Recipe: Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars

I had a major sweet tooth attack on Saturday night. It was severe. I couldn’t just ignore it. I thought about having some granola, but I also had some ants in my pants and thought it might be fun to bake something. I normally blame all of my sweet-baking on my husband, but this was definitely my fault. It didn’t help that I was thumbing through a new cookbook I had gotten a week earlier and just had to make these sweet bars. I eyed the ingredient list and only had to make a few variations. So, I put our Scrubs marathon on hold and threw on some music.
These gooey-coconutty-chocolatey bars were the result, moonlighting as a magic cookie bar. The recipe did call for a heck of a lot of brown sugar and while I love it, I also love my teeth. So, I cut the brown sugar called for in the filling, in half (reflected in the recipe below). The end result was nutty, sweet, and gooey cookie bar that begged to be enjoyed with a full glass of milk. Yum!


The plan was to make this to satisfy my need to bake and my Saturday-night sweet tooth, not to serve it to our Sunday dinner guests. These bars were so tasty, M told me to serve them to our guests instead of a tart. What? That’s right. So after I pulled dinner from the oven I turned the over off and threw the bars in to get all warm and gooey. I served the bars topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The plates were scrapped .

Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars

recipe slightly adapted from SoNo Baking Company Cookbook

{makes about 20 bars}

Crust:

10 tablespoons (1 stick + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:

1 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup sweetened coconut
1/2 cup organic unsweetened coconut
6 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup hazelnuts coarsely chopped
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Set the oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 350-degrees. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.

2. To make the crust: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. Beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour until absorbed.

3. Press the dough over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Set on a baking sheet and bake, rotating the sheet about halfway through the cooking time, until the crust turns an even blond color and is cooked through and crisp- 10-12 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven, but don’t turn the oven off.

4. To make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk to blend. Whisk in the flour. Fold in the coconut, oats, and nuts. Spread the filling over the crust. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips.

5. Bake, rotating the pan about two-thirds of the way through the baking time, until the filling is set to a soft and chewy, cookie-like texture, 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
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