I've always found that bars were extremely appealing, because they generally look and taste very good and they have something "dirty" about them that attracts me...
Those "Dream Bars" are exactly of that kind. Not only are they fabulously yummy, but they also carry their name very well. "DREAM BARS"!!!
If you judge them by their looks, it is true that those "Dream Bars" might never win a beauty contest, but their plain appearance alone doesn't resume the high-level pleasure they bring once you've taken your first bite...
Their rich topping is gooey and soft to please, with a pleasant contrasting crunchiness brought by the nuts. The cookie base adds a very interesting buttery taste to the bars. To eat one of those bars is an ecstatic experience that will put you into a Nirvanesque state of trance! Some people fall into ethylic coma, with those bars you'll fall into culinary coma!!!
This recipe comes from my much loved and used "The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion" cookbook and was slightly adapted by myself...
I hope that you'll enjoy this concentrate of heaven as much as I did!!!
Makes about two dozen 6 cm (2 1/4-inch) bars
125g Unsalted butter
1/2 Cup (125g) Dark brown sugar
1 Cup (132.5g) Plain white flour
1/3 Tsp Salt
For the topping:
2 Cups (500g) Dark brown sugar
1 Tbs Plain white flour
1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
2 Eggs (~50g), well beaten
1 Cup (105g) Shredded or shaved unsweetened coconut, toasted
1 Cup (125g) Diced cashew nuts and almonds
1 Preheat the oven to 150° C (300° F).
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth and fluffy.
3. Stir in the flour and salt until you get a crumbly mixture.
4. Pat the "crumbs" into a greased 23 x 33 cm (9 x 13-inch) pan.
5. Bake the cookie layer for 10 minutes, while you prepare the topping.
6. Remove the pan from the oven, set aside and turn the oven up to 170° C (325° F).
7. (Method for the topping) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and baking powder.
8. Stir in the eggs, mixing until smooth.
9. Add the shredded coconut and nuts, again mixing until well combined.
10. Dollop the topping onto the crust in the pan, spreading it out. Wet your fingers and spread it around as evenly as possible.
11. Bake the bars for another 30 minutes, until they are golden brown.
12. Remove from the oven and let them cool.
12. Sprinkle them with confectioner's (powder) sugar, if desired and cut them into bars when they are completely cool.
If you don't have any dark brown sugar, then light brown sugar is ok.
To toast the shredded coconut, put it in a baking tray and place in a preheated oven at 180° C (350° F) for a few minutes until toasted or golden brown. Toss and stir the coconut a few times while it's toasting.
In terms of nuts, you are in fact free to use whichever nut you desire (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, etc...). Just use your favorite ones...
Eat this treat at any time, with a good cup of coffee or tea.
(W. A. Bouguereau painting -Pic by www.saron.de)