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
For the shortbread
unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
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
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.