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Written by Eunice Cheah. Visit her on Instagram at @bakingwitheunice

If you love chocolate and coconut dessert, then you won’t want to miss out on this Chocolate Coconut Bars recipe – it’s easy to make and delicious.

If you have ever been to Vancouver Canada, you would have definitely heard of the dessert, Nanaimo Bars. It is named after the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and it consists of three layers: a nutty coconut crumb base, a sweet middle custard filling and a chocolate ganache on top. Inspired by the amazing dessert, I decided to make my own version of the bars! 

This is a chocolate coconut almond bar, with a crunchy graham cracker base. I wanted to create a dessert that was easy to make and with ingredients that can be found in most grocery stores. In fact, I would not be surprised if you are able to find most of the ingredients in your pantry. It is also a very customizable recipe, so you are able to swap out the ingredients with any toppings of your choice. 

This is such an easy dessert to whip out for any occasion, and I highly recommend trying it out for your next get-together! 

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE COCONUT BARS

Below is a detailed walk through of the recipe with pictures, but there is a recipe card below. 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grab an 8×8 square pan and line with foil or parchment paper. If you are using foil, grease the foil to avoid sticking. 
  1. Combine crushed graham crackers with butter and sugar and mix until it is the texture of wet sand.
  2. Press graham crackers evenly onto the base of the pan and baked in the oven for 15 minutes.

  1. Ones the graham cracker base has been in the oven for 15 minutes, let cool for a few minutes before sprinkling the sweetened desiccated coconut and almond slices onto it. The almond slices are optional, but I thought it would be a great compliment to the coconut. However,  you are welcome to add any toppings of your choice. Adding more toppings will give the dessert more texture. Then, pour the sweetened condensed milk on the top and bake for another 15 minutes.

  1. Combine chocolate and vegetable oil into a bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. I used high quality baking chocolate, but you can use chocolate chips as well, but it does take a longer time to melt. Stir between each burst to prevent the chocolate from burning. You can also use the double boiler method to melt the chocolate if you prefer doing that as well. 
  2. Once melted, spread the chocolate onto the bars and let sit for a few hours to allow the chocolate to harden. I would recommend placing it in the refrigerator for it to set quicker.

  1. Cut the bars into squares using a sharp knife to prevent the chocolate from cracking and serve while chilled. 

Ingredients for Chocolate Coconut Bars

  • 2 cups crushed graham crackers 
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup melted unsalted butter
  • 300 ml sweetened condensed milk (one can)
  • ½ cup sweetened desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup almond slices
  • 1 ¼ cup (10 oz) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a square baking pan with foil and grease the foil so that the bars can be easily removed. 
  2. Pour melted butter and sugar into the crushed graham crackers and mix until combined. It should be the texture of wet sand. Press the crumbs evenly into the square pan and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Ones baked, sprinkle the desiccated coconut and almond slices onto the graham cracker base before pouring the condensed milk over the top. Bake for another 15 minutes.
  4. While baking, combine chocolate and vegetable oil into a bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Stir between each burst to prevent from burning. 
  5. Spread the chocolate over the top of the bars and let cool in the fridge for a few hours. 
  6. Cut the bars into squares using a sharp knife to prevent the chocolate from cracking and serve while chilled.

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