This summer I feel like I have fallen a little into a dessert rut. Every week I make brownies, cookies or bars for my husband to take on the boat for lunch, and to keep the cookie jar full for the kids and guests. Sometimes, I have to make dessert twice a week to keep the jar full. I am not going to lie, it can be exhausting to think of a new dessert that is easily transportable, delicious, reasonably quick to make and with no special ingredients that require a trip to the store. I find myself feeling slightly uninspired to really take the time to research something new and exciting this time of the year. I am more concerned about getting all the fresh fruit I can to preserve into jam, or making ice cream, going to the beach with the kids, or weeding the garden. I just don’t always have the time and energy to expend for cookies. So, I tend to find myself in a cycle of making the same ol’ recipes that I know well. That is when I decided that perhaps shaking up the recipes I know and love a little might make a difference. Instead of sitting down and pouring over cookbooks, blogs or bookmarked recipes, I can just throw some different ingredients into a regular and boom, a new dessert completely is formed.
These bars have always been a favorite of ours, but I decided that perhaps a little coconut and espresso powder would jazz them up and make them less like our favorite chocolate chip cookies that I make at least once a month, if not more. My husband is a big coconut fan, and it’s something I don’t bake enough with. Partly because our school has a coconut and nut ban due to so many rising allergies, so in return, I have learned to just stay away from those treats. But not during the summer! Anyway, these brownies are soft, and chewy with just the right balance of coconut verses chocolate. I mean really, you can’t go wrong with these bad boys. Hello new and improved brownies, goodbye baking rut!
Recipe adapted from my mom’s recipe
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 16 Tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x13 inch pan. Set aside. First toast the coconut. Evenly spread the coconut in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often to ensure the coconut doesn't burn. Cook until most of the coconut is a nice golden brown. Remove from the heat and let cool while you mix the brownie batter.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and creamy on medium-high speed, about 2-3 minutes. Blend in the vanilla extract and eggs and beat until smooth again, 1-2 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and espresso powder. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and beat just until smooth and fully incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips and toasted coconut.
- Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Let cool before slicing.