I have a small obsession with the chocolate/coconut combination.
I don’t know why I love it so much – I just know that my children’s Almond Joys and Mounds from Halloween have suddenly disappeared (do not look in the very back of my freezer, behind the chicken nuggets, please).
So, my oldest was a little under the weather, and I had decided to keep him home from school. This was the second full day we had stayed home. (All day. With two boys.) Some of us were going stir-crazy. I needed a fun way to get the boys busy, so I figured we could bake something together. I searched around my house to see what we had on hand, and crazily enough, we had chocolate and coconut. Who would’ve guessed?
I quickly found this recipe that was just what we needed.
(And yes, ironically enough, this time it was an adult recipe.)
Chocolate Chip Coconut Bars, from Dessarts
2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 sticks butter
2/3 c sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
2 t vanilla
8 oz chocolate chips
1 c sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and butter a 9×13 pan.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a stand mixer, combine the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Slow down the mixer and add the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until just combined.
Spread half of the batter into the pan and then add the chocolate chip on top of this layer. Combine the coconut into the remaining batter and spread it over the chocolate chip layer.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Right off the bat I was drawn to this recipe because of how the chocolate was sandwiched in between the dough. I didn’t realize, though, how difficult it might be to spread that dough. I’ll back get to that in a minute.
Making the dough was easy – even with my helpers. My youngest just loves watching the whole process, while my oldest is all about dumping in ingredients and turning the mixer on and off. (Unfortunately all pictures of them turned out blurry, so you’ll just have to take my word that they were having fun.)
The dough was really sticky, except where it was touching the butter. So basically, it slid around on the bottom and stuck to our spatula on top. Finally with a combination spatula/metal spoon/clean finger method, we were able to make it work.
Adding the chocolate chips was fun for all – though when we make this again, I would definitely use the whole 12 oz bag, rather than just the 8 oz suggested.
It took a bit longer than 25 minutes in our oven, but we kept a careful eye on it. (Literally, my four-year old did his best to sit in the kitchen and watch the stove.) The edges turned out a little crisp, but that was because there was less dough there. I’ll be sure to keep everything an even thickness next time.
I’m raising my kids right – to like to bake and to enjoy the chocolate/coconut combo.
I’m a good mom.
(That day, at least. 😉 )