It was our annual Christmas pot luck lunch at work on Friday. Sorry, I should rephrase that. It was our annual “Stuff Yourself Until We Have To Roll You Out The Door Day”.
We have a lot of staff, and it’s usually too much food for just lunch, so we decided to split it up and have breakfast AND lunch! Twice the food, twice the fun!
It began with a breakfast of hash browns, deviled eggs, sausages, croissants, muffins, fresh fruit, juice, tea, and coffee. Then we waddled our way back to our desks.
And before we had time to digest our breakfast, lunch prep had begun. Ham, meatballs, chicken, shrimp, scalloped potatoes, perogies, pasta salad, Caesar salad, pancit, spring rolls, buns, pickles, cheese, etc. Then we waddled our way back to our desks.
And finally, my favorite… dessert. Cookies, butter tarts, assorted squares, gingerbread cheesecake, fruitcake, and chocolates. Then we waddled our way back to our desks.
And at the end of the day, we rolled ourselves out the front door. Merry Christmas.
2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut (or whatever type you have on hand)
1 can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
20 maraschino cherries, chopped
For the icing:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup icing (powdered/confectioners) sugar
2 tablespoons whipping (heavy) cream
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice (optional)
2 drops red food coloring (optional)
Preheat the oven to 300 F.
In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, brown sugar and flour. Stir until well combined. Firmly press the graham crumb base into a 8"x12" baking dish, lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Increase the heat to 350 F.
In another bowl, combine the shredded coconut with the sweetened condensed milk. Mix until well combined. Add the chopped cherries and mix until just incorporated. Spread the coconut mixture over the base and bake for 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature, or cool in the refrigerator.
To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to whip the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the cream and beat for 2 minutes. Add the boiling water and beat for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, maraschino juice, and red food coloring and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Spread over cooled cake. Cut into squares.
Recipe adapted from my friend Lavina's Pink Delight Bars - 2014