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Chocolate, Walnut & Coconut Pie Bars

Mary Anne here. Sadly, the Thanksgiving family feast is over and the holiday bustle is officially in full swing. Between Black Friday, which now apparently launches during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (gasp!), to Cyber Monday we are inundated with pressure to buy, buy, buy!

Not so fast.

I’m still glowing from our unequaled Turkey Day and want to stay in my cozy cooking nook just a bit longer. I devoted this weekend to baking a couple of different pie bars that reflect the aromas of autumn and promise to be quite popular at any upcoming Holiday Cookie Swaps. (Stay tuned for old-fashioned Hermit Bars. Simply outstanding!)

These Choco-Walnut-Coconut Bars were inspired by a Pecan-Coconut Tart I occasionally make for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I wanted to create a simpler version with a finger-food attitude for a quick fix during the holiday madness. These chewy, gooey babies topped my expectations and I know for certain that they’ll help me maintain my post-Thanksgiving glow while stepping right up to the plate come Christmas!

Choco-Walnut-Coconut Bars
Makes 24 Cookies

Ingredients:
For the crust:
1½ cups all-purpose flour – stock
1 stick of butter, softened – stock
¼ cup brown sugar, packed – stock
For the filling:
3 large eggs, lightly beaten – stock
¾ cup light corn syrup – $2.39
1 teaspoon vanilla – stock
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted – stock
¾ cup granulated sugar – stock
12 oz. package chocolate chips (about 2 cups) – $1.79
1½ cups walnut pieces – $1.89
½ cup shredded coconut flakes – $1.99
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $8.06
Total Per Bar Cookie: $0.34

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking pan.

2. Prepare the crust by creaming the softened butter with the brown sugar. On the lowest setting of a mixer, gradually add the flour until the mixture is crumbly. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Note: It only covers the bottom and does not go up the sides.

3. Bake the crust for 15 to 18 minutes, until very pale golden.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Using a mixer, beat together the eggs, corn syrup, melted butter, and vanilla. Gradually add the sugar until dissolved.

5. In a separate bowl, combine the walnuts, chocolate chips, and coconut. Stir into the egg and sugar mixture, stirring well to combine.

6. Spread the filling evenly over the warm crust and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until the center is set.

7. Cool completely on a wire rack. Using a sharp knife, loosen the edges and then cut into bars.