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Author Notes: Aside from lemon bars, this is one of my favorite bar cookie recipes. It's reminiscent of seven-layer bars without all the hassle and with the added benefit of a shortbread crust. I've adapted it from Elinor Klivans' Coconut Pecan Southland Bars in 125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble and Savor. —clcatto
Makes one batch
For the shortbread
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 baking pan.
- Mix all ingredients until a soft dough forms.
- Press the dough evenly into the pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust is very lightly golden. Don't allow the crust to cook all the way through as it will be going back into the oven with the topping.
- Remove from the oven and set aside.
For the topping
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- While the shortbread is baking, beat the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla on medium speed until light in color (about 1 minute).
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until incorporated.
- Mix in the pecans and coconut.
- Stir in chocolate chips. The batter will remain fairly thick.
- When the cooked shortbread has cooled slightly, spread the batter evenly over the crust.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out sticky and the middle remains firm if you give the pan a gentle shake.