Friday, May 16, 2008

Black Bottom Coconut Bars

Joe made a rare request for me to make something for him this past week. His evening communications class was meeting for the final time this semester and they were having a pot luck. He needed something that wouldn't need to be reheated and could sit in his car all day while he was at work. I quickly wnet through the recipe file in my mind and pulled out the card for this little desert.

Black Bottom Coconut Bars are delightful! A moist, chewey macaroon on top, and a rich, lucious brownie on the bottom. I've made it a number of times and it is a favorite. I make it for pot lucks, summer parties, and on some years it's been part of a Christmas cookie package that I deliver to my friends and coworkers.

They are rather decadent, so I suggest cutting them into little squares. Or, I may cut them into bigger squares next time and split them diagonally to make triangles. That would be nice too. Either way, your family and friends are sure to enjoy these Black Botom Coconut Bars.

Black Bottom Coconut Bars
Every Day Food Magazine

For the Chocolate Base
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

For the Coconut Topping

2 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 package (7 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut;

½ cup reserved for sprinkling

For chocolate base: Preheat oven to 375°. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving a slight overhang; butter bottom and sides of foil (not overhang).

Place butter in a large microwave-safe bowl; melt in microwave. Add sugar and salt; whisk to combine. Whisk in egg, then cocoa and flour until smooth. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake just until sides begin to pull away from edges of pan, 10 to 15 minutes (do not overbake). Let cool slightly while preparing coconut topping. Keep oven on for topping.

For coconut topping: In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with sugar and vanilla. Gently mix in flour and coconut (except 1/2 cup reserved for sprinkling).

Drop mounds of mixture over chocolate base; spread and pat in gently and evenly with moistened fingers. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup coconut.

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan. They will be much easier to cut cleanly if the entire batch is cooled for several hours.

Lift the cake from pan, peel off the foil, and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container 3 to 4 days.

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