slowly adding powdered sugar until the whipped cream peaks.  Gently spread over the coconut filling and sprinkle toasted coconut all over the top.

Keep chilled until you're ready to serve.  Lift the entire business out of the pan and rest on a large cutting board.  Using a sharp knife, cut into squares and consume.  Fresh brewed coffee may be in order.  Saying.

The next crust options I plan to attempt:  Crushed Pecan Sandies made in a tree by elves and melted butter.  Freshly ground nuts (think pecans and almonds) and melted butter, like this right here.

If you are a for realz friend, I will let you know when this happens again, and you will get a share of it.  I ended up eating 4 pieces of it.  My pantalones are smaller.  I have no idea how that happened.  That is my story.  I am sticking to it.

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