Summer is almost gone and I am now living in a place that will soon see the changes of fall taking place. I have several different desserts that I associate with summer and wanted to try out before the sweaters and jeans really make an appearance. My husband's birthday was a few days ago and since he had to work a 24 hour shift leading up it, he said not worry about a cake. But he does love coconut so I decided to make him these bars. They are really light and really good. And really coconutty. (I don't think that is a word). They fit the bill perfectly.
Coconut Cream Bars
From Martha Stewart
2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
3 boxes (5.3 ounces each) shortbread cookies, coarsely broken (I just bought a 15 oz. box)
1 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
6 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp confectioners' sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350. Spread coconut in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring once or twice, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Leave oven on.
2. Process cookies and 1/2 cup coconut in a food processor until finely ground and mixture begins to clump together, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13 inch rimmed baking sheet; press into an even layer on bottom. Bake until golden and firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheet on a wire rack.
3. Whisk together the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large saucepan. Whisk in milk and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a boil, 5 to 6 minutes. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes more. Remove from heat. Add butter, whisking until combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cups coconut.
4. Spoon the custard onto cooled crust; smooth top with offset spatula. Press plastic wrap directly onto custard surface, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.
5. Beat cream and confectioners' sugar in a large chilled stainless steel bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
6. Cut custard-filled crust into bars. Spoon whipped cream into a pastry bag (use ziplock bag if no pastry bag) fitted with a medium star tip. Beginning at one corner, pipe a zigzag pattern over each bar. Sprinkle bars with remaining 1/2 cup coconut.