I’ve updated this Chocolate Dream Bars recipe from my 1973 Pillsbury Cookbook. All the girls in Minneapolis were given this cookbook when they came “of age”. The combination of the cookie crust along with chocolate, walnuts and coconut are dreamy, hence the name. They are gooey and full of all the “good stuff” in one cookie. When I grew up in Minneapolis, the church ladies would always make loads of bar cookies. Chocolate Dream Bars were on every bar cookie tray in Minneapolis. My earliest memories of learning to cook were baking Christmas cookies with my mother. As an adult, I have always wanted to share the experience of baking cookies together with others, particularly children.
Far from my hometown, I started leading an annual Holiday Cookie Baking Class every December. This year will be the tenth year I have taught a Holiday Cookie Baking Class at the Holy Nativity Community Hall in the Westchester neighborhood of Los Angeles. Every year I come up with eight new cookie recipes to make. Click here to see pictures from the 2012 Cookie Class and the 2011 Cookies Class. Join us for our 10th Annual Holiday Cookie Baking Class on Saturday, December 14, 2013, 12:30 to 4:30 when we will bake up 1000 cookies with 8 different recipes. Click here for details.
I entered these outrageous Chocolate Dream Bars in the L.A. Times Cookie contest last year. I guess I didn’t coerce enough of my friends to vote for my cookie, because I didn’t make it to the first round. However, any way you look at it, these bar cookies are a winner in my book. Try them and I think you will agree. How can you go wrong with chocolate, walnuts, brown sugar and coconut all in one cookie.
Plus they can be dressed up when you cut the bars from the pan and display them in festive cupcake wrappers to match the season. That’s what we did when we made them at last year’s Holiday Cookie Class.
I also made about 300 of these goodies along with about 300 lemon bars for a Holy Nativity fundraiser and they were an enormous hit.
It’s your turn. Add Chocolate Dream Bars to your holiday cookie tray or for the birthday party in the middle of the summer. Enjoy!
Chocolate Dream Bars
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups flaked or shredded coconut
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 13 x 9 pan with a single sheet of foil or parchment paper. Have the edges of the foil/paper hang over the ends of the pan for lifting the bars out after baking. In mixing bowl, use mixer to cream butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar until smooth. Mix in 1 1/2 cups flour until crumbly. Press into bottom of 13 x 9 pan. Bake 10 minutes. Crust should be set, but not brown. Sprinkle chocolate chips over partially baked crust.
2. While crust is baking, beat eggs with a mixer in another mixing bowl until foamy. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, beating until thick. Blend in 1/4 cup flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Fold in coconut and nuts with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
3. Spread filling over the chocolate covered cookie crust. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Lift foil to remove bars from pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into 2″ square bars.
Servings: 30 200 calories per serving