(Almost) No-Bake Creamy Piña Colada Bars

pina_05At the time I’m writing this, I have a Pinball-Pool Party lined up this weekend with friends. Now, this would be an wonderful recipe to throw together for this party which is a potluck event. Only problem is that Dana, resident recipe master here at Small Fry Pie, will be there.

How tacky would that be? Showing up to a party that she is at with one of her recipes? I don’t think Miss Manners even covered this topic. A blogger’s dilemma. After all, you know when she makes these (Almost) No-Bake Creamy Piña Colada Bars that they would be stellar.

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Mine might prove the Pinterest-Fail version. The pressure is simply too much for me. I’ll probably just bring a dip. I’m excellent in the realm of dips. When preparing for a potluck, go with your strengths. Right?

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What I will do, however, is begin dropping a string of hints indicating that I think these Piña Colada Bars would be perfect for Dana to bring to the party. She’s probably facing the same pre-party anxiety deciding what to bring. A little push in a tropical direction seems like a friendly move. Not at all self-serving.

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Well, maybe a little self-serving, but totally understandable once you’ve had Dana’s Piña Colada Bars. Vegan, delicious, and you only need about ten minutes of oven time to toast the crust so don’t worry about overheating the kitchen in the summertime.

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Pineapple and coconut meet with just a touch of spiced rum for an easy dessert that sings of sandy beaches and hidden waterfalls. Or, at least, flip flops and swimming pools. We don’t need to get too fancy about it. These Piña Colada Bars work well anywhere sunblock might be applied.

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(Almost) No-Bake Creamy Pina Colada Bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3 cups full fat coconut milk (about a can and a half)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-2 TBSP rum - optional (I used a spiced rum)
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pineapple
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup toasted shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. To make the crust, melt butter in microwave or on the stove.
  3. Combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Stir with spatula or with hands until crumbs are coated and mixture feels soft.
  5. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and press crumbs firmly into pan.
  6. Bake 10 minutes, until edges are a bit golden.
  7. For toasted coconut: Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add shredded coconut and stir or shake pan fairly often, as coconut can burn quickly. Once most of the coconut turns golden brown, remove from pan and put coconut on a plate to cool.
  8. For the filling: In a medium sized, heavy bottomed pan, combine coconut milk, sugar and salt.
  9. Heat over medium high heat, allowing sugar to dissolve.
  10. Bring to a low boil and whisk in cornstarch. Whisk constantly to avoid clumps.
  11. Turn off heat, as mixture will thicken quickly. Once mixture is thick, remove from heat and stir in rum (if using), vanilla and lime zest. Stir to incorporate well. Fold in coconut and pineapple.
  12. Spread coconut mixture evenly over pre-baked graham cracker crust.
  13. Top with toasted coconut and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (up to overnight). Slice into squares of any size and enjoy!
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