Chocolate Coconut Bars

· 9x13 baking dish
· 3 cups chopped walnuts
· 1/3 cup granulated sugar
· ¼ cup (half a stick) butter, melted
· 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, plus about ½ cup for topping
· 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
· 1 to 2 tbsp. regular milk (optional, to help thin condensed milk)
· 2 cups milk chocolate chips (equal to one 11.5 oz. package)
· ½ cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

If walnuts are not finely chopped, grind them in a food processor for a few seconds until they are the consistency of tiny pebbles. Place them into a large bowl and stir in sugar and melted butter. The mixture should be moist but not greasy. Press down into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.

In a separate bowl, mix the condensed milk and shredded coconut. Spread this mixture evenly over the crust using your hands to pat it down and keep the walnuts in place. Optional: Heat condensed milk and coconut over low heat and/or add 1 to 2 tbsp. regular milk to thin it out. Do not add more than 2 tbsp. milk or the bars will not set properly in the refrigerator.

Bake at 325 degrees for 14 minutes. Cool for 20 to 30 minutes.

Combine chocolate chips and cream in a medium saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring until smooth. Pour chocolate sauce on top of cooled coconut mixture and spread evenly over the top using a spatula. Refrigerate uncovered for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.

Sprinkle with additional shredded coconut (about ½ cup) before serving. Store in the refrigerator.