Saturday, December 22, 2012

Teresa’s Tropical Bars

I named this recipe Teresa’s Tropical Bars to honor my friend and coworker.  She is my taste tester and cooking muse.   When I take something for her to try, she will make a comment like, “I wonder what it would be like if?”.  I am then off and running with whatever she suggested to see what would happen.

When I took the Salted Mixed Nut Bars for her to sample, she wondered what the cookie might be like with white chocolate chips and coconut.  I then began to think about a cookie with other tropical things besides coconut.

The result is this recipe which features a shortbread-like crust with a toffee topping embedded with dried pineapple and papaya, broken banana chips, coconut, chopped macadamia nuts and almonds.  A tribute to the tropics.

I give a range for the cookie mix because, if I am using the last of the mix, I usually just use the amount that I have, although I would not use less than the 2 1/2 cups.  Use of a larger amount of mix will just make the crust thicker.

I used a package of dried pineapple and papaya that I found at the Dollar Tree.  It measured about 3/4 c. chopped.
Teresa’s Tropical Bars
2 1/2 to 3 c. Holiday Cookie Mix
1 pkg (11 oz.) white chocolate chips
1 c. light corn syrup
1/4 c. butter
2 T. water
1/2 t. coconut extract (opt.)
3/4 c. of a combination of chopped dried pineapple and papaya
1/2 c. broken dried banana chips
1/2 c. coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 c. slivered almonds
1 c. flaked coconut

Measure cookie mix into a foil-lined 10x13-inch jelly roll pan.  Pat out to cover the bottom evenly.  Bake at 350 degrees 10 minutes or till light golden brown.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool 5 minutes.  Sprinkle pineapple, papaya, banana chips and nuts over crust evenly.  Sprinkle coconut over the top.  Set aside.  Place  white chocolate chips, corn syrup, butter and water in a medium sauce pan.  Cook and stir over medium heat, melting chips and butter and bringing to a boil.  Boil and stir 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in coconut extract if using.  Quickly pour over mixture in jelly roll pan, spreading as evenly as possible.  Return to oven and bake 10-12 minutes.  Place pan on rack to cool.  Cut into 48 bars.

Linking to these great parties:
Weekend Potluck
Strut Your Stuff
I'm Lovin' It
Weekend Bloggy Reading
Saturday Nite Special

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