Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hawaiian Layer Bars #CreativeCookieExchange

A tropic twist of the classic layer bar, these chewy cookies are made with macadamia nuts, flaked coconut, dried pineapple and banana chips, baked on a crispy rough puff pastry base.

First, a confession: A couple of months back, when I read the theme for this month’s Creative Cookie Exchange – Layered Cookie Bars – I didn’t have a clue of what that meant. A quick search revealed deliciousness that I had clearly been missing all these years. Seven-layer bars, 10-layer bars, million layer bars! (That last one was an exaggeration, by the way.) They reminded me very much of Uncle Hector’s 100 Cookies with all the ingredient variations, but baked in layers instead of mixed together in a cookie dough. The bases varied widely as well: some crumb, some pastry, some cookie dough crusts.

I went to my baking cupboard and had a look through my potential ingredients. I have airtight plastic containers full of a variety of chips, dried fruits and nuts, all kinds and colors of chocolate and candies. I considered how many layers I could put together and it would have been impressive, although possibly still not one million. Instead, I decided to choose a theme, something tropical to celebrate the start of school and the end of summer holidays. And these Hawaiian layer bars were the result.

Rough puff pastry from this recipe or your own favorite
5 oz or 145g macadamia nuts
3 1/2 oz or 100g dried pineapple
3 1/2 oz or 100g sweetened flake coconut
3 1/2 oz or 100g sweetened banana chips
1 can (14 oz or 395g) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and prepare your 8x12in or 20x30cm pan by lining it with baking parchment.

Roll the pastry dough out as thin as you can.

Take your fitted parchment back out of the pan and transfer the pastry to the center of the parchment. Trim edges straight with a sharp knife. This helps puffing.

Fit the parchment with pastry back in the pan. Dock the base thoroughly with the tines of a fork.

Bake in your preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven. The rough puff will have puffed somewhat in the middle so just use your fork to repeat the docking and it will deflate.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F or 180°C.

Sprinkle on the layers. I wanted to see a little of everything on the top so I did layers but saved a little of each of the bottom layers to sprinkle again on the top.

Pour in the condensed milk, making sure to get some it all over and even into the sides and corners.

Bake again till golden, perhaps 20-25 minutes.


I can't even start to tell you how chewy and delicious these were, a perfect blend on the crusty golden crust.

Check out all the lovely layered cookie bars we have for you this month! Many thanks to our organizer, Laura of The Spiced Life.

The Creative Cookie Exchange gets together once a month on the second Tuesday after the 15th to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient. If you are a food blogger who would like to join us, please send Laura an email: TheSpiceLife(at)gmail(dot)com.

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes - be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life).

For lagniappe - in southern Louisiana where I come from this means something extra, a little treat that's thrown in at the end.

Here's what to do with the rough puff scraps you cut off when making the layered cookie bars.

Cut the dough in short pieces and roll in cinnamon sugar. Lay out on a cookie sheet covered with parchment.

Bake with the base of the layer cookies above in your 400°F or 200°C oven.

Again, enjoy!

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