Sunday, December 21, 2008

VGP #21 Coconut Toffee Bars

Happy Birthday, Tona!!!

Here's the story behind this one: I had a recipe for "Crunchy Sesame Cookies" I was going to try. It called for sesame oil and tahini (sesame seed paste used in middle eastern dishes like hummus.) It was one of those recipes that could go either way but I was too curious and wanted to try it. So I hunted down tahini in the grocery store - it only came in a huge jar and was $8, but I was determined. I brought it home and, while talking to my sister Maren on the phone, promptly dropped it on the kitchen floor where it broke and spilled and made a huge mess. So, knowing Maren as the mostly likely person I know to have tahini on hand, and unwilling to buy another jar myself, I gave her the recipe and asked her to make them and report.

The report was that they just taste like sesame oil, which is pretty strong stuff, and not the most likely "cookie flavor." Quinn didn't like them and they came home uneaten in the kids' lunchboxes, a sure indication they were not VGP-worthy. Maren felt unnecessarily bad that her "guest baker" reputation might be tarnished, so she whipped up these tried-and-true Coconut Toffee bars that she makes every Christmas, and that her family adores, and sent me the recipe and picture. Super-Maren saves the day!!! Oh, and check out her latest blog post on her give-away goody plates: Sharing the Love. (What are the little white things in the middle of her picture, you may ask? HOMEMADE BUTTER MINTS!!! Amazing.)

But here are the Coconut Toffee Bars:
Base:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup flour
A few drops almond extract, optional

Coconut-Almond Topping:
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped almonds

Heat oven to 350ºF. Mix base ingredients together and press into 9x13 inch pan. Bake 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix topping ingredients together. Remove pan from the oven and spread topping on top of base. Bake till golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly, cut into bars. Makes about 3 dozen 1x3 inch bars.

1 comment:

tona said...

Wow, I even have all the ingredients for these, maybe they deserve to be baked up on my birthday. Love you both!

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