Pineapple Coconut Bars

These Pineapple Coconut Bars are absolutely one of my new favorites. Pass me a pan of these bars and I’ll demolish the whole thing. I love both pineapple and coconut – hello pina coladas! – so these bars are the perfect tropical dessert bar! Plus, they’re from my grandmother’s cookbook, so they’re special. 🙂

Pineapple Coconut Bars - shortbread crust with amazing pineapple coconut topping with walnuts! Amazing!
Pineapple Coconut Bars - shortbread crust with amazing pineapple coconut topping with walnuts! Amazing!

I shared these Banana Oatmeal Cookies from my grandmother’s cookbook last year, and they’ve been a big hit. I’ve been wanting to share something else for a while and I finally made these bars.

One of the great things about this cookbook is that it’s actually a little spiral notebook. It’s full of clippings from newspapers, family recipes, recipes from friends – all kinds of things. And so many of them are handwritten by my grandmother onto the pages. She passed away several years ago and I just love going through it.

According to the newspaper clipping where this recipe came from, the recipe was sent in by a Mrs. Gladys Carper of Lefthand, West Virginia. My grandparents lived in West Virginia. These bars were the winners in a West Virginia Black Walnut Festival Cook-off. How fun is that?!

Pineapple Coconut Bars - shortbread crust with amazing pineapple coconut topping with walnuts! Amazing!
Pineapple Coconut Bars - shortbread crust with amazing pineapple coconut topping with walnuts! Amazing!

You might be wondering about the black walnut part – the original recipe calls for black walnuts, but I just had regular walnuts, so that’s what I went with. You could certainly use black walnuts if you prefer. Obviously, they are prize winning that way. 🙂

Despite following a lot of the recipes in this cookbook, I tend to have to play around with the recipes a bit. Because they are such old recipes, they often call for ingredients that we just don’t use as much now. For example, a lot of the cookies call for margarine. Obviously I’ll sub that for butter.

In these bars, the original recipe actually called for pineapple preserves. I’m sure I could probably find pineapple preserves, but I imagine having that kind of thing around was more common in her day than it is in ours. I also didn’t want to end up with a half used jar of pineapple preserves.

Pineapple Coconut Bars - shortbread crust with amazing pineapple coconut topping with walnuts! Amazing!
Pineapple Coconut Bars - shortbread crust with amazing pineapple coconut topping with walnuts! Amazing!

So to make it easier for us, I decided to use actual pineapple. I played around with using pineapple chunks and crushed pineapple. I decided I preferred the crushed pineapple because it spread throughout the filling better, as opposed to having huge chunks. But pineapple tidbits or chunks would work too.

Regardless of how you go about adding the pineapple, these bars bake beautifully and are absolutely delicious! I totally died over them. I was SO glad this was the recipe I decided to try. I’m already thinking it’ll be a great recipe to play around with even more to try out other fruits and flavors.

Check Out My Other Recipes

To break down the bars a bit, you have a shortbread crust on the bottom. One of the easiest things to make – I’m a fan. You pre-bake it and then add the filling and bake again. The crust stays nice and firm and is perfect for these bars.

The bulk of the filling consists of the pineapple, coconut, sugar and eggs. It all just gets whisked together, then thickens nicely when baked. The bars stay very, very moist. You can definitely pick the finished bars up and eat them with your hands like any other bar, but you’ll need a napkin. 🙂

They are seriously pineapple coconut bars heaven. I will definitely be making these babies over and over again. They were a hit!

Pineapple Coconut Bars - shortbread crust with amazing pineapple coconut topping with walnuts! Amazing!
Pineapple Coconut Bars - shortbread crust with amazing pineapple coconut topping with walnuts! Amazing!

Pineapple Coconut Bars

Yield: 16-20 bars

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust
1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar

Filling
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 - 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
20 oz can crushed pineapple, drained

Instructions

1. Line the bottom of 9x9 pan with parchment paper that sticks up above the edges on two sides. Grease the other sides. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients for the crust together in a mixer bowl on low speed. It'll be very crumbly at first, but it will form a ball.
3. Press dough evenly into the bottom of the pan.
4. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
5. To make the filling, whisk together sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl.
6. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.
7. Stir in walnuts, coconut and pineapple.
8. Spread mixture evenly over crust.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until edges are golden.
10. Allow to cool completely, then cut into squares.
http://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/2015/02/02/pineapple-coconut-bars/

Enjoy!

signature Pineapple Coconut Bars - shortbread crust with amazing pineapple coconut topping with walnuts! Amazing!

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Recipes from friends:
No Bake Coconut Lime Cheesecake Bars from Beyond Frosting
Pina Colada Cupcakes from Sally’s Baking Addiction
Pineapple Coconut Frozen Yogurt from Food Faith Fitness