Tom Thumb Bars (Coconut Specialties) Recipe -
Tom Thumb Bars  (Coconut Specialties) Recipe
  • READY IN 55 mins

Tom Thumb Bars (Coconut Specialties)

Recipe by  

"These are chewy moist coconut bars. This was a special treat during the 1930s and 40s which my mother served often to our farming community by popular demand."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 36 bar cookies Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    40 mins

    55 mins


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the shortening and 1/2 cup of brown sugar until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of flour and salt until well blended. Press into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake the crust for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until delicately browned. After removing the crust from the oven, increase the heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. Make the filling while the crust is baking. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and 2 tablespoons of flour until well blended. Mix in eggs and vanilla, beating until thick and foamy. Stir in the coconut and chopped nuts. Spread over the warm crust.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bars are lightly browned and puffy. Cool completely, and cut into small bars.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 06, 2004

These bars are very very good. Moist and flavorful. We love coconut and walnuts, so I increased each by 1/2 cup. For an extra sweet treat, frost with cream cheese icing. These freeze well, too. Thanks Juanita!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jun 29, 2010

I find these overly sweet and soft. The best part of them for me was the walnuts. I will not make them again.


11 Ratings

Jul 30, 2003

These bars were fairly simple to make and the ingredients were on hand. They were pretty good, however I thought the crust was a little bit too salty. If you use unsalted butter, then adding the salt is probably a good idea, but if you are using salted butter, don't add very much salt. It doesn't need it. I will probably make this again, but I think I will continue my search for the ultimate coconut bar cookie.

Oct 14, 2014

These bars were magnificent! I used Nutiva red palm oil / coconut oil shortening and the crust simply melted in your mouth. Absolutely phenomenal. I also used unsweetened shredded coconut and the overall taste was sweet but certainly not overly so. I gave a bunch out to my neighbors and the response was incredible. Definitely a keeper!

Mar 18, 2014

Turned out great. My hubby doesn't like nuts so I substituted dark chocolate chips for the nuts.

Dec 31, 2012

This recipe similar to the recipe my mother made and was a personal favorite. We called them chews. The main difference was her recipe did not have salt or walnuts.

Sep 04, 2012

These cookie bars brought back such great memories. As a child in the 60's we went to Nanny's house in Halifax and these were the buffet drawer favorite. Captured the memory exactly! Thank you!

Mar 16, 2009

Yum! I halved the recipe and baked in a 9x9 inch brownie pan, so I cut each baking time by 5 minutes. For my fiancee's benefit, I replaced the walnuts with 1/2 cup chocolate chips and I also added 1/4 cup rolled oats. I chose this recipe because the name was interesting and because I prefer classic recipes, but I'm glad they turned out well. ;p Going into the recipe book for sure.


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  • Calories
  • 110 kcal
  • 6%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 10.3 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol
  • 10 mg
  • 3%
  • Fat
  • 7.5 g
  • 11%
  • Fiber
  • 0.9 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 1.4 g
  • 3%
  • Sodium
  • 44 mg
  • 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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