Coconut Recipes

Macadamia Nut Coconut Bars

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon for the pan
1/2 cup (firmly packed) light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups sifted unbleached flour

Macadamia Topping
1-1/2 cup salted macadamia nuts (about 7 ounces)
2 tablespoons sifted unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1 cup (firmly packed) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces shredded unsweetened coconut (about 2 cups)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and position a rack in the center. Turn a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan upside down. Press a 17-inch length of foil, shiny side down, onto the baking pan, shaping it to the sides and the corners with your hands. Remove the foil. Run tap water into the baking pan to wet it all over. Pour out all but about 1 tablespoon of the water, then place the shaped foil in the baking pan and press it gently against the bottom and sides to adhere. Put 1 tablespoon of the butter in the baking pan and melt in the oven. Using a piece of crumpled plastic wrap, spread the melted butter all over the foil. Place the baking pan in the freezer.

Make the brown sugar layer: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the stick of butter at medium-high speed until it is soft. Beat in the light brown sugar. Beat in the egg and the salt, then beat in the sifted unbleached flour at low speed until it is just incorporated.

Using a spoon, dollop the dough all over the bottom of the cold baking pan. With floured fingertips, pat the dough evenly to cover the bottom of the pan (it will be necessary to reflour your fingertips frequently). Bake this brown sugar layer for about 14 minutes, or until set. Remove from the oven and let stand. Leave the oven on.

Meanwhile, make the macadamia topping: Shake the macadamia nuts gently in a coarse strainer to remove any excess salt. Sift together the unbleached flour, the baking powder, and the salt, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, light brown sugar, and vanilla extract at medium speed until mixed. Beat in the sifted dry ingredients at low speed. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the macadamia nuts and two-thirds of the shredded coconut. Using a tablespoon, dollop the mixture evenly on top of the brown sugar layer and spread to form a smooth layer. Sprinkle the remaining shredded coconut on top.

Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the pan once, until the top is richly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

To slice, cover the pan with a flat board or a cookie sheet and invert. Remove the pan and peel off the foil. Cover with another board or cookie sheet and invert again so that the cake is right side up. Refrigerate or freeze the cake for 1 hour.

Using a large, heavy, serrated knife, cut the cake crosswise into quarters, then cut each strip crosswise into 8 bars, each about 3-1/4 inches by 1 inch (or halve these bars crosswise again to make pieces about 1-2/3 inches by 1 inch.)

Yield: 32 bars or 64 bite-size pieces



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