Looking for a non-pumpkin dessert to add to your Thanksgiving menu?
How about a creamy coconut cream pie filling on a shortbread crust with the thinnest layer of chocolate ganache squeezed in, then topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut?! And since they are so addicting, make them in a 9×13” pan so there are plenty of leftovers for the next day.
Move over pumpkin pie!
Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) salted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup chocolate chips (bittersweet or semisweet)
Coconut Cream Filling:
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups (2 cans) coconut milk
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
4 eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon coconut extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cup sweetened, flaked coconut, toasted*
Whipped Cream Topping:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
¼ cup coconut, toasted*
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with baking Pamm (the kind with flour).
Crust: Combine the flour and powdered sugar; cut in the butter using a pastry blender, two knives or a food processor. Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 14-18 minutes until the crust is light brown. Cool crust on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Ganache: Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Heat ¼ cup cream in a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave for 45 seconds, or until simmering. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let the mixture stand for 1-2 minutes, then stir until smooth. If chips do not completely melt, microwave for 20 seconds and stir again. Pour the chocolate over the bottom of the crust and smooth to the edges. Place pan in the fridge to chill until crust is cooled completely and ganache has hardened.
Filling: Use a whisk to mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large saucepan. Mix in coconut milk, half-and-half, cream, and beaten eggs. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly until it is very thick. If the mixtures has lumps, you can strain it through a fine mesh sieve. (If you whisk diligently while cooking, you will not need to strain the pudding). Remove from heat and stir in the coconut and vanilla extracts and toasted coconut. Pour the filling over the chilled ganache and refrigerate the bars until they are set, about 4 hours.
Topping: With a mixer, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Spread the cream over the chilled bars; sprinkle with toasted coconut. Chill until ready to serve.
Makes 24 bars
** To toast the coconut, spread coconut onto a baking sheet and bake at 325°F, stirring every 5 minutes for about 15 minutes, or until light brown. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn.
** If you are making these bars ahead of time, prepare the crust, chocolate and filling and refrigerate. Add the whipped cream topping just before serving. Whipped cream will begin to get watery if left in the refrigerator for more than a day.
** Halve recipe to make in a deep-dish pie pan or 8×8” pan.