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Everyday Gourmet Recipe: Pecan Coconut Squares

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Pecans, coconut, and bittersweet chocolate—always a winning combination. This easy dessert is perfect for picnics or parties. Be sure to make lots, because they don’t last long!

Yield: 24 squares

Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 2 hours for cooling

Bake Time: 5 minutes

1 cup butter, at room temperature

¾ cup flour

¾ cup coconut flour (you can also use white flour)

1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 14-ounce bag shredded, sweetened coconut

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup whole pecans

1 12-ounce package bittersweet baking chocolate, roughly chopped (or 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9 x 12-inch baking dish with foil so it hangs over the edge (for easy removal and cutting); spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. 

CRUST

In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend butter, flours, and sugar; the mixture should be crumbly. Press crust onto the bottom of the prepared pan, using the back of a measuring cup to create an even layer. Bake for 5 minutes.

FILLING

In a medium bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk, coconut, and vanilla. Gently spoon the mixture over the baked crust, taking care not to disturb the crust too much. Press pecans gently onto the surface of the coconut mixture.

In the microwave, heat chocolate in glass measuring cup in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until it is just melted. Stir until smooth, but don’t over-heat. Chocolate is easy to burn, so you may want to melt it in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water instead. Working quickly, pour chocolate over the nuts and coconut, spreading it out smoothly. Refrigerate for approximately 2 hours or until firm. When ready to serve, cut into squares.

TIP: If you want the chocolate to spread more easily and evenly, add 1 tablespoon shortening after it has melted; stir to melt the shortening and incorporate it into the chocolate.

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