Good Eating Monday: Tropical Pineapple Coconut Bars!

I like bar cookies and am always looking for an interesting recipe. I found this one for "Tropical Pineapple Coconut Bars," on Pinterest and gave it a try this past week, since pineapple and coconut are some of my favorite things!

They're good. Not hard to make. Recipe has a crust portion and a filling batter portion. Flavor of both pineapple & coconut is very mild and these bars are surprisingly less sweet tasting then you'd expect for something with 2 cups of sugar and a whole can of crushed pineapple!
If I made them again, I'd add nuts both in filling and in crust. Maybe chopped maraschino cherries might be good. Definitely I'd add coconut to the filling because I like more coconut flavor. All the coconut the recipes calls for goes into the crust.
Chocolate chips might be fun.
If you'd like a fruity bar cookie, you should give this recipe a whirl! Though, the favor is best if you make it a day or two ahead of when you want to serve them.
(photo is my own of my own pan of bars.)

Tropical Pineapple Coconut Bars
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, divided in half (or 2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 20oz can of crushed pineapple, drained well

Optional Garnish: Toasted flaked coconut
Optional additions: nuts, extra coconut, chocolate chips, maraschino cherries. 

1) Preheat over to 350 and oil spray a 13 x 9 baking pan.

2) In a large bowl: combine 2 1/2 cups flour, coconut, brown sugar and baking soda, cut in 1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick) and cut with a pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly.

3)  Reserve 1 cup of crumb mixture for topping and press the remaining crumb mixture into bottom of 13 x 9 pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

4) In a medium bowl: beat remaining 1/2 cup of softened or melted butter (1 stick) and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in remaining 1 cup flour. Then stir in drained crushed pineapple.

5)  Spoon mixture over baked layer, then gently spread to even. Top with remaining crumb mixture, sprinkling it over top.

6) Bake for 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. 

7)  For garnish, toast another 3/4 cup of sweetened flake coconut in a skillet until just lightly browned, the sprinkle over top right after pan comes out of oven.
Let cool, then cut into bars.
Keep refrigerated.


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