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Caramel Coconut Bars

Three Caramel Coconut Bars stacked on a cooling rack

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 coconut

Mix up a simple coconut cookie base.

Cookie dough in a stand mixer bowl

Press it into a 9×13.

Coconut cookie dough pressed into a 9x13 pan

Bake 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 saucepan

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

Coconut cookie base in a 9x13 pan

Pour the melted caramel on top…

Melted caramel being poured over cookie base in a 9x13 pan

Spread 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 baking

As 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 bars

If 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 bars

Then let it cool off and eat.

Seriously, eat.

Coconut caramel bars on a cooling rack
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Caramel Coconut Bars

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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”

  1. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ ) 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 of your delicious posts with our viewers. It would be a pleasure to have you on board ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. 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…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Cookin' Canuck

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

  4. 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!

  5. 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?

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