chocolate – sailor jerry’s – coconut cream bars

The count-down is just about done.  Today is the beginning of the fun part of the holiday season – you know … the part that actually involves seeing the people we love, spending time with them (and not shopping for them), getting to catch-up, laugh, reminisce about the past year … and then … eat.

I figured this would be a good recipe to share … it’s pretty simple, it doesn’t take very long to make … and is an easy addition for anyone hosting a réveillon tonight.

Plus … they’re pretty.  Real pretty.

The original recipe was actually chocolate – sherry cream bars.  I don’t have sherry in my pantry … but I have some rum (no big surprise there eh?) – and I figured that the chocolate rum combo would work.  It does.

Then I thought – why not add some coconut to the chocolate base? Brilliant idea!  This is a dressed up, and grown-up version of  nanaimo bars – a tender base with a fluffy, boozy topping and then a drizzle of chocolate glaze.

Yum?  Yeah.  Intense yum.

Like I said – these aren’t complicated – and likely, after all the holiday baking you’ve already done – you have all the ingredients on hand.  If you’re missing the coconut flakes – no worries, they weren’t in the original recipe.  Just omit that addition and you are good to go.  And if you don’t have rum on hand – how about adding some eggnog?  I bet that would be AWESOME.  Heck … I wish I had thought of that before now.  Sigh.  That’ll be for next year I guess.

chocolate – rum – coconut cream bars

ingredients:

base:

1 c. butter

1/2 c. chocolate chips

4 eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature

2 c. sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 c. flour, sifted

3/4 c. sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line your rectangular pan with parchment paper or foil.  Grease the liner with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat and stir the butter and chocolate over low heat until smooth.  Remove from the heat.  With a whisk, beat in the eggs, sugar and vanilla until just combined.  Swap out the whisk for a wooden spoon and stir in the flour, then the coconut (obviously from the picture you’ll see I used the whisk … the wooden spoon just folds it in better).

Spread the mixture evenly into the pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.  These brownies are pretty moist – so check with a wooden skewer … it likely won’t come out perfectly clean, but you don’t want a runny batter to appear on the tip.   There will be a slight crust on this brownie – but the centre should be solid.

Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Time to make the filling.

sweet rum filling:

4 c. powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/4 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. rum

1 c. chopped, toasted walnuts

This time you need to pull out either your stand-mixer or your hand-held mixer.  In a large bowl, beat together the powdered sugar and butter.  Gradually increase the speed, and add the heavy cream and the rum.  Once it has come together (is nice and fluffy), fold in the toasted walnuts (use a spoon or spatula for that).

Spread the topping evenly over the baked brownie.  Chill for at least 1 hour, or until firm (you can put this in the freezer – or stick it outside if you’re lacking freezer space).

Just before you’re ready to cut them into squares, prepare the chocolate – rum glaze.  Yes … there is a wee bit more rum required.

chocolate – rum glaze:

1/2 c. chocolate chips

1/2 tsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp rum

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips with the vegetable oil.  Once smooth, remove from heat and add the rum.  Allow the glaze to thicken a little (about 10 minutes in the fridge should do).  Place in a piping bag and drizzle over the firm filling.  If you don’t want to bother with the piping bag – just take a whisk, dip it in the glaze and then drizzle the glaze that way … it’ll still look really pretty.

Chill until the bars are firm.

Remove from the pan (lifting it out using the excess parchment paper), and then cut into the desired size.  I was able to get about 70 mini squares … and really – these are pretty rich.  A small piece goes a long way … just about the perfect thing to nibble on at around midnight :0)

I’m going to say it … Happy Holidays – and a super Merry Christmas to you if you celebrate this particular holiday.

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