Behold, Dream Bars (also known as Angel Bars apparently). So according to Joy of Cooking (my favorite cookbook ever) they have sold many copies of their cookbook over the years “on the strength of this recipe.” How could I resist trying these when they tell me that? I was intrigued, especially once I read the ingredient list.
I think the best way I can describe these is pecan pie-esque with coconut and a lemon glaze. I know that sounds strange but somehow it works. First you make a shortbread-type crust and bake it. Next you spread the pecan/coconut mixture over the crust and bake again. And finally you top it with the lemon icing. It’s quite an addictive combination.
I don’t think these will go into the regular baking rotation in my kitchen but I will make them again. If you’re a nut and coconut fan you will definitely like these!
Dream Bars (Angel Bars)
(Recipe source Joy of Cooking)
FOR THE CRUST
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
FOR THE FILLING
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
2 large eggs
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
FOR THE ICING
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 11 x 17 pan with aluminum foil, leaving about a 2 inch overhang on the narrow sides. Spray with cooking spray.
Beat together butter, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla until fluffy and well blended. Stir in flour and knead until blended and smooth.
Firmly press dough into pan into a smooth and even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, set aside to cool.
Place the nuts and coconut on a baking sheet in a thin layer. Bake for about 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the coconut is very lightly browned.
Beat together the eggs, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla on medium speed until well combined. Stir in the nut and coconut mixture. Spread evenly over the crust and bake for about 20-25 minutes. The top should be firm and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out slightly wet.
Stir together the icing ingredients (adding a tablespoon of water or two if necessary to make spreadable) and spread evenly over bars while they are still warm.
Let the bars stand until they are completely cool. Lift the foil out of the baking dish and carefully peel from sides. Cut bars into squares.
Yield: about 12 bars