There are so many things I love about my current job. I’m teaching language arts in a Summer Advancement Academy designed to help kids from under-privileged backgrounds prepare for college. A lot of my students have been in this country less than a year, but they’re all extremely driven to improve their English and get to college. They are a constant source of inspiration and laughter, and every day I’m with them I truly feel like I’ve found my calling.
I also happen to be done with work by 1 PM, and with a 40 minute commute, I’m left with a lot of the afternoon open to run, read, cook, and BAKE!! This summer has been incredibly mild, so turning on the oven in the middle of the afternoon hasn’t been a problem at all.
I’m not sure where the urge to make these came from. I haven’t eaten one in years, since we were living in Australia when I was 13. These aren’t exactly like the real thing because I didn’t have any golden syrup for the filling (I used corn syrup instead), but the combination of brown sugar-coconut shortbread, thickened sweetened condensed milk, and semisweet chocolate is absolutely heavenly…and like Nanaimo Bars, I have NO idea why these haven’t caught on more in the US! People, start spreading the word!
1 cup whole wheat pastry (or all-purpose) flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), melted
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp light corn syrup (golden syrup if you have it!)
1 tbsp butter
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 F, and line an 8″ square pan with foil. Grease lightly.
Stir the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl, then blend in the melted butter and coconut. Pat evenly into the bottom of the pan, then bake for about 14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Put the butter, sweetened condensed milk, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes or until thickened. Spread over the cooled cookie base. Let cool.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or the top of a double boiler. Pour evenly over the milk layer, and swirl the pan to coat evenly. Let stand until the chocolate is firm, then carefully pull the foil out of the pan. Cut into squares to serve.