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Coconut Caramel Bars

These easy to assemble bars are like magic bars only richer; thanks to the addition of Andre Prost Coconut Milk and Werther’s Original Soft Caramels.
TIME
25 minutes to assemble
25-30 minutes to bake
Total time: 50-55 minutes
YIELD
36-2 X 1 1/2 inch bar
INGREDIENTS
1-13.5 oz can Andre Prost Coconut Milk (not Lite), divided (found in baking section)
2 teaspoons corn starch
1-8.10 oz bag Werther’s Original Soft Caramels, unwrapped
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafer cookies
2 cups flaked coconut, divided
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup chopped salted peanuts
DIRECTIONS
Step 1
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with a non-stick cooking spray or use aluminum foil trick, under Test Kitchen Tip (below).
Step 2
Pour 1/2 cup of Coconut Milk into small bowl. Add corn starch and whisk until combined. Set aside. Pour remaining Coconut Milk into a medium saucepan. Add caramels. Stirring frequently, cook on a low heat until melted. Add reserved coconut milk and barely simmer 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.
Step 3
Meanwhile, melt butter or margarine and sugar in a heavy saucepan until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add wafer crumbs and 1 cup of flaked coconut. Stir until combined. Pour into baking dish. Firmly and evenly press (with bottom of measuring cup) into bottom of dish.
Step 4
Evenly sprinkle chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, nuts and remaining 1 cup flaked coconut across top of crust, in that order. Slowly and evenly pour coconut caramel mixture across top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until edges are slightly brown.
Step 5
Cool on wire rack. While still warm, run a thin knife around edges to loosen. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Cut into bars. Serve cold. Refrigerate up to 1 week.
TEST KITCHEN TIP

Grease pan and line with aluminum foil with edges overhanging baking dish.  Overhang becomes the handles.  Grease or spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.  When bars are cool, carefully lift out whole cookie bar and cut into squares. An offset spatula is a great tool for firmly pressing edges of crust into pan. Bars are best served cold.

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