Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chunk Bars

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes one

    9 × 13 × 2 inch

    squares

Appears in

Coconut in all forms is a favorite of mine, and these bars combine it with a buttery pastry base, pecans, and bittersweet chocolate chunks. Of course you can use chocolate chips, but the chocolate chunks allow you to use a much better quality chocolate in the topping.

Ingredients

Dough

  • cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces ( sticks/175 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar

Topping

  • cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 4 large eggs
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2⅔ cups (7-ounce/200-gram package) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups (about 8 ounces/225 grams) pecan pieces, coarsely chopped
  • 12 ounces (350 grams) bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, cut into ¼- to ½-inch (6-mm to 1-cm) pieces
  • One 9 × 13 × 2-inch (23 × 33 × 5-cm) pan, buttered and lined fully (bottom and sides) with buttered parchment or foil

Method

  1. Set a rack in the lowest level of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).
  2. For the dough, stir together the Hour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  3. Beat the butter with the sugar in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed until soft and light, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. On the lowest speed, beat in the flour mixture, scraping down the bowl and paddle with a rubber spatula and continuing to mix until the dough is smooth.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape into the prepared pan. Press the dough down evenly, without compressing it too much, with the palm of your hand. Bake the dough until it is puffed and set and beginning to color, about 15 minutes.
  6. Set the pan on a rack. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Place the brown sugar in a large bowl and use a large rubber spatula to work in the eggs, one at a time, stirring until smooth after each. Stir in the granulated sugar and vanilla, then fold in the coconut and pecans.
  7. Use a small strainer to sift away any dust formed by chopping the chocolate, and fold the chocolate chunks into the topping.
  8. Scrape the topping onto the prebaked dough, using a small offset spatula to spread the topping evenly over the top.
  9. Bake until the filling is set and nicely colored, 20 to 25 minutes.
  10. Cool in the pan on a rack. Lift the slab of baked dough out of the pan and onto a cutting board before it has cooled completely. Cut the slab into 2-inch (5-cm) squares.

Storage

Keep these at room temperature if you are serving them within a day. If not, wrap and freeze them and make sure to defrost and bring to room temperature before serving.

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