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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56 Comments on "Caramel Coconut Bars"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

Caramel and coocnut sounds like the new “it” flavor combo!

Lisa {Sweet 2 Eat Baking}

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.


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.

Tamara Jones

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!!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

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!

Kim Campbell

I totally think you could do both! Blogging and Rationalizer. Don’t all women have the ability to be multi-taskers, well I think this is your calling! These bars look amazing! I’d love it if you’d share them over at Sweet & Simple Sunday!!

Redd H from Salted Spoon

Wow that is seriously swoon worthy! I think I might need you to rationalize for me why I’m allowed to make those, and then eat an entire box of Ferrero Rocher…..

Melissa @ Treats With a Twist

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.

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

No rationalization needed for these bars AT ALL. I could totally rationalize with you about cake eating, or any sort of treat though. I mean, why not?


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 🙂

Cookbook Queen

I can TOTALLY attest to your skill at rationalizing $120 shoe purchases.

And I’ll take this whole PAN!!!

Debby Pucci

Yes please!!!!

sally @ sallys baking addiction

Another amazing bar recipe from Shelly! These look wonderful. I love chocolate + caramel together! I bet these would be fabulous with white chocolate too. And I have all of the ingredients on hand… 😉

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

I’m all over these!! Yum!


Mmm I love caramel and coconut together so these bars are perfection. Also, I could totally use some rationalization hehe!


You’re killing me with your bars! The coconut cookie crust sounds amazing!


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!

Julie @ Table for Two

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!

Katrina @ In Katrina

I surround myself with enablers. It makes life more fun and decision-making much easier.

Tiffany {A Clove of Garlic}


I am smiling at both the post and the recipe. Good read, good eats.


i am obsessed with coconut. and MIL is more than obsessed with coconut and it’s her bday this week. thank you for the recipe.


I’m always up for some rationalization!! Love these – you wouldn’t have to convince me to have more than one!


I SO wish you were my next door neighbor!

Emilie @ Emilie

I need you in my life! I have trouble rationalizing 🙂

Michelle Levine
Jen @ Savory Simple

I can think of more than one occasion where your services would be useful! These look delicious.

Valérie ( France )

C’est trop BON, j’ai acheter quelques belles gourmandises pour en faire hummm I like !!
Bonne soirée

Anne @ Have a Cookie!

Why do I always mutter “uh oh” when I open your emails??? This recipe is a good reason why!!!


This is torture. Sweet torture, but torture nonetheless.


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?)


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.


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.

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts

You could totally turn that into a new career, you are definitely good at it! Love these bars, they look so tasty!


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


No rationalizing here. . .I’d just dig right in! These sound amazing!


Love your narratives as well as your recipes…you always make me giggle. :O)

Mighty Morgan

I love “rationalizers” they make the world so much easier to do things in 🙂 And as for the bars you made they sound incredible…coconut and caramel …delicious!!


All of my favorite flavors! These look heavenly!

Grady Leo

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.

Karen @ Sugartown Sweets

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


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


The bars look wonderful.

bridget {bake at 350}

“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?


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!


oh sweet heaven these look delicious!


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


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


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


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…. 😉

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 »