Makes 30 bar cookies.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- 12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp milk
- 10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
- Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together.
- Pour crumbly dough into prepapred pan and press into an even layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.
- Preheat oven to 300.
- Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
- Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
- When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping).
- Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching.
- Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper.
- Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.
- Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.