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.
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