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.

Top view of caramel coconut bars on a cooling rack

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

Along with rationalization I do guilt too.

Start with coconut.

A measuring cup of shredded coconutMix up a simple coconut cookie base.

Cookie dough in a stand mixer bowlPress it into a 9×13.

Coconut cookie dough pressed into a 9x13 panBake 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.

Top view of round caramel bits with milk in a saucepanTake the cookie base out to of the oven and it will look kinda like this…

Coconut cookie base in a 9x13 panPour the melted caramel on top…

Melted caramel being poured over cookie base in a 9x13 panSpread it around and then bake it some more.

Here’s the before and after…

A collage of two images of caramel coconut bars before and after bakingAs 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.

A collage of two images of chocolate chips and melted chocolate chips on coconut caramel barsIf you’re feeling fancy sprinkle some toasted coconut on top.

I pretty much always feel fancy.

Shredded coconut being sprinkled over a pan of coconut caramel barsThen let it cool off and eat.

Seriously, eat.

Coconut caramel bars on a cooling rack


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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Erika Brown
Sep 3, 2012 7:34 pm

I made 2 batches of these this weekend. They turned out great with not a crumb to spare.

Jun 16, 2012 5:25 pm

I want to go into business with you. We can be all business partnery and whatnot. I’m a very good enabler/rationalizer.

Jun 15, 2012 9:12 pm

I found this post though Pinterest. The photo was so beautiful that I just had to come here to read the recipe! Love it! And love your site :-). I would like to invite you to share this post (and your other posts 🙂 ) on a new photo based recipe sharing site that launched in May. The idea is simple: all recipe photographs are published within minutes of submission. And, of course, the images link back to the author’s site. It’s called RecipeNewZ (with Z) – I hope you get a chance to visit and to share some… Read more »

Jun 13, 2012 5:10 pm

Oh! *sigh*
See, here’s my problem. Sometimes I feel like I have to either give up your website, or my diet. One or the other. Cause I just can’t do them both…. 😉

Jun 13, 2012 2:29 pm

My teeth hurt from reading this recipe, but I can’t wait to try it out!

Jun 13, 2012 2:22 pm

I totally agree with your 3C rule on what makes a great dessert! Love this!

Jun 13, 2012 1:27 pm

You don’t have to do much rationalizing to convince me that I’d love these little bars. You enabler, you.

Jun 13, 2012 1:19 pm

oh sweet heaven these look delicious!

Jun 13, 2012 12:43 pm

This is such a cute post! I used to work in high end retail and told ppl all day long “buy the shoes, get the purse, you need three pairs! treat yourself treat yourself” people love hearing it, bet you could totally make a career of it!

Plus the bars look delicious!

Jun 13, 2012 12:24 pm

“personal rationalizer” GENIUS!!! I’d hire you in a second, Shelly!

The bars look heavenly…as do your glittery pink fingernails!!! I’m thinking….I ran this morning, so I could eat this whole pan of bars myself. Right? Right?

Jun 12, 2012 6:58 pm

The bars look wonderful.

Jun 12, 2012 3:37 pm

I should make these and eat the entire batch, right? (I need your rationalization!) 🙂

Jun 12, 2012 10:34 am

More yummy cookie bars! If it has anything to do with sugar..I’m a hopeless enabler! 😉

Grady Leo
Jun 12, 2012 2:38 am

Coconut, caramel and chocolate all of these are my favorite recipe. By article and photos, you’ve tried to teach us. Your style of delivered is excellent. So, thanks for your helpful and inspirational post.

Jun 11, 2012 10:41 pm

All of my favorite flavors! These look heavenly!

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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