Buttery graham cracker crust with a sweet coconut filling, drenched in melted chocolate and peanut butter – tastes like a mounds bar, but better!
When I was little, my mom had stacks and stacks of Taste of Home magazines that I would always flip through. She would clip out the little recipe cards and I would mark my favorites with a yellow happy face sticker. The recipe for these bars still has that little happy face sticker clinging on for dear life..I still love these to this day.
These bars are a hit with coconut fanatics and picky eaters. One of my brothers hates mashed potatoes, apple pie, and cheesecake (I know!), but he could probably devour a whole pan of these. We like them best when they are refrigerated, but either way this recipe is a tried and true winner.
Let me tell you one thing:
Once you start, you can’t stop. I find myself taking little cuts off the sides just to “even them out.”
I made a few changes to the original recipe by adding more coconut, more chocolate, and more peanut butter.
How could I resist?
I also omitted the sugar that is supposed to go in the graham cracker crust, as if that would make these chocolate covered, sweetened condensed laden, buttery crusted bars any more thigh friendly. I cut back the amount of added sugar in a lot of my baking, especially since the graham crackers in the crust already have sugar in them.
There is one slightly negative thing about this recipe. With the 8 million times that I’ve made these, I’ve never been 100% successful at not breaking up some of the crust when I’m spreading the coconut filling over it. Apparently, when coconut and sweetened condensed milk are mixed, it creates a sticky spackle like no other. With that, here are a few tips that might make the process a little easier:
- Instead of plopping all the filling in the middle, scoop out smaller spoonfuls and drop them across the crust. This makes for a lot less spreading and pushing around.
- Avoid touching the crust when spreading out the coconut. It’s sort of like frosting a cake, you don’t want to get crumbs into the filling.
- I usually ditch the spatula and use my fingers to push it out. If your fingers start to stick, run them under water beforehand.
- 1 package graham crackers, finely crushed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 4 cups flaked coconut
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- ¾ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the crumbs, butter and sugar and press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake for 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine coconut and sweetened condensed milk and spread over the crust. (See notes in above post)
- Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes. The coconut around the edges of the pan will start to brown slightly and then you will know its done.
- Place chocolate chips and peanut butter into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for thirty second intervals until completely melted. Stir after every thirty seconds. You can also melt the chocolate and peanut butter in a double boiler over the stove.
- Spread melted chocolate over bars and let cool. I like to keep mine in the refrigerator in an airtight container.