Chocolate Coconut Bars

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I have not been keeping up with my blog lately because of so many family events in recent months. Between my mom moving, my son getting ready for college and just interacting with family I have not had much time to spare.

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I figured I needed something to give me a kick start and would be very easy to pull together. Chocolate Coconut Bars turned out to be a quick recipe that gave me the kick start I needed. I decided to be daring and made a batch for my team at work to see if the Chocolate Coconut Bars would be a hit outside of the family. By the time the day was over there were nothing but crumbs left in the container and I had thumbs up messages throughout the day. I have to admit that it is a good feeling when others appreciate the food you make. I think I now have a new set of guinea pigs besides my family to test out recipes on.

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My Chocolate Coconut Bars are just a different version of an old time favorite. I remember having them years ago at a friend’s house or maybe it was an office party. Either way, they were a tasty treat but a little too sweet for me. I think because the hostess used sweetened coconut, raisins and only sweet chocolate in the recipe. I changed it up a bit to cut down on the sweetness and added a bit of tartness to the bars. Instead of sweet coconut flakes I used unsweetened shredded coconut. I also added craisins instead of raisins for the contrast of sweetness and tartness.

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For those folks that are not a fan of coconut you might be surprised at how subtle the taste of coconut is in this recipe. There were a number of folks on my team that said they really do not like coconut but the combination of the unsweetened coconut with the chocolate, craisins and walnuts made the bars taste delicious. Over the years there have been a number of foods I thought I did not like but I was convinced somehow to try them again. I found that when certain foods were combined with some other food or was seasoned differently I really did like it. I often say to my son Don’t knock it til you have tried it”.

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Chocolate Coconut Bars

 Ingredients:

15 – 20 graham crackers crushed

1 14 oz can condensed milk

1 stick of butter melted

1 ½ cups shredded coconut (unsweetened)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts

½ cup craisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl add crushed graham crackers and melted butter. Stir until well combined and graham crackers are moistened. Spread graham crackers evenly onto a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.

Add chocolate, coconut, walnuts and craisins to the large bowl and mix well. Spread mixture evenly over graham cracker crust. Drizzle condensed milk over chocolate mixture. Place baking sheet in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes. Check after 20 minutes to make sure coconut does not burn.

Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes then cut into squares.

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