Almond Joy Bars

(adapted from Our Recipe Garden)

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 14-oz package shredded coconut

1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 12-oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

2 teaspoons vegetable shortening

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1. Heat your oven to 350. Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, 2 ends extended over the sides to make handles, and spray it lightly with non-stick spray.

2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the flour and salt, and mix until it resembled bread crumbs. Transfer to the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 5 minutes and set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla. Gently spread over the partially cooked crust, and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until starting to brown around the outside.

4. Melt the chocolate and shortening in a double boiler, stirring until melted and smooth. Pour over the cooked coconut bars and spread into an even layer. Immediately sprinkle with sliced almonds. Cool completely in the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to set and make cutting easier.

5. To cut, use the foil handles to lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut  them into 24 bars. Serve room temperature for best quality.

Makes 24 bars.