Monday, June 1, 2015

Coconut Dream Bars

With the warmer weather upon us, all I can think about is kicking back with an icy pina colada on a beach. I can almost feel the salty air whipping through my hair, the sand rubbing between my bare toes, and the ice cubes clinking against the glass in my cocktail...I've been playing a lot of tennis outside and there's nothing more refreshing than a cold drink after a sweaty match.

The scent of coconut brings me back to lazy summer days. These bars make great treats to bring to a picnic with your friends, to a barbeque, or why not take them to that dreamy beach with a pina colada in hand? 

These bars smelled remarkably good, I replaced some of the all-purpose flour in the original recipe with coconut flour. When I mixed the batter, I couldn't get over how aromatic the coconut flour was.  Coconut flour is also gluten-free for those looking for avoiding gluten in their diet and it's higher in fibre than all-purpose flour (for more info on coconut flour and it's benefits, visit

The bottom layer of these bars is a shortbread topped with a sticky coconut mixture. These bars are best the day they are made, the next day I found the shortbread had absorbed the moisture from the top layer and didn't retain its crisp texture anymore. Regardless, the filling is not too sweet, it's chewy and marries well with the buttery shortbread. 

Coconut Dream Bars
Adapted from Posie Harwood via Food52 

If you can't find coconut flour, you can use all-purpose flour instead. I left out the walnuts from the original recipe and used 1/2 cup less of shredded coconut and still enjoyed these bars. Also, Posie cut her bars into 9 pieces, but I was able to cut these into 12 smaller pieces. 

For the shortbread layer

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

For the coconut layer
2 large eggs
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a 8-inch square pan with a parchment paper.

Mix together the softened butter, flour, and brown sugar. Press the dough into the base of your pan, making sure to keep the layer even. Prick the dough in several pla
ces with a fork.
Bake the bottom layer for 15 minutes.

In a stand mixer, beat the two eggs on high until very pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the brown sugar and beat for several minutes, until light and thick.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add it to the egg mixture along with the coconut, vanilla, and nuts. Mix until thoroughly blended.

Pour the coconut mixture over the shortbread crust. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around the edges. 
Let cool, then slice and remove from pan. Keep in an airtight container.

Recipe here!

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