Prep 20 mins
Cook 45 mins
I was in the mood for all three and concocted this: it has the urban decadence of chocolate, the tropical staple of coconut, and the rustic comfort of classic oatmeal. These bars are special because those three things symbolize the various walks of life I have experienced. Open for all kinds of other toppings too! This calls for cream of coconut, crema de coco-- not to be confused with coconut milk or coconut syrup. Would make a wonderful gift or a party/potluck dessert! Cook time does not include chill time.
- 3⁄4 cup steelcut oats (quick-cooking oats might work too but unsure)
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, melted (add 1/4 tsp salt if using unsalted)
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 (12 ounce) cans cream of coconut (NOT coconut milk! Coconut cream)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2⁄3 cup half-and-half
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (2/3 cup semisweet baking chips work too)
- 1⁄2 cup angel flake desiccated coconut (and or or other toppings of your choice)
- OAT LAYER: Grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish with butter or butter-flavor cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the oats, sugar, and milk together first.
- Add the butter, egg, and baking powder next, whisk it in well.
- Pour into the casserole dish and form a flat layer with a rubber scraper or spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
- When the oats are done baking, let it cool for at least 30 minutes before doing the other steps. It helps to put it in the fridge on a special cooling rack in there, to speed up the cooling.
- COCONUT LAYER: Wait until the oat layer has cooled completely before you do this! Otherwise it will melt the crema de coco and make it the wrong consistency.
- Pour the two cans of coconut cream into another mixing bowl, and whisk by hand or with an electric beater at low speed until smooth.
- Beat in the cream of tartar.
- With a frosting spreader or spatula, spread the coconut cream on top of the oat layer smoothly and evenly.
- CHOCOLATE LAYER: Place the chocolate and half & half or cream in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Whisk constantly until the mixture is smooth, about 2-3 minutes. DO NOT let it come to a boil!
- Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes-- exactly 5 minutes! :) Too short will melt the coconut, too long and it congeals in the pan.
- Pour the chocolate over the coconut, and pour it only evenly but while it's still wet, even it out with a spatula or frosting spreader if it appears lumpy and/or uneven.
- TOPPING: While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the coconut flakes across the pan evenly.
- Let the whole pan chill in the fridge, uncovered, for 2-3 hours.
- When it's done cooling, place a large knife under hot water and use it to loosen around the edges, then cut into bars.