This recipe comes from my favourite book, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. In this particular book, the authors call their bar the Baked Bar, after their establishment in New York, but my cousin’s wife told me that her grandmother used to make her what she called Hello Dolly Bars. I call them Gooey Bars, because that’s what they truly are. Many of the wedding guests described them as “life-altering experiences”, but I’ll leave you to determine that for yourself.
The ingredients are simple, but the crust is a little fussy, so the recipe from start to finish takes quite a while.
Preheat your oven to 300°F.
Line a 9 x 13″ pan with aluminum foil and butter it. The foil makes it much easier to remove everything from the pan after you’ve baked it.
Put a piece of parchment on a baking sheet and spread 2 cups shredded coconut across it. Bake for 5 or so minutes until the coconut begins to turn golden brown. Toss the coconut and bake for another 3 minutes or so.
Toss the coconut in a bowl with 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs.
Melt 1 cup butter and pour it in.
Mix it all up with your hands or a fork, and then use your hands to press the crust mixture into the pan. Smooth the surface and level it.
Refrigerate the crust for 15 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool completely.
Now for the rest.
Raise the oven temperature to 325°F.
Spread 1 1/3 cups pecans over a sheet pan and toast them for a little while until brown.
Spread those over the bottom of the cooled crust and add 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips as well.
Coarsely chop up about 9 oz white baking chocolate (that’s 9 squares).
Spread those on top, as well as 3/4 cup butterscotch chips.
The fun part here is when you pour two cans of sweetened condensed milk over top the whole thing. Just drizzle that on there.
Shake the pan gently to evenly distribute the milk. Of course, if you have really thick milk you might want to use a spatula to spread it out.
Bake the whole thing for 30-40 minutes, making sure to rotate the pan every ten minutes. When it’s all brown and bubbly it’s all done. Transfer it to a wire rack and let it cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and keep them in the fridge for up to four days.