I am torn. Is this a cookie? Is it candy? Is it both? I think so. Rich and decadent and the perfect accompaniemnt to a hot cup of coffee on a cold winter’s day. I am saying this at the moment because we are snowed in and I am doing just that. This recipe comes to us from my blogging partner, Tricia (insert big smily happy face). There’s a lot going on here, but the good news for all of us is that this wonder can be assembled in less than 15 minutes. You will be rewarded with a buttery gingersnap crust, followed by a filling of toffee, salty peanuts, and coconut. Top the whole thing off with a caramel glaze after cooling, and you’re off to the races. Let me show you how easy this is….
Since this guy is so rich, we are putting him together in an 8×8 baking pan. For sanity’s sake, be sure to line the pan with foil that has been well sprayed with baking spray. This will avoid future cussing and attempts to rip foil off of gingersnaps. Grab the nearest box of gingersnap cookies and pulverize in a food processor. If you don’t have one, just put the cookies in a ziplock bag and whack the daylights out of them with a rolling pin or similar device of destruction until you get fine crumbs. Melt some butter (OK, a lot of butter) and pour into the bottom of the pan.
Next up comes the fillings, and we aren’t skimping… First a layer of Toffee Bits, then a layer of crunchy and salty cocktail peanuts, and then…
Next comes a layer of coconut, and the the whole thing is smothered in rich and creamy sweetened condensed milk. Bake until set and browned on the corners (which is the best part in my opinion)
While your masterpiece is cooling, grab a bag of those little caramel pieces (a genius invention which requires no ripping tiny cellophane off a ton of caramel candies to achieve the same results) and melt in the microwave. Get your bars out and cut up and on a cooling rack with a couple of generous pieces of waxed paper under. This is another one of those moves you will want to make to avoid massive cleanup and cussing later – this next part is kind of messy and requires much finger licking. We have found the best way to go about this is to get your wire whisk out, get it full of caramel, then just drizzle over the whole business – it’s fun and there is no need to be fussy.
Excuse me….I need a moment….
Where was I? Oh yeah — let’s settle down in front of the fire, pour another cup of coffee and go for it!!
Happiest of holidays to you all!! Thanks so much for joining us here on Bird’s Nest Bites! xoxoxoxo
- ½ cup butter (1 cube)
- 1.5 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (we used Nabisco)
- ½ cup Heath Bits of Brickle (toffee)
- ⅔ cup chopped peanuts (party style peanuts)
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- ¾ can of sweetened condensed milk
- Caramel Topping
- ½ cup Kraft caramel bits (These come in 11 ounce bags and are found in the baking aisle.)
- 1 tablespoon milk (any kind of milk will work)
- Heat oven to 350. Line an 8X8 glass baking dish with foil and spray with Pam or other cooking spray.
- Melt butter in microwave and pour into bottom of the pan. Press gingersnap crumbs into the butter until crust is even and almost completely incorporated into the butter. Evenly sprinkle on brickle bits over the crust, then add the peanuts and then coconut. Slowly drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the entire surface. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until coconut begins to turn golden. Remove from oven and cool completely and then refrigerate for at least two hours.
- In a small glass bowl, stir together the caramel bits and milk. Place in microwave for 1 minute and then stir. Continue process until your sauce is smooth. If your sauce seems too thick, add a scant more milk, but use caution as it should be much thicker than other melted chip products so that it will set up.
- Remove pan from refrigerator and using the sides of the foil, lift the entire bar from the pan and place on cutting board. Carefully, remove foil from the bottom of the cookies. These are rich, so we recommend cutting them into bite sizes or very small bars. Drizzle with caramel sauce. The sauce will set up quickly, but refrigeration will speed up the process if you’re in a hurry.