Saturday, March 15, 2014

chewy coconut bars - the brownie's lesser known cousin


The holidays lend me so much to be grateful for, my family, good health, and coconut bars! Well, less than good health after you eat them. But isn't that what the holidays are about. We suffer and scrape by on atkins and or weight watchers for the better part of the year just so we can eat chewy coconut bars today. This holiday season don't you think your family deserves to indulge a little, and what better way to gain back those 3 pounds than with this scrumptious chow-fection.


So before I start this recipe I want to get something off my chest. It's been really bugging me and, I don't think I can hold it in any longer. Okay...sigh...I guess here it goes. I really don't like n...uts in my desserts. Am I the only one who feels this way. I don't like it when you try to take a bite of something moist and chewy and then there's a nut obstructing your chew. It's like when you're on a date and you want to have this intimate moment with someone but your creepy friend is tagging along. Nuts are creepy friends. Actually that's where the origin of the word came from. When someone is being creepy, borderline stalkerish, you call them a nut. But anyways that's why in this recipe I didn't add any almonds or cashews, although you totally could and turn this into an homage to "almond joys". Keep in mind though I'm not saying that nuts do not have their place in the kitchen. I'm simply stating that I don't like them in my bars. Regardless they're going to taste great. However, such as cooking we live and learn and I did have some improvements to this recipe but you're just gonna have to read the post to find out.

Preheat your oven to 350. To start I'm going to cream together my butter and my sugar with my handy dandy spoonula. I didn't have the patience to do this but make sure you're butter is up to room temperature because that will make it a lot easier to incorporate into the sugar. Hence the lumps of butter in my batter. (In hindsight it really didn't matter)

If you look at the bottom of the post the recipe asks for packed brown sugar. What's the difference if I just scoop out a cup? Well if you've played with brown sugar you know that if you squeeze it it'll collapse. Volume measurements for brown sugar can only be precise if as a baker you have a consistent way of measuring. Otherwise you'll have cookies that are too sweet on tuesday, while one wednesday they'll be bland. The correct way to measure dry ingredients however, like flour, is to pile it in as lightly as you can and level off. Once your butter and sugar have creamed add in your eggs and your vanilla and combine. Also, as you can see, I didn't do that either and mine was a little harder to cream. In my defense my job isn't to show you how to do it,  it's to be the guinea pig to show you what not to do, so technically I did that on purpose. (Nice Save) By the way I just want to add that I'm not sponsored by Rubbermaid. The spoonula was just trying to let his family know that he's fine and to call the authorities to look into his kidnap. Just for the record I call it surprise adoption not kidnap.   Anyways, once it's all combined we can add in our dry ingredients, that would be the flour, the baking powder, and the salt.




With a batter like this one you don't need to worry too much about over mixing because it's not something like a muffin which needs to be light and fluffy. Next combine your coconut and the chocolate. Nuts are to also be added at this stage if you're feeling in that mood.

Right now is as good as any to tell you that I made a third mistake by not putting enough coconut. Not only are these called Chewy Coconut Bars, but the coconut provides the stability that the bars need when they are being cut. So as beautiful as mine turned out enhanced by a light coat of Photoshop, they could have been a million times better. But you won't make that mistake because I made it for you, your're welcome.




At this stage you should have a thick tan mixture resembling that of a brownie batter. Pour this into a greased 9 by 13 inch baking pan and evenly spread it around making sure to touch the corners of the pan with the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden and a toothpick comes out cleanly. Please please please do not cut into these hot. Because the butter content in this is pretty high if you cut into them warm they will most certainly fall apart. Once they have cold down, about 20 minutes. Transfer them to the refrigerator where you should hold them until they are nice and hard. Slice them in the pan and use a spatula to remove them. You can get 16 good sized pieces but if you're serving a large crowd cutting them in half will not offend anyone.


So there you have it my chewy coconut bars perfect for any holiday gatherings or just sharing with your loved ones. They definitely live up to their word and the nice part about them is they weren't too sweet. Although mine turned out delicious there were some flaws, but I only have confidence that you will thrive from my mistakes. Keep scrolling down for my *improved* recipe and check back soon for another delicious chow-fection. And as always,

Chow!

Recipe

Chewy Coconut Bars
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips (semi-sweet is substitutable)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or almonds (optional)
1 1/2 cup shredded coconut


This recipe was modified from from the amazing allrecipes.com so click the link to see the original

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