I was searching for a simple but delicious dessert, and when I saw this recipe for The Baked Bar from the new cookbook Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, I knew it was the answer. I have seen so many recipes from this book ever since it came out in October 2008, and I have pining for it ever since. I finally decided to order it (yay for gift cards left from Christmas!) because I knew I would be getting a lot of use out of it. The Baked Bar is a simple but delicious dessert. It’s obscenely full of sugary goodness, including white chocolate chips, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and sweetened condensed milk. It’s doesn’t get much better than that!
The bars start off with what may look at first like a regular graham cracker crust, but it is improved upon by adding sweetened shredded coconut. After baking the crust and allowing it to cool, you layer the rest of the ingredients, and bake it for about another 30 to 40 minutes. This allows the topping to become slightly melted, but the chips still retain their shape. This is a great treat to bring as a snack if you’re going to a party, as an after school snack, a nighttime treat…any time is fitting!
from Baked: New Frontiers In Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
makes 24 bars
For the crust:
2 C (about 6 oz) sweetened shredded coconut
2 1/2 C finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 20 crackers)
1 C unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1 1/3 C walnut halves, toasted and chopped
1 1/2 C (9 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 C white chocolate coarsely chopped
3/4 C butterscotch chips
3 1/4 C (26 oz) sweetened condensed milk
Make the Baked Bar crust:
Preheat the oven t0 300 degrees F.
Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan or spray it with nonstick cooking spray (I lined my pan with foil before buttering- makes it easier to remove from the pan)
On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out the coconut. Put the baking sheet in the oven and toast the coconut until it starts to turn golden brown, 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss the coconut, and return it to the oven for 3 more minutes.
Put the graham cracker crumbs in a large bowl, add the toasted coconut, and toss with your hands until combined. Add the butter. Use your hands to combine the mixture, then turn it out into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the crust into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to create a perfectly even crust.
Refrigerate the crust for 15 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool completely.
Make the Baked Bar filling:
Increase the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
Evenly spread the nuts in the bottom of the crust.
Spread the chocolate chips over the walnuts, followed by the white chocolate, followed by the butterscotch chips.
In a steady stream, pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the filling. Shake the pan very gently to make sure the sweetened condensed milk is evenly distributed.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan every 10 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.
Baked Bars will keep, wrapped tightly and at room temperature, for up to 4 days.