Mom’s Three-Layer Bars

I love this dessert.  It’s rich, delicious and easy.  The combination of the shortbread-like crust, sweet pecan and coconut filling and creamy frosting bring back great memories for me.  My mom still makes these as well as a truly decadent chocolate mint brownie at Christmas.  They keep really well in the freezer for weeks so you can make a batch and just take a few out at a time.  There aren’t any secret tricks to this recipe.  Just make sure that you let the bars cool completely before frosting them.  I also put them in the fridge for an hour or so before cutting them.

1st Layer

½ pound butter slightly softened and cut into 1-inch pieces

½ cup sugar

2 cups AP flour

½ cup cornstartch

pinch of salt

Blend all ingredients with a pastry blender in a large bowl until butter is in pebble sized pieces.  Press into a 12×16 pan.  A jelly roll pan works well, but a 9×13 is ok.

Bake @ 350 for 15 minutes.  Let cool.

2nd Layer

4 large eggs at room temp

2 cups brown sugar

4 tablespoons AP flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups chopped pecans

2 cups shredded coconut

Mix eggs and sugar.  Add flour, baking powder and vanilla.  Stir in pecans and coconut.  Pour over first layer. 

Bake @ 300 for 15-20 minutes.  Cool to room temperature.

3rd Layer

1 stick softened butter 

8 oz. softened cream cheese

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer.  Add in vanilla.  Add sugar one cup at a time, scrape sides of the bowl as needed.  Spread onto cooled bars.  Cut into squares.  These bars may be frozen between layers of wax paper.