The recipe for these rich and chewy bar cookies came about as a result of a challenge given to me by a dear friend whose favorite candy bar is a Mounds bar. If I remember correctly it went like this: “I wonder if you can make a bar cookie that tastes like a Mounds bar! ” Always up for a challenge, I replied ” Oh, of course I can!”
The first thing I did was treat myself to a Mounds candy bar in order to examine how it is made, and savor the flavors that go into the total experience of eating one. I must say this was really hard work, but I had to do it. What I discovered was that it had a chocolate, chewy base, a coconut layer, chocolate covering and an almond underneath the chocolate. This will be a piece of cake, I told myself.
And so I began the process of development, which included several attempts at getting the base just right. Mr. D. was so good about eating my experiments; he never complained about taste testing several kinds of brownies. Finally I was satisfied that I had the right texture for the base. The rest was the easy part: the coconut layer with a hint of almond flavoring, and a chocolate frosting to cover. I decided to top each bar with an almond, instead of placing them under the frosting, so each bar would have one, and for folks allergic to nuts, it could be easily removed.
Here then, is my interpretation of Mounds candy in cookie bar form.
- 1 1/2 cups butter
- 4 squares unsweetened chocolate
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flaked coconut
- 14 0z. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon almond flavoring
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa
- pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
- 20-24 whole almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. In a saucepan, over low heat, melt butter and chocolate; cool slightly. Add sugar. Stir in eggs, flour and vanilla.
- Pour into a greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Center will not be firm. Remove from the oven.
- Meanwhile, combine coconut with condensed milk and almond flavoring. Gently spoon and spread over partially baked base. Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool slightly.
- Blend frosting ingredients; beating 2 minutes until fluffy. Spread over warm bars. Top each bar with a whole almond.
- Taste tested and approved! Oh, and by the way—-I successfully met the challenge. My friend was duly impressed.