You don’t have to use non-stick foil to make these cookies but I highly recommend it. They will still taste wonderful, but you will enjoy the construction, cutting, and clean-up process oh so much more.
Do you know about Reynolds Wrap non-stick aluminum foil? (This is not a paid endorsement–just letting you know about a great product that streamlines life in my kitchen.)
If you make brownies, blondies, or any other kind of bar cookies, non-stick foil is your friend. For a few extra pennies, it’s worth it.
If you dread washing those sticky, gooey, and hard-to-scrape pans, this magic foil is a lazy dishwasher’s saving grace. It also makes removing the entire uncut batch from the pan crazy easy. When cookies have cooled slightly, carefully lift the cookies out of the pan using the foil as handles. Peal the foil away from the cookies. Without the confines of the pan, even the first cookie you cut can be perfect. See the picture below for how to prepare the pan.
- Cover cheese-topped casseroles
- Wrapping food in packets for baking in the oven–especially fish
- Cover cookie sheets for roasting vegetables and potatoes
In case you are thinking you can just use regular foil sprayed with vegetable oil….well, yes, you could. But for some unexplained reason, it doesn’t work as well according to Cooks Illustrated.
Another option is parchment paper, of which I am a huge fan in general, but find the non-stick foil is easier for this particular application because I don’t have to cut anything to size. A quick shaping with the hands and you’re done.
Speaking of parchment paper, I have recently become aware of Reynolds Wrap non-stick pan lining paper, a combination of foil and parchment paper. Reviews are mixed on the web. I’ll check it out and let you know.
One teeny-tiny suggestion: You might want to hide this foil so the rest of the family doesn’t use it or waste it thinking it’s just like any other foil in the drawer.
Back to the Chewy Coconut-Pecan Bars…..
Serve these cookies plain, with powdered sugar, or dress them up with a browned butter glaze. Cut them in diamonds for a party, squares for the family, or let the midnight raiders dig them out of the pan.
The shortbread base is the same used in my Easy Toffee Bars and Meyer Lemon Yogurt Squares. The pecan-coconut layer is an adaptation from the Chinese Chews printed in Helen Corbitt’s Cooks for Company.
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup shredded coconut mixed with 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup lightly toasted pecans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon half and half or milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Prepare 8×8 inch square pan by lining with foil (see picture in post), parchment paper, or spraying with oil/butter mixture such as Baker’s Joy.
- Combine flour, brown sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Add melted butter and lightly mix with a fork. Press evenly into prepared pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.
- In medium bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Gradually add brown sugar to eggs and beat until thick.
- Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread over baked shortbread layer.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- When cool, turn the entire baked cookie out onto a flat surface and peel off paper or foil if using. Flip over and sprinkle with powdered sugar or ice with Browned Butter Glaze. Cut in squares or diamonds as you prefer.
- Microwave butter in pyrex dish for 3 minutes (or heat on low in a skillet on the stove) until it just starts to turn brown. Add cream or milk and combine. Add sugar and mix until smooth. Add vanilla if using. If icing is too thick, add more milk. If too thin, add more sugar.
P.S. If you are already a non-stick foil addict, please tell me how you use it. I can’t stand to do things the hard way when there is a better option.