Chocolate Coconut Almond Bars

These refrigerated bar cookies taste like my favorite almond coconut candy bar. They require overnight chilling to set but they are worth the wait. The original recipe was written by Kristine Kidd and is from Williams-Sonoma Cookies and Biscotti, 1993.

Chocolate Coconut Almond Bars
Makes 36 to 40 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup slivered, blanched almonds, toasted and chopped

1/2 cup well-stirred canned cream of coconut
3 oz white chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut

3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil and butter the foil.

Combine flour, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse to mix well. Add the butter and toasted almonds. Pulse until the texture resembles fine meal. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press firmly into the bottom to form the crust.

Bake until the crust is barely firm to touch and is golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. Cool completely in pan placed on a wire rack.

For the filling, place the cream of coconut in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and add the white chocolate. Stir until melted. Transfer mixture to a bowl, and add sour cream and butter. Stir until melted and smooth. Stir in the coconut.  Cover and refrigerate for an hour, stirring occasionally. Spoon the filling onto the cooled crust and smooth the top. Return to refrigerator and prepare the topping.

For the topping, place cream and butter in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Reduce to low. Add the chocolate and stir to melt. Pour the hot topping over the filling. Using a small spatula or the back of a spoon, spread to cover evenly. Shake the pan from side-to-side to smooth the surface. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Using the foil, lift the sheet from the pan. Cut into bars 1 1/2 inches by 3/4 inch. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.