I LOOOOOOOVE coconut. Tony does not. I would be lying if I said that this didn’t cause some amount of strife in our household. It’s really no fun to eat an entire coconut dessert all by yourself. No matter how delicious it starts out to be, by day three it tastes awful. And no one should feel that eating coconut custard or coconut pie is drudgery.
Chewy Coconut Bars are one of those desserts I have enjoyed since my childhood and which I take everywhere a potluck calls for a dessert item. Thus I am guaranteed to enjoy one or two, and others get the pleasure of gooey, caramely coconut and a sweet crust. It’s a win-win. This past weekend I made these for a friend’s surprise birthday party and then I FORGOT TO BRING ANY HOME. There were still some left when we left the party, and there were still lots of people at the party, so it was nice of me to leave them, but by the time the boys were in bed, I wished I had saved just one more for me. Oh, well. I’ll just have to make them again. They’re so stinkin’ easy.
So go ahead! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees! You know you want to!
Start with the crust, which is a delicious combination of 1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 cup flour. Mix it all up really well and press it into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan:
Put the crust into the oven for ten whole minutes, then take it out – but leave the oven on for the next bit.
In a big bowl, mix up 2 well-beaten eggs, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup Karo syrup (corn syrup), and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Add 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix well. Then add your sweetened, flaked coconut (I use two of the $0.99 bags, but the recipe might call for only one. It’s really hard to tell because my recipe is a photocopy of my grandmother’s recipe, in her handwriting, and the bottom edge is cut off. I’ve experimented, and I think you want about 4 cups of coconut, which seems to be about 2 of the smallish bags).
(My grandmother’s recipe also calls for chopped walnuts to be added at this point but I’ve never done that. You could, though.)
Spread the coconut mixture all over your crust.
Then pop the whole mess into the oven for 25 minutes. When they’re done, remove them from the oven and let them sit for awhile. Like, maybe a couple of hours. This is the hardest part.
Once they are cool, you can cut them up into bar cookie chunks and eat them. Oh, so so good!
Chewy Coconut Bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1/2 Cup softened butter
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
1 Cup flour
Mix well and press into pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Cup Karo syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 to 4 Cups sweetened flaked coconut
Mix eggs, brown sugar, Karo syrup, and vanilla in large bowl. Add flour, baking powder, and salt, mix well. Add coconut and mix until all the coconut is coated with the liquid. Press on top of crust, bake for 25 minutes. Let cook and cut into squares.