These decadent Gluten-Free Coconut Dream Bars are a layered, chocolate dessert treat that’s perfect for EASTER!
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make The Beach House Kitchen possible.
Happy Spring folks!
Has everyone been enjoying some gorgeous spring-like weather?
I’ve been enjoying anything but. We got clobbered yesterday with yet another Nor-easter. I love snow as much as the next guy, but when the first day of spring rolls around, that’s where I draw the line!
This time of year I’d rather be thinking of pretty spring flowers, warmer temps and when I’ll be packing away all my winter clothes until next year! Sayonara hats and scarves, it’s been real!
And when Easter rolls around, I always think coconut. When I was growing up there was always a chocolate covered coconut cream Easter egg in my basket courtesy of the Easter Bunny. It has always been one of my favorite Easter treats.
So when Bob’s Red Mill asked me to create a recipe for spring using their Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, I knew I’d have to create something special to rival that coveted Coconut Cream Egg. I use Bob’s coconut in all of my baking. It’s my favorite, so I’m so excited to share it with you guys today. It’s naturally sweet, has no added sulfur and no preservatives.
It’s perfect in my new favorite Easter treat! These Gluten-Free Coconut Dream Bars. And believe me, they’re just that. Absolutely DREAMY! They’ve got four delicious layers that come together into one fabulous dessert bar!
The bottom layer is a pecan/oat crust. I used Bob’s Gluten-Free Organic Old Fashioned Oats so these could also be enjoyed by those who follow a gluten-free meal plan. Bob’s Gluten-Free Oats are handled in a special gluten-free facility and milled from the highest quality farm-fresh oats. The next layer is my fave. The coconut layer. I toasted Bob’s Unsweetened Shredded Coconut and mixed it with some sweetened condensed milk. I think toasting the coconut gives it an amazing nutty flavor.
Next up, the layer of caramel. I mean can you ever go wrong with a layer of caramel? I think not. And it’s only a mixture of two ingredients; caramel squares and some heavy cream melted together until smooth. And lastly, a topping of rich dark chocolate, or any chocolate that happens to your favorite, mixed with some heavy whipping cream and butter.
So while the kids enjoy whatever treats the Easter Bunny brings for them. you can enjoy a few of these decadent little beauties! Hope they become your favorite too! Enjoy!
- 1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup pecan halves
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 11-oz. bag caramels
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Oat/Pecan Crust: In a food processor, pulse the oats and the pecans until mixture resembles a fine crumble. Add the brown sugar and salt and pulse a few more times until combined. Place mixture in a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix with a fork until well combined. Press dough into the prepared pan. Bake on the middle rack of oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Coconut Layer: Spread coconut on a large baking sheet and toast in oven for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned, tossing with a spatula to promote even browning. Keep a close eye, because it goes from lightly browned to burnt rather quickly. Remove from oven. Let cool for a few minutes, then stir in the can of sweetened condensed milk until well combined. Spread mixture evenly on top of oat/pecan crust. Place in refrigerator.
- Caramel Layer: Combine caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until caramels have melted and mixture is well combined. Pour mixture over top of coconut layer and spread evenly. Place in refrigerator until caramel has set, about 15 minutes.
- Chocolate Layer: In a small saucepan, heat whipping cream and butter to a boil over medium heat; turn off heat. Add dark chocolate and let stand 5 minutes without stirring. After 5 minutes, stir with wire whisk until mixture is totally melted and smooth. Pour over caramel layer, spreading evenly. Let stand at room temperature for one hour, then refrigerate for at least two hours before cutting into bars. Cover and refrigerate remaining bars.