Caramel Coconut Bars

I think I am going to quit blogging.

Here’s why…

I have decided that I have found an even more perfect job for myself.

I am going into business as a personal “rationalizer”.  It’s going to be my new  occupation.

I just invented it as a profession.


If you are ever in doubt about purchasing those $120 flats, call me up… I will tell you why you need them.

Contemplating having that second piece of cake?  Tweet me…I will give you all the reasons why you should.


You might call me an enabler.

Not so.

I’m really just trying to make the world a happier place.  New shoes make people happy.

Cake makes people happy.

All true facts.

I’m not pushing crack here, people…I have limits.


I have years of experience in this too.  I’m a great shopping partner.  Doitdoitdoit!

I am an avid gym-non-goer… you can take the day off, we’ll go together tomorrow!

You should definitely throw a themed party…Everyone WANTS to wear an Ugly Christmas Sweater, they just don’t know it yet.

I even justified my reality show addiction by starting a website where we TALK about reality shows.


And really.  It’s not me talking you into something..I’m just verbalizing what you’re already thinking.


So, I totally think people would pay me for my expert rationalization skills.

While I work out my business plan, I guess I will continue to bake.

You know, in case people don’t really NEED a personal rationalizer.  Yeah right.


In the meantime let’s talk Caramel Coconut Bars.

PhotobucketYou should make these because it’ll probably hurt my feelings if you don’t.

Along with rationalization I do guilt too.


Start with coconut.

PhotobucketMix up a simple coconut cookie base.

PhotobucketPress it into a 9×13.

PhotobucketBake it a little bit.  Not all the way.

In the meantime take some of those chick pea caramel bites…if you can’t find those, just use regular caramel squares…and melt them with a little milk or cream.

PhotobucketTake the cookie base out to of the oven and it will look kinda like this…

PhotobucketPour the melted caramel on top…

PhotobucketSpread it around and then bake it some more.

Here’s the before and after…

PhotobucketAs soon as it comes out of the oven sprinkle some chocolate chips on top.  Let them get melty and spread it around with an off-set spatula.

PhotobucketIf you’re feeling fancy sprinkle some toasted coconut on top.

I pretty much always feel fancy.

PhotobucketThen let it cool off and eat.

Seriously, eat.


If you haven’t entered already I am giving away a few cool Le Creuset gifts perfect for for Father’s Day…hop over to enter!



Caramel Coconut Bars


makes 30 bars


  • 6 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1 1/4 cups Caramel bits, or chopped caramel pieces
  • 1 Tbsp milk or cream
  • 3/4 cup semei0sweet chocolate chips
  • * optional 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray
  3. In mixer mix butter, sugar, egg and vanilla on medium speed until smooth.
  4. Turn mixer to low and add in flour, salt, baking powder and coconut stirring until combined.
  5. Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. When the cookie base is baking, melt the caramel and milk (or cream) in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until melted.
  7. Spread caramel evenly over cookie base and return to oven baking for 12 more minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips on top of caramel. Let the chips sit for 3-4 minutes and then using an off-set spatula spread the chocolate over the caramel.
  9. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, if desired.
  10. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.


recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

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Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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56 Responses
  1. Karen

    While you’re waiting for your career as a Rationalizer to take off, you should consider being a professional writer. You are so funny!

  2. ooh these remind me of samoa girl scout cookies!

    I thought I was a good rationalizer but I see you are better. I may just take you up on that “tweet me” offer if something comes up. Telling my husband that you made me do it might go over better than my feeble attempts at rationalization.

  3. So you’re basically a professional enabler. I like the sound of that. I’m coming to you the next time I want to leave work early, eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and make these. All in one day.

  4. Michele

    Oh yum yum yum!! My first thought when I saw this was that they were a bar version of the Girl Scout cookies that I love love love – “Samoas!”. And what makes this even better? My son hates coconut so more for me 🙂 (is that wrong?)

  5. haha, you totally ARE an enabler 😉 weren’t we talking last week about TOM’s shoes and how adorably expensive they are? hehe, and I saw your comment, I do want to buy the dining set SO bad…maybe your new job can help talk me into it 😉 these caramel coconut bars sound and look so good! it’s a great flavor combination in one bite!

    1. shelly

      It’s really an illness I have! But, I will tell you, a dining room set is something you will have for a long time, and if you bought a less expensive one you will just end up replacing it, equaling more money in the long run… see what I did there 😉

  6. SWeetsugarbelle

    Yep…I’d pretty much jump off a cliff if ya told me all the cool girls were doing it…and if you couldnt convince me with words just toss one of these babies over and I’d be right behind it! Rationalizer…what a great job!

  7. Yummmmm. And can we be business partners? I’m totally the same way. Also, can you do me a favor? Just say ‘yes’ and I’ll show my mom this page and your rational answer. Thanks 🙂

  8. I personally have always been good at being a rationalizer. My favorite was when my mom and I wore the same size shoes and shirts, so everything she looked at, I told her it was half price because I might wear it too.
    These look so fabulous! I love anything chocolate-coconut.

  9. I have those little caramel-chickpeas but I’ve never worked with them. Have been a little nervous they wouldn’t melt well. Clearly, I’ve been worried for nothing. These look fabulous. LOVE coconut + caramel!

  10. Hmmm, I really want to make these, but I always share my baked goods and…

    Well, hubby loves coconut but doesn’t care for caramel. Mom loves caramel, but hates coconut. My brother isn’t a fan of either.

    Guess I’ll just have to eat them all myself!!

  11. Coconut. Caramel. Chocolate. The 3 C’s that make desserts great! I love the idea of being a rationalizer. It sounds like a fun career and I wonder how many levels there are in that career field.

  12. Nooooo Shelly, you can’t stop blogging! We’d all miss you and the amazing things you treat our optic nerves with, not to mention actual tastebuds when we try to replicate your delicious recipes!

    One question though, we don’t get those chick pea caramel things here nor have I heard of caramel squares. I’m guessing making caramel is the way to go, any recipes on your blog that are close in taste to the ones you melted down? Thanks in advance.

    1. shelly

      I haven’t ever made a caramel sauce that would work the same way as the candies.. I need to get on that! I bet sweetened condensed milk would work, though!

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Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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