Caramel Coconut Cluster Bars

This time around our assigned recipe was, Caramel Coconut Cluster Bars. (point of order: its CAR-mel, not CARE-A-MEL or any other goof ball pronunciation, now that we have that sorted we can carry on)


I joined this confection club for a couple of reasons. The main one was I wanted to use the cookbooks. I have a horrid habit of buying or picking up a cookbook, looking through it, and making a mental list of stuff I’d like to try, only to put the book on a shelf. This club gives me enough structure to actually put forth effort and do, which is great. This week I got a chance to test out a new skill or two and I bought my first ever candy thermometer.

The short bread was easy and delicious. The caramel was far too sticky/gooey. So much so it tested to my dentist’s craftsmanship. I understand now that I wasn’t patient enough. But the sugar wouldn’t get above 220 degrees  and the smell started to turn burnt, I decided to go forth and see what happens. The chocolate was barely a hint. By no means am I down on this. I think after a time or two I could really do this well. If I was to do this again, I would use a better suited pot. Live and learn I suppose.

Bake On.


Baked Sunday Mornings

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11 Responses to Caramel Coconut Cluster Bars

  1. Susan says:

    Sorry these weren’t a hit with you, but I think they’re worth re-visiting.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  2. SandraM says:

    That’s why I joined too. I loved the books and liked the idea of having to try recipes that I might not be brave enough to try.
    It did take a long time for the caramel to get back up to temperature.

  3. Sarah says:

    I also thought the caramel could have been cut by about half, but I think they were very good anyways. Going to try and turn it into a tart before I post today…

  4. Mark says:

    I completely agree that it was too much caramel. If and when I attempt these again, I’m halving the caramel mixture and cooking it LESS. I got it to 240 both times and it was just too hard and chewy. I know you weren’t too happy with these, but good job – they look wonderful.

    • Benjamin says:

      Thank you, Mark. I think my problem is I got “samoa ” in my head and couldn’t shake it. Next time around I am going to make more shortbread and see if i can thin out the layer of coconut better.

  5. Linda says:

    I think your bars look decadently thick! If I ever make these again, I’m going with thicker. They look delightful.

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks! Thicker looks nice but eating them is a different story. That being said, after I walked away from them and let them warm up on the counter I was pleased with the result.

  6. Sheri says:

    Oooh, I like how chunky yours turned out!

    I’m the same with cookbooks. I like to read them, and I like to buy them. Good thing I don’t have more storage space in the house, it would be completely overrun with cookbooks!

  7. ErinStar says:

    Loving the thick shortbread crust! And these could totally use less caramel, eventhough I feel awful admitting that. 😉 I too have an obsessive cookbook addiction…some girls buy purses and shoes…I buy cookbooks. Ha ha.

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