Monday, February 7, 2011

Malted Coconut-Mocha Bars

Superbowl Sunday turned into a baking and cooking spree. I started with cornbread, then once that finished I set to work on dessert. Then an hour or so before the game started we put a pot of chili on. For a lazy Sunday it wasn't very relaxing!

I came across these bars when I was looking for something to make for my parents as they were stopping by for a visit. These bars have 3 components - the base, the filling and the icing. Apparently every time I attempt to do icing it's a disaster of sorts. So don't repeat my mistake. When the recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups sifted flour that means you should measure it after you sift it, not before. I messed this up and ended up having to double the icing as it didn't completely cover the bars. Whoops...

Regardless, these bars were a hit. The shortbread base pairs perfectly with the sweet icing, and the hint of coconut gives them a nice flavor hit. They may look complicated but they're really not, especially if you're better at following directions than I am.

Malted Coconut-Mocha Bars (adapted from Culinary in the Desert)

For the base

11 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling

3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1/2 cup chocolate malted milk powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the frosting

2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup chocolate malted milk powder or mix of malted milk powder and cocoa
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 to 5 teaspoons boiling water

To make the base

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours and salt. Beat in the flour mixture until combined - it will be very thick. Scoop mixture into a 9 x 13" baking pan lightly coated with nonstick spray. Evenly pat mixture onto bottom of the pan. Bake until set - about 15 minutes.

To make the filling

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Stir in coconut, the malted milk powder, flour, espresso powder, baking powder and salt until well combine. Gently, but quickly spread mixture over the partially baked crust. Place back in the oven and bake until the middle looks set - about 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove and set on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting

In a medium mixing bowl, beat together confectioners' sugar, malted milk powder, vanilla, and just enough of the boiling water to make the frosting spreadable.

Using an off-set spatula, evenly spread icing over the bars.

Makes about 24 bars.