Brown Sugar Coconut Brownies
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!
Brown Sugar Coconut Brownies
Yield: about 18 brownies, but it depends on how big you cut them
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.
Source: Adapted from my mom's recipe