It’s not exactly the time of year to be thinking of desserts … with New Year’s resolutions and all. But, this is a great dessert. And, it’s easy to serve at a party — as you can serve bite size pieces.
These Coconut Cream Bars are from Martha Stewart. They are easy to make. And, if you are making them for a party, you can make them the day ahead.
Coconut Cream Bars
Makes 3 dozen
2 1/2 cups sweetened, flaked Coconut
3 Boxes (5.3 oz. each) Shortbread Cookies, coarsely broken
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. Sugar
6 Tbs. Cornstarch
1/2 tsp. Salt
4 1/2 cups whole Milk
6 large Egg Yolks
6 Tbs. cold, unsalted Butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
3 Tbs. Confectioners’ Sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 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 by 13 rimmed baking sheet. Press into an even layer on bottom. Bake until golden and firm to the touch (12 to 15 minutes). Let cool in baking 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 ups of coconut.
4. Spoon the custard onto cooled crust; smooth top with an 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 24 bars (each about 3 by 1 1/2 inches). Transfer to a platter. Spoon whipped cream into a 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.