I’ve had many a coconut bar over the years, but never made them until yesterday. This version from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion is billed as a less-sweet version of a more classic coconut bar, and it offers delicious flavor and great texture.
I’ve listed these as “version one” because there are several other recipes that I’d like to try, and I imagine some are much sweeter than this one. The subtle flavor profile of the topping – a delightful blend of toasted pecans, coconut, and dark brown sugar – is a nice balance to the shortbread-like crust. It’s definitely a good option if you’re looking for something with great flavor that’s not too sweet.
For the crust
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups flour
For the topping
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.
Make the crust: in a mixing bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, and salt; cream together until light and fluffy. Add flour and beat until just combined; the texture will look like coarse crumbs. Press into the bottom of the baking pan; bake for 15 minutes, until edges are light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly while you make the topping.
To make the topping, in a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. In a mixer, beat eggs until they’re light and lemon-colored. Add brown sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add flour mixture, coconut, and pecans; stir to combine.
Pour topping onto crust and spread evenly with a small offset spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely in the pan before cutting.
Makes 24 bars.