Category Archives: Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

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I just need to tell you guys that Brandy is awesome because without her, I would have never discovered these gems.

I made these cheesecake cookie bars for my family a couple of weeks ago and they were devoured in a day.  Mind you, my family consists of my mom and dad… that’s it.  We have dessert issues.

If you like cheesecake, you’ll like these.  If you like cookie dough, you’ll like these.  If you like them both, you’ll love these.

Also, to add to how happy these cheesecake bars make me, I’m just going to post some more things that are making me happy right now  (*Note: the only pictures that are mine are the cheesecake bar photos):

 

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What are you loving right now??

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
From:  Brandy

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 10 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line an 8″ square baking pan with parchment paper or foil allowing a little overhang and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove pan to a cooling rack. Leave your oven on while you prepare the dough.
3. While the crust is cooling, prepare the chocolate chip cookie dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Mix in the flour on low speed, and mix until just incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips. Set aside. (*Note: This mixture is going to be dry…that’s okay. You’re going to crumble it on top of the cheesecake layer.)
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Use your hands to form “clumps” of the cookie dough, smoosh it together and flatten it out.  Distribute the cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter in teaspoon-sized clumps. Be sure to use all of the dough.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top feels dry and firm (the cookie dough) and the entire pan looks set if given a gentle shake. Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Chill in refrigerator overnight or for at least a couple hours.
6. Lift the bars out by the overhang and cut into squares for serving.

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Simple Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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I spend a lot of time trying to come up with new and creative recipes.

But ya know what, sometimes I just want a simple chocolate chip cookie.

That’s what these are.  Simple chocolate chip cookies in a pan.

What’s your go to chocolate chip cookie recipe?

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Simple Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Adapted from:King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 3/4 cups (11 5/8 ounces) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) chocolate chips
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place the very soft butter in a medium-large mixing bowl. Add the sugars, salt, vanilla, and stir well.
  3. Add the egg and stir until well blended.
  4. Add the baking soda and flour, mixing until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Place dough in a well oiled 9×13 inch pan (smaller for thicker cookies) and spread out evenly.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the bottoms and edges are lightly browned.
  7. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool.  Cut into squares and enjoy!

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Apple Pie Bars

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When I went to the cafeteria at school, I’d always take an apple or 2 or 3 with me when I left.

Since I did that every time, I ended up moving out of the dorms with 10 extra apples.

I don’t like to waste food, so of course, apple pie was my first thought.  I was feeling a little more creative, though, so I made apple pie bars instead.

These are great…every slice is like a mini pie.  The crust is super thin and the filling isn’t overwhelmingly sweet and they would taste awesome with ice cream.  I suggest making them when you want to make pie for a big crowd, but pie won’t serve enough.

steps for making apple pie bars

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apple pie bars with cinnamon topping

What’s your favorite dessert to make in the summertime?

Apple Pie Bars
From: Land O Lakes

Ingredients:

Crust

Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg, separated, reserve egg white
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold Land O Lakes® Butter, cut into pieces

Filling

1 cup crushed corn flakes
8 to 10 medium (8 cups) apples, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 reserved Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg white
2 tablespoons sugar

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

 Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Beat egg yolk in small bowl. Add 1/2 cup milk; mix well. Set aside.
  2. Combine flour and salt in medium bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in egg yolk mixture with fork until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half.
  3. Roll out half of dough on lightly floured surface into 15×10-inch rectangle; place onto bottom of ungreased 15x10x1 inch jelly-roll pan. Sprinkle with corn flakes; top with apples.
  4. Combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and nutmeg in small bowl. Sprinkle over apples. Roll remaining half of dough into 15 1/2×10 1/2-inch rectangle; place over apples.
  5. Beat reserved egg white with fork until foamy; brush over top crust. Combine remaining cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar in small bowl; sprinkle over crust. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Combine powdered sugar, vanilla and enough milk for desired glazing consistency in small bowl. Drizzle over warm bars.

 

 

 

vanilla icing dribbling from apple pie bars

Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie treats remind me of school.

When I was little, my elementary school was right around the corner from my house.  My neighbor and I would walk home from school every day and eat an after school snack.  7 out of 10 times Rice Krispie Treats would be involved.

Now, as an “adult” (according to society at least), Rice Krispies are a comforting snack for me because of my childhood memories.  Thanks to Deb, I can make Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats and feel like I’m playing my adult role… since brown butter is sophisticated and all. And only adults add salt to stuff because they we like to have high cholesterol and hypertension.

If you’re still a kid at heart, these still taste de-freakin’-licious!  I like the hint of salt blended with the sweetness of the marshmallows and you can even taste the nuttiness of the brown butter.  Perfect snack for kids and adults!

What was your after school snack?



Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Smitten Kitchen 
Makes 16 2-inch squares or 32 1- x 2-inch small bars

Ingredients:
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)

Directions:

  1. Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) an 8-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides.
  2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is often less than a minute.
  3. As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat off and stir in the marshmallows. The residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt them, but if it is not, turn it back on low until the marshmallows are smooth.
  4. Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the salt and cereal together. Quickly spread into prepared pan. I liked to use a piece of waxed or parchment paper that I’ve sprayed with oil to press it firmly and evenly into the edges and corners, though a silicon spatula works almost as well.
  5. Let cool, cut into squares.

P.S. Check out Karly. She’s featured in a book! How cool is that?

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Hi all!

Let me tell you about this crazy rest of the summer I have.

Friday morning, my sister, nieces and I leave around 6 for a 10-11 hour drive to Chicago for a family get-together sort of thing.

Sunday morning, I drive back home with my parents so I can be dropped off with Kellen because…

Monday morning, Kellen and I leave for Portland with his family because his brother is getting married!

The following Monday night, we fly out of Portland to come home.

Friday and Saturday (Aug. 5th and 6th), Kellen and I are going to KanRocksas (my birthday present to him).

Thursday (Aug. 11th) I leave for school.

I’m not gonna lie, I’m stressing out a little bit.  I tend to do that…

Anyway, I decided I should probably bake something for the looonnng drive to Chicago, so I made peanut butter and jelly bars.  Since I’m not eating sweets this week, (Thank God for this.) the taste tester (dad) grade: A. I’m starting to think he might be biased.  Also, he doesn’t give details.  All I got out of him was a muffled “mm good” while he still had food in his mouth.  I’ll take it.

Peanuut Butter and Jelly Bars
barely adapted from: First Look, Then Cook

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grape jelly or other jelly or jam

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. Line an 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with heavy-duty foil, leaving 2-inch overhang around edges and pressing firmly into corners and up sides of pan. Coat foil with nonstick spray.
3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl.
4. Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter, sugar, and butter in large bowl until smooth. Add egg and vanilla; beat on low-speed until smooth.
5. Add flour mixture; beat on low-speed just to blend.
6. Transfer half of dough to prepared pan (about scant 1 1/2 cups). Place remaining dough in freezer for 10 minutes.
7. Using fingertips, press dough evenly onto bottom of pan. Spread jelly over in even layer.
8. Remove dough from freezer; using fingertips, break into grape-size pieces and scatter over jelly layer.
9. Bake bars until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool bars completely in pan on rack.
10. Using foil overhang as aid, lift bars from pan. Gently peel foil from edges. Cut into 16 squares.

I only have 1 guest poster for the whole time I’ll be gone (thanks, Gen!!), so if anyone else would like to volunteer I would really, REALLY appreciate it! Please… pretty please!  It can even be something you’ve already written/posted. 

What are/have you all done this summer? When I was younger, the only traveling my family ever did was to Branson, MO, so I’m taking full advantage of all of these opportunities!

Thin Mint Cookie Bars/ My Playlists

I think that music can tell a lot about a person.

I’m not saying that you can judge a person by the music they listen to, but I do think that you can gather impressions about them.  Especially considering that most people listen to music that contains lyrics that they can relate to or songs that mean something to them, for some reason or another.  Music is just another form of communication. People have songs that they listen to when they’re sad, angry, mad, happy, etc.  And then there are ‘comfort songs’ that people listen to just to feel content and at ease.   I’m reading “Sing You Home” by Jodi Picoult and she wrote something like: your comfort songs are like the cardigan you pull out on Sunday that you put on and immediately feel at ease.  I completely agree.

I really think you’re putting yourself out there when you tell somebody what music you listen to.  With that being said, here is my Top 25 Most Played list on my iPod

…and my last 25 “liked” songs on Pandora.

Take what you want from it.  🙂  What would your music list have?

Now, moving on to other important things…

Thin Mint Cookie Bars…. Who do you know that doesn’t love Girl Scout cookies?  Probably not many people, if any.  I wanted to recreate one in bar form, but the only recipe I could find in bar form was for Samoas… and I wanted thin mints, so I made my own!  They were super good, too!  I brought them to my classes with me, and they were gone by the end of the day.

Thin Mint Cookie Bars
Servings: 48 (or so…maybe 24 if you cut yours like mine ;)) 

Ingredients:

Cookie:
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chocolate animal crackers, crushed into crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter

Top layer: 

  • 6 squares chocolate almond bark
  • 1/4 tsp mint extract (or to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease a 15×10-inch pan. 
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in small bowl.
  4. Beat butter, both sugars and vanilla in large mixer bowl.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
  6. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture.
  7. Spread into prepared pan.
  8. Bake 10 minutes.
  9. Take out of oven.  The cookie will still be wet-ish.
  10. Mix together butter and animal cracker crumbs.
  11. Crumble mixture over cookie and lightly press down
  12. Put in the oven again for about 10 more minutes.
  13. Melt almond bark and mix in the extract. 
  14. Drizzle over cookie crumbs.
  15. Don’t cut until the chocolate has hardened.

Thin Mint Cookie Bars/ My Playlists

I think that music can tell a lot about a person.

I’m not saying that you can judge a person by the music they listen to, but I do think that you can gather impressions about them.  Especially considering that most people listen to music that contains lyrics that they can relate to or songs that mean something to them, for some reason or another.  Music is just another form of communication. People have songs that they listen to when they’re sad, angry, mad, happy, etc.  And then there are ‘comfort songs’ that people listen to just to feel content and at ease.   I’m reading “Sing You Home” by Jodi Picoult and she wrote something like: your comfort songs are like the cardigan you pull out on Sunday that you put on and immediately feel at ease.  I completely agree.

I really think you’re putting yourself out there when you tell somebody what music you listen to.  With that being said, here is my Top 25 Most Played list on my iPod

…and my last 25 “liked” songs on Pandora.

Take what you want from it.  🙂  What would your music list have?

Now, moving on to other important things…

Thin Mint Cookie Bars…. Who do you know that doesn’t love Girl Scout cookies?  Probably not many people, if any.  I wanted to recreate one in bar form, but the only recipe I could find in bar form was for Samoas… and I wanted thin mints, so I made my own!  They were super good, too!  I brought them to my classes with me, and they were gone by the end of the day.

Thin Mint Cookie Bars
Servings: 48 (or so…maybe 24 if you cut yours like mine ;)) 

Ingredients:

Cookie:
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chocolate animal crackers, crushed into crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter

Top layer: 

  • 6 squares chocolate almond bark
  • 1/4 tsp mint extract (or to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease a 15×10-inch pan. 
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in small bowl.
  4. Beat butter, both sugars and vanilla in large mixer bowl.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
  6. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture.
  7. Spread into prepared pan.
  8. Bake 10 minutes.
  9. Take out of oven.  The cookie will still be wet-ish.
  10. Mix together butter and animal cracker crumbs.
  11. Crumble mixture over cookie and lightly press down
  12. Put in the oven again for about 10 more minutes.
  13. Melt almond bark and mix in the extract. 
  14. Drizzle over cookie crumbs.
  15. Don’t cut until the chocolate has hardened.

B. Lovin’ It Bars

I love having this blog…a few days ago an old friend of mine that I haven’t talked to in forever sent me a message on Facebook:

“I had an awesome snack the other day, but I have no idea what it was exactly or how it was made. I think it had graham cracker crust on the bottom….& chocolate & peanut butter chips in it…& I THOUGHT come crumbled graham cracker crust on the top & ‘baked’ (it kinda looked that way, anyways…it was kind of brown-looking) coconut. I normally hate coconut, but it was amazing with that stuff & the texture didn’t bother me as much.
Anywho- I figured that since you’re into cooking & baking yummy-ness that you might either know what it is or how to do it…& if possible, I’d love it if you could put the recipe up so maybe I could attempt to make it some time.”
 
She’s sweet and I miss her so it was nice to hear from her!  I assumed that it was a bar called “Magic Bar” or “7 Layer Bar” that I’ve had before.  They’re sooo good and simple.  I made them and brought them into the store today and the guy I work with, Brandon Love, said they’re his favorite thing I’ve made so far; then he told me to name them after him… so here they are… The “B. Lovin’ It Bars”/ “Magic Bars”/ “7 Layer Bars”/ “The Bar of Many Names”.  Just for you Becca! 🙂
P.S. On a side note, Kellen is moving into his new house today, so wish him luck!!
 

 
Magic Bars


I made a couple changes to these bars so I’ll put my changes in red.  Also, you can leave out the nuts on some if you want.  I did!

Ingredients:

Yields 16 large bars
16 16

Servings Size

  • large cookies

    Update
  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, melted 
  • 1 cup graham crackers, crushed to crumbs (chocolate animal crackers)
  • 1 cup flaked coconut (organic flaked coconut)
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips (1 cup)
  • 6 ounces butterscotch chips (1 cup) (white chocolate chips, you could also use peanut butter chips)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (homemade sweetened condensed milk, but only because I was out of the canned stuff)
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped (walnuts)

  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix graham crackers crumbs (animal cookie crumbs) and melted butter until it becomes dough like.
  3. Press the “dough” into the bottom of your dish.
  4. Layer the coconut and chips in order given in ingredients list.
  5. Pour sweetened condensed milk over all.
  6. Top with nuts.
  7. DO NOT mix together.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes.

B. Lovin’ It Bars

I love having this blog…a few days ago an old friend of mine that I haven’t talked to in forever sent me a message on Facebook:

“I had an awesome snack the other day, but I have no idea what it was exactly or how it was made. I think it had graham cracker crust on the bottom….& chocolate & peanut butter chips in it…& I THOUGHT come crumbled graham cracker crust on the top & ‘baked’ (it kinda looked that way, anyways…it was kind of brown-looking) coconut. I normally hate coconut, but it was amazing with that stuff & the texture didn’t bother me as much.
Anywho- I figured that since you’re into cooking & baking yummy-ness that you might either know what it is or how to do it…& if possible, I’d love it if you could put the recipe up so maybe I could attempt to make it some time.”
 
She’s sweet and I miss her so it was nice to hear from her!  I assumed that it was a bar called “Magic Bar” or “7 Layer Bar” that I’ve had before.  They’re sooo good and simple.  I made them and brought them into the store today and the guy I work with, Brandon Love, said they’re his favorite thing I’ve made so far; then he told me to name them after him… so here they are… The “B. Lovin’ It Bars”/ “Magic Bars”/ “7 Layer Bars”/ “The Bar of Many Names”.  Just for you Becca! 🙂
P.S. On a side note, Kellen is moving into his new house today, so wish him luck!!
 

 
Magic Bars


I made a couple changes to these bars so I’ll put my changes in red.  Also, you can leave out the nuts on some if you want.  I did!

Ingredients:

Yields 16 large bars
16 16

Servings Size

  • large cookies

    Update
  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, melted 
  • 1 cup graham crackers, crushed to crumbs (chocolate animal crackers)
  • 1 cup flaked coconut (organic flaked coconut)
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips (1 cup)
  • 6 ounces butterscotch chips (1 cup) (white chocolate chips, you could also use peanut butter chips)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (homemade sweetened condensed milk, but only because I was out of the canned stuff)
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped (walnuts)

  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix graham crackers crumbs (animal cookie crumbs) and melted butter until it becomes dough like.
  3. Press the “dough” into the bottom of your dish.
  4. Layer the coconut and chips in order given in ingredients list.
  5. Pour sweetened condensed milk over all.
  6. Top with nuts.
  7. DO NOT mix together.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes.

Walnut Bars

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for Thanksgiving.

I’m preparing myself with these bars.  They’re kind of like pecan pie… only with walnuts because I don’t have any pecans.  And with cake flour because I ran out of regular flour.  And part light part dark corn syrup… because… you guessed it, I ran out.  I’m kind of questioning myself on how these turned out okay, now…

The bars I made turned out MORE than just okay, they were wonderful and gone in 2 days.  (Just a reminder, only 3 people live in my house).  So I’ll give you the Martha Stewart recipe I adapted mine from… and if you want a cakey-er dough and walnuts instead of pecans, just swap out the AP flour for cake flour and pecans for walnuts.  Or make them her way and tell me how delicious those taste! Either way, you should make these!

If you make these following Martha’s instructions, the crust will not look like this.
Make the filling!
Mix it all together.
Crush up your walnuts. Or pecans.
Drop some on the floor.  But don’t worry because your cat will eat them???  He’s so weird.
Incorporate the rest of the ingredients.
Your topping probably won’t look like this either.  I added an extra tablespoon of flour.

Walnut (Pecan) Bars
Martha Stewart

Makes 24

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
  • 2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt until light. Beat in 2 cups flour until it forms a mass. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch pan. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on the dough and use it to press the dough into the pan (this will make it easier and will prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers). Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are golden.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons flour, remaining teaspoon salt, and baking powder. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs, brown sugar, and corn syrup until light. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture, then pecans and coconut.
  3. Pour over crust and bake 20 to 25 minutes until set. Run a metal spatula around the edges while still warm, then transfer to a wire rack and cool in pan before cutting into 24 bars.