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Smooth and Scrumptious Coconut Cream Bars


Cream pies are one of my favorite types of desserts. Refreshingly cool, with a smooth filling, and pillows of whipped cream, they are absolutely delicious. This recipe takes the classic cream pie and turns it into a more portable bar. The best thing about these coconut cream bars is that no pastry dough is needed. The crust is a mixture of shortbread cookies and coconut, while the filling is a coconut custard, and the topping is sweet whipped cream. Doesn't it sound divine? Wait until you read the recipe! Do so now when you

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Coconut Cream Bars

Coconut Cream Bars

Coconut Cream Bars

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
3 boxes (5.3 ounces each) shortbread cookies, coarsely broken
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread coconut in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring once or twice, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Leave oven on.
  2. Process cookies and 1/2 cup coconut in a food processor until finely ground and mixture begins to clump together, about 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer mixture to a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet; press into an even layer on bottom. Bake until golden and firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheet on a wire rack.
  4. Whisk together the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large saucepan. Whisk in milk and egg yolks.
  5. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a boil, 5 to 6 minutes. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes more.
  6. Remove from heat. Add butter, whisking until combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cups coconut.
  7. Spoon the custard onto cooled crust; smooth top with an offset spatula. Press plastic wrap directly onto custard surface, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.
  8. Beat cream and confectioners' sugar in a large chilled stainless-steel bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  9. Cut custard-filled crust into 24 bars (each about 3 by 1 1/2 inches). Transfer to a platter. Spoon whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Beginning at one corner, pipe a zigzag pattern over each bar. Sprinkle bars with remaining 1/2 cup coconut.

Makes 2 dozen.

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