Pina Colada Seven Layer Bars
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The bars are like eating a pina colada rather than drinking one.
Like any good hello dolly, magic, or seven layer bar (the names are different but the concept is the same) this one starts with a buttery graham cracker crust and then I took a tropical turn.
I topped the crust with crushed pineapple, maraschino cherries, white chocolate chips, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk. There are so many flavors and textures in every bite. Extremely soft, chewy, creamy, and fabulous.
I urge you to line your baking pan with aluminum foil when you’re making the bars because the sweetened condensed milk caramelizes while baking and will stick like crazy to an unlined pan.
Keep a very close eye on the bars in the last 10 minutes of baking. All ovens vary and coconut can go from raw-looking to burnt in one minute. If necessary, tent the pan (cover pan with a sheet of foil) in the last 5 minutes of baking to help prevent coconut from burning. The longer you can wait before slicing into them the better because they’re extremely soft coming out of the oven. Even hours (and days) later they stay very soft.
- 1/4 cup butter, melted (I use unsalted, but salted tames some of the sweetness)
- scant 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- one 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained extremely well
- heaping 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, halved
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes, measured loosely and not packed
- two-thirds of one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (eyeball it)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside. Do not skip lining your pan because clean-up will be a beast.
- In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
- Add the graham crackers crumbs and toss lightly with a fork to coat crumbs evenly.
- Turn mixture out into prepared pan, forming an even, smooth, flat crust layer by tapping crumbs into place with a spatula or your fingertips. The amount of crust is skimpy and barely covers the pan, but it’s okay.
- Evenly sprinkle with the pineapple, cherries, white chocolate chips, and coconut.
- Evenly drizzle sweetened condensed milk over the top.
- Bake for about 30 to 34 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around edges and barely bubbling in the center, and the center is mostly set. Keep an extremely close eye on bars in the final 10 minutes of baking because coconut can go from raw-looking to burnt in one minute. If necessary, tent the pan (cover pan with a sheet of foil) in the last 5 minutes of baking to help prevent coconut from burning.
- Place pan on a wire rack and allow bars to cool in pan for at least 2+ hours, or overnight, before slicing and serving. Bars firm up and will look less ‘juicy’ as they cool yet stay very soft for days. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 104mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 3g
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