Chocolate Coconut Shortbread Bars

A fun Friday treat to help us enjoy the weekend: chocolate coconut shortbread bars. Layers of buttery shortbread crust, creamy milk chocolate filling, and sweet caramelized coconut. They’re simple and delicious, truly a project to bring some joy to our lives as we head into May!

Chocolate Coconut Shortbread Bars

Friday needs chocolate. Always. While I typically enjoy a piece or two of dark chocolate as my sweet fix, sometimes you just need something a bit more indulgent. I love the combination of milk chocolate and coconut, especially in the springtime, so I figured these chocolate coconut shortbread bars would be the perfect treat.

You can whip these up this weekend or maybe save them to celebrate Mother’s day!

bars in pan

Chocolate Coconut Shortbread Bars

chocolate coconut shortbread bars – the layers

First is a layer of buttery shortbread. It’s a basic recipe of butter, sugar, and flour…flavored with a splash of vanilla. It’s mixed up, spread into a 9×13” baking dish, and baked until golden.

Once cooled, a creamy milk chocolate ganache gets spread over the shortbread. This is basically a mixture of heated cream & milk chocolate, whisked until smooth.

After the chocolate is set, the final layer of caramelized coconut flakes is added. It’s brown sugar, coconut milk, and coconut flakes cooked down until thickened. This will need to be chilled again for a few hours so it can set up.

After that? Slice and DONE.

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Chocolate Coconut Shortbread Bars

Chocolate Coconut Shortbread Bars

layered bars with a shortbread crust, milk chocolate center, and caramelized coconut topping

yield: approximately 18 bars

  • Author: Kayla Howey

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 oz milk chocolate, chopped (or chips)
  • ½ cup heavy cream, heated 
  • 1 (13.5 fl oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 oz coconut flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13” baking dish with butter and line it with a piece of parchment paper (allow the parchment to hang over at least 2 inches). 
  2. Combine the softened butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream together until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add a ½ tsp of the vanilla and salt. Mix well. Add the flour in two batches, mixing until incorporated. 
  3. Press the shortbread dough evenly into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Let cool. 
  4. Add the milk chocolate to a mixing bowl. Pour the heated cream over top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add the remaining vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Spread the chocolate mixture into an even layer over the shortbread crust. Chill for 1 hour until set. 
  5. Add the coconut milk and brown sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine and bring to a simmer. Add the coconut flakes. Simmer on medium for 8 minutes, stirring often, until deeply golden in color and thickened. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 more minutes until almost all of the liquid has been reduced. Stir in a pinch of salt. Turn off the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. 
  6. Pour the coconut mixture over the chocolate layer and spread evenly. Chill for at least 3 hours until set. Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Cut into squares.

Notes

Storing: Store the bars in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

shop the dish: chocolate coconut shortbread bars

Chocolate Coconut Shortbread Bars

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