Coconut Caramel Pecan Bars

Story by Natalie
Coconut Caramel Pecan Bars
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Is it too soon to start thinking about the holidays? Yeah, we don’t think so either. I’m ready to embrace those sugar cravings, indulge (a bit), and gather with friends and family over some seriously delicious food. We are kicking off our holiday recipe collection a bit early this year with these delicious coconut caramel pecan bars that are held together with a buttery shortbread crust.


...we’ll take any excuse to get friends together in the name of food.

Coconut Caramel Pecan Bars

Before I jump into the details of this amazing recipe, I’d love to know (you can comment below) how many of you have miserably failed when trying to master a Christmas cookie recipe? I know I’ve had more than my fair share of shameful baking failures. For example,  last year I made cinnamon rolls for 130 woman at our church, except I forgot to put baking powder in the dough. Oops! As you can imagine they were less than awesome. After that fiasco, I promised myself I’d take on easier projects in the future. I mean, as much as I’d like to be the Martha-type whipping up complicated baked goods pretty enough for a magazine cover the facts are that I have three kids, a full life, and (most importantly) when I want a sweet treat I want it without having to work into the wee hours of the night, so easy is key.

For this very reason we’ve partnered with Eagle Brand to share this extremely simple and over-the-top delicious coconut caramel pecan bar as part of their “UnCookie” exchange they’re launching today in anticipation of the holiday season. So what’s a UnCookie exchange? Well, the only real rule is that whatever you make can’t be a cookie. The exchange part though? Well, you know us...we’ll take any excuse to get friends together in the name of food, so we are all too ready to swap baked goods and share recipes old and new.

Coconut Caramel Pecan Bars

Now, onto these bars! We started with our favorite shortbread crust, which immediately makes everything better. Just add butter, flour, sugar, and coconut flakes and pulse in your food processor and you’re done! (I told you this was easy.) Next, we added shredded coconut and pecans to Eagle’s sweetened condensed milk. Its simple ingredients and rich, classic flavor make for the perfect base to our filling. We poured this heavenly mixture over the buttery shortbread crust and watched with the oven light on as it bubbled into a caramelly mess of pure bliss. Finally, we abandoned all reason and completely took these bars to the next level by adding an indulgent layer of dulce de leche that’s made using only one ingredient: a 14oz can of Eagle Brand. I can’t even with these bars, guys. They’re just too good.

Coconut Caramel Pecan Bars

So, who cares that it’s barely October? This year, I’m just embracing the fact that the holidays are on their way and I’m doing it by starting my baking early with my favorite UnCookie. If you need me, I’ll be the one snuggled up on the couch with a hot cup of tea and shortbread crumbs covering my face. For more simple “UnCookie” recipes, follow your heart and let it lead you here.


This sponsored post is written by TMP on behalf of Eagle Brand. The opinions and text are all ours. Thank you for supporting the brands we love.

Coconut Caramel Pecan Bars

Serves 12

Shortbread Crust

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Filling

1 14 oz can Eagle Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups pecan halves, half roughly chopped
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Dolce de Leche

1 14 oz can Eagle Sweetened Condensed Milk

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In a stand mixer (or by hand) beat together flour, butter, sugar and ½ cup coconut flakes for 5 minutes on high until light and fluffy.
  3. Using your hands press the dough into a parchment lined 9X9 baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl combine 1 14 oz can Eagle Sweetened Condensed Milk along with pecans and remaining coconut flakes. Once crust is done, pour mixture over the top and spread evenly. Bake for another 20 minutes or until top is just golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool before removing from pan.
  6. While it’s cool start the dolce de leche. Preheat oven to 425°F. Pour one 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk into a metal pie tin and cover tightly with foil. Set the pan into a baking dish and fill with hot water until halfway up the sides of the pie pan. Place on center rack and cook for 90 minutes adding more water if necessary. Once done, remove from oven and whisk the dolce de leche until smooth.
  7. Drizzle over the top of the bars and top with more coconut flakes if desired.