For whatever reason, I have posted shockingly few bar desserts on this blog. Not because I dislike bars—in fact, one might say I enjoy them to a dangerous degree—but probably because they are a little too easy, and we all know I have expressed great disdain for fast, easy desserts in the past. I like desserts that are complex and multi-layered, special-occasion treats that require slaving over a hot stove for hours to make.
And you know what? That’s a damn shame. Because bar desserts are frickin awesome.
Enter this recipe, taken straight from my latest cookbook acquisition, The Sweet Side of Ancient Grains by Erin Dooner.
|Easy to make, easy to eat too many and get sick to your stomach.|
I’ve had that cookbook on my GoodReads to-read list for a long time, so when I got it for my birthday this January I was positively chuffed. (See, I’m a bit of a cookbook addict, and no matter how many cookbooks I have I will always lust for more. It’s somewhat of a lost cause.) The book is filled with cookies and bars and pies and cupcakes made with, as the title would indicate, strangely-named ancient grains (e.g. teff, emmer) and whole grain flours. Not that they’re exactly light desserts, though. They’ve all got their fair share of fats and sugars and good-tasting ingredients that make dessert worthwhile. The whole grain thing is just a plus, and possibly a flavor factor as well.
Unlike many of the cookbooks I have, though, this one is mostly oriented towards easy desserts, expressing—gasp—open disdain towards layer cakes and such things. Which, ya know, to each their own. But I can overlook that because all the cookies and bars and stuff look so delicious.
I chose this recipe mostly because I had all the ingredients on hand, but also because they sounded so gooey and scrumptious, and they would be a perfect counterpart to the dark chocolate brownies my madre baked for the party. As always, I was right. They are scrumptious. I would say they are a bit more fudgy than gooey, but that’s okay, because who gives a shit. These are literally the most coconut-y blondies in existence, and the vegan white chocolate works perfectly in them.
|They're like little bricks of coconut-y deliciousness.|
One thing I must mention is that the white chocolate seems hopelessly gooey and melted right out of the oven, and it might cause you to despair a little upon seeing this pan of ruined, inedible blondies (totally not speaking from experience). Fear not! Just stick the pan in the fridge, and the chocolate will firm right up, infusing every inch of these bars with delicious cocoa butter flavor.
|Trust me on this one.|
Here’s the recipe.
Coconut white chocolate blondies
Adapted from The Sweet Side of Ancient Grains by Erin Dooner
85 grams • coconut flakes (sweetened or unsweetened) • 1 cup
84 grams • coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons
300 grams • light brown sugar • 1 ½ cups
8 grams • coconut extract • 2 teaspoons
2 grams • vanilla extract • ½ teaspoon
16 grams • Ener-g egg replacer • 2 tablespoons
90 grams • water • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons
3 grams • salt • ½ teaspoon
188 grams • white whole wheat flour • 1 ½ cups
170 grams • vegan white chocolate, roughly chopped • 6 ounces
If desired, you may toast your coconut lightly on a stovetop, just until it turns mostly golden-brown. This adds a little extra tasty coconut-y flavor, but it is not required.
To begin, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together melted coconut oil, sugar, coconut extract, and vanilla until well combined. Whisk together egg replacer and water in a measuring cup until the powder dissolves, then add to the mixing bowl and stir to combine. Fold in flour and salt until very few streaks of flour remain. Fold in coconut and chopped white chocolate.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan and spread out into an even layer. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until the middle is set and the blondies have lightly browned. Let cool for about half an hour on a wire rack, then transfer to the fridge to firm up a bit. Slice into bars. Munch.
|Imperfect, but still tasty.|
For more bar desserts, click these links.
Pumpkin pie chocolate brownies. Can’t decide if you want pumpkin pie or brownies? Why not both!
Lemon blondies with thyme buttercream. The classiest bars ever.
Classic chocolate brownies. When you want to go back to basics.
Sweet and salty pecan pie bars with bourbon caramel. These are over-the-top good.