These coconut candy bars taste like a mash-up of Mounds candy bars, peanut butter, and a graham cracker crumb crust. Indulgence on the cheap.–Renee Schettler Rossi

A tray of coconut candy bars cut into squares.

Coconut Candy Bars

5 / 2 votes
These coconut candy bars come together easily with graham cracker crumbs, butter, semisweet chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, and lotsa, lotsa love. The result? Sorta like Mounds bars, for those of you who can remember those.
David Leite
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
Servings24 candy bars
Calories227 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time45 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • One (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar in a medium bowl. Spread the crumb mixture on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and gently press with your fingertips to form an even layer. 
  • Bake until just golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  • Dump the coconut and condensed milk in a bowl and stir well. Spread the coconut mixture evenly over the warm graham cracker crust in the baking pan. Return to the oven and bake until golden brown around the edges, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool completely.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: Use the same bowl for the sweetened condensed milk and coconut as you did for the crumb mixture for super easy clean up.

  • When the coconut layer has cooled, in a medium pan over medium-low heat, stir together the chocolate chips, vegetable shortening, and peanut butter and warm, stirring constantly, until completely smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. 
  • Pour the chocolate mixture over the cooled coconut layer and use a spatula to spread it into a thin, even layer. Let cool completely.
  • Cut into 24 squares. Serve immediately or layer between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. If the bars have been refrigerated, let rest at room temperature before slicing and serving.

Adapted From

Best Cookies

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 barCalories: 227 kcalCarbohydrates: 26 gProtein: 3 gFat: 13 gSaturated Fat: 8 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 16 mgSodium: 91 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 21 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2013 Saveur Magazine. Photo © 2013 Todd Coleman. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These delicious coconut candy bars were the perfect little chewy bites of goodness! Not too sweet with the tiniest bit of peanut butter and just the right amount of chocolate. Plus the candy still had enough sweetness to satisfy that after-dinner craving. I’d consider this more of a cookie than a candy—either way, it was really delicious. This recipe was a real crowd-pleaser, and my family was more than happy to eat the final product.

I used 15 graham crackers to get 2 cups processed crumbs. The pan could benefit from some cooking spray. The coconut mixture gets a bit sticky after baking, making the candy difficult to get out of the pan. I also must have stamped my graham cracker crust too much because the candy was hard to cut, but it was not at all difficult to eat.

I’ll be keeping this recipe handy in the future—it was a big family hit!

These bars are quick and easy to fix. I had everything in my pantry so I thought I would give them a try.

I used boxed graham cracker crumbs, which made it super easy to measure—no crushing crackers! After combining the butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs, the mixture spread very easily into my 9-by-13-inch baking dish. The total bake time for mine was about 12 minutes. I used the same bowl for the sweetened condensed milk and coconut as I did for the crumb mixture for super easy clean up.

Spreading the coconut mixture was a little more difficult, but just take your time and it will work out fine. Total bake time for the coconut mixture on the crust was 17 minutes. That will give the edges of your coconut layer time to turn a nice golden brown! Pour this over the slightly cooled coconut and spread all over the get all the edges covered. It seemed a little runny, but was very easy to spread. I placed it on the cooling rack until the pan was cool to the touch, about 40 minutes. The chocolate was still very liquid, so I popped it in the fridge for a few hours and it firmed right up. I cut mine into small squares—close to 3 dozen little pieces.

These treats are super sweet and rich, so a little square or two is a perfect snack to take to the office or a Super Bowl party!

This coconut candy bars recipe was a hit with my extended family. I liked the flavor. I thought the addition of the peanut butter was odd. Iʻm not sure itʻs needed. Iʻm also not sure that the bars need to be absolutely completely cool before spreading the chocolate. It yielded 30 squares. To hasten the cooling, you can stick the pan of bars in the fridge.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This looks really good. Because of sodium issues I will sub the graham crackers with almond meal, sugar and butter for a shortbread type crust. But the rest will go as the recipe calls for. I always have great success with your recipes – even with the subs I have to make.