I found a very simple recipe for coconut caramel macchiato bar cookies a few months ago – and the recipe, seriously, was so dead simple that I thought I would try it out immediately to thrust upon my hungry co-workers. But weeks, even months passed, and I never tried it. Never mind that the “recipe”, if you could even call it that, is an easily whipped-up concoction of pre-made ingredients, so it’s barely even what I would call baking.
Grab a packet of Oreo cookies or some other chocolate cookie you can pulverize into dust and make that into your crust. Get your hands on some dulce de leche – you can make this yourself from a can of sweetened condensed milk, but most brands are available pre-made as dulce de leche caramel. Get some espresso powder (I used Starbucks Via Italian roast). Get some coconut. And you are more or less ready to make these.
I finally got around to making these recently when Mr Firewall visited – a kind of late birthday “cake-like” thing along with thousands of dollars worth (in Oslo or Reykjavik cafe prices anyway) of cranberry pistachio biscotti. He ate one rich little square and took them back to Glasgow with him (and promptly put them in the freezer – supposedly, these bars will freeze well if need be – if you manage to keep them on hand long enough). I did not have nearly enough Oreos to make a thick crust like the original recipe calls for, but it turns out fine because these are very rich.
When I made these again this past weekend, I had more than enough Oreos – but the crust really did not work out very well. I think the thin-crust variant is actually preferable in terms of how they handled/turned out.
Either way, this is an easy and quick coffee-tinged caramel cookie that probably goes well with a coffee. If the rate at which these disappeared from my office this morning is any indication, they are luscious. I am only guessing – this is not a scientific fact. It could be that people took them because they were small – and then chucked them in the bin!
Coconut Caramel Macchiato Bars
2½ cups (or more) chocolate cookie crumbs
½ cup melted butter (maybe even a bit less)
1 can dulce de leche (or sweetened condensed milk made into dulce de leche)
2 tablespoons espresso powder (I used
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I did this the first time I baked these, and then not the second. Easier to deal with without the chips – and I don’t think the chocolate chips really added anything)
Pre-heat oven to 350 F/175C. Line a rectangular 9”x13” pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray (such as Pam http://www.pamcookingspray.com/non-stick-spray-products/original-spray-oil/ or the Norwegian equivalent whose name escapes me now)
On low heat on the stovetop, melt the butter. Stir in the chocolate cookie crumbs until moistened. Press gently into the bottom of the prepared pan.
In a bowl, mix dulce de leche and the espresso powder until completely combined. Spread over the cookie-crumb crust.
Sprinkle with the coconut. Bake for 25 minutes until lightly browned.
Allow to cool completely (at least two hours). Cut, store in an airtight container – freeze if you want to.