Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Chocolate, Coconut, and Chaos
The chaos of the holidays has hit. I'm struggling to organize travel plans, get some early Christmas shopping done, and most urgently, buy all my Thanksgiving essentials before the grocery store turns into a madhouse. In the midst of all this, it's important to take time to enjoy the little things, like coconut and chocolate.
I'm a big fan of bars when it comes to potlucks and group events. These black-bottom coconut bars come together fast and are a crowd pleaser. Plus, they're like a macaroon and brownie in one, and when it comes to this time of year, even desserts should give you more bang for your buck.
Black-Bottom Coconut Bars
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 package sweetened shredded coconut (7 ounces), 1/2 cup reserved for sprinkling
For chocolate base: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving a slight overhang; butter bottom and sides of foil (not overhang). Place butter in a large microwave-safe bowl; melt in microwave. Add sugar and salt; whisk to combine. Whisk in egg, then cocoa and flour until smooth. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake just until sides begin to pull away from edges of pan, 10 to 15 minutes (do not overbake). Let cool slightly while preparing coconut topping. Keep oven on for topping.
For coconut topping: In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with sugar and vanilla. Gently mix in flour and coconut (except 1/2 cup reserved for sprinkling). Drop mounds of mixture over chocolate base; spread and pat in gently and evenly with moistened fingers. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup coconut. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Lift cake from pan, peel off foil, and cut into 24 bars.