Black Bottom Coconut Bars and the Art of Baking the Gift

June 10, 2011 § 1 Comment

When I don’t know what to give, I bake. Be it a distant friend’s birthday fiesta or a dinner party or whatnot, concocting something delicious seems a more personal present than the usual bottle of wine. Does he/she seem like a chocolate chugger? A vanilla villain? A peanut butter lover? Once I find out, I stir, pour, and mix away until the doing’s done and then wrap it in wax paper, then cellophane, then tissue paper, and tie ‘er up with a funky ribbon. So much sweeter than a boring bottle o’ tipsy. And always creates magic.

These BBC bars are so gooey. The textures of the crispy topping, creamy center, and crunchy nutty bottom are such a magnificent combo. I’m graduating college in less than a week (eek!) and made these for an intimate goodbye dinner among friends. Baked them the morning of, tied each bar up in red wrapping paper and blue ribbon, and gave them out at the end. Thanks, BBC bars. You were loved.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter + more for greasing pan
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Coconut Filling
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 package sweetened shredded coconut (7 ounces)

  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving a slight overhang; butter bottom and sides of foil.
  2. Heat butter on stove top or in microwave. In a bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, and salt. Whisk. While stirring, add egg, cocoa, and flour. Continue to mix until smooth. Spread evenly in prepared pan.
  3. Bake about 12 minutes, or until just set.
  4. While bottom cools, prepare filling: in a clean bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Mix. Gently fold in flour, followed by coconut (BUT set aside 1/2 cup for later).
  5. Drop globs of coconut topping onto crust and, with moistened fingers or a wet spoon, smooth until evenly distributed.
  6. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup coconut and bake in oven for 25 minutes, or until knife comes out almost completely clean.
  7. Cool in pan before lifting out and cutting into squares.

adapted from always amazing Martha.


Creamy Dreamy Coconut Cupcakes

May 7, 2011 § 2 Comments

You know when you’ve just finished something amazing, and you get that wonderful feeling that begins in your soul and infiltrates every part of your body? That beaming pride, that feeling of accomplishment that swells your pumping heart, as you gaze at your finished product (or, in this case, consume it) and are astounded that it is INDEED a product of your own two hands? Well, fellow food friend, it has just happened to me with these toothsome treats.

The cake-base of the cupcake is so moist, so delicate, and most divinely complimentary to the viscous, buttery coconut cream that lives within and above it. To top it off? A refreshing dollop of cool, freshly whipped cream. Sprinkle some coconut shavings for the finishing touch, and shaBANG. We’ve got ourselves a prize winner [gobbled up in extreme velocity by those I made them for].

Oh, coconut, how delicious you are.

[Makes about 15 cupcakes.]

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 can (about 6 ounces) coconut milk (NOT light! Get the one with as much fat as possible!)

Coconut Cream:
1/2 cup coconut cream (not coconut milk!)
1 cup toasted coconut flakes (bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 5-7 minutes)
1 tablespoon sugar

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line your cupcake tins with colorful cupcake liners!
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and continue to mix.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, flaked coconut, and baking powder. In small batches, stirring in between, add flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Do the same for the coconut milk.
  4. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely (at least 40 minutes).
  5. While cupcakes are cooling, mix coconut cream with toasted coconut. Make sure your cream is at room temperature or cold (just not warm or it’ll slide off your cupcake!).
  6. Slightly core cupcakes (only take out a little of center!) and fill hole with coconut cream, and smooth a 1/2 inch of cream over top of cupcake.
  7. Pipe or spread the whipped cream over coconut cream. Sprinkle with extra toasted coconut flakes. Gobble up!

Adapted from the delisioso Pastry Affair.

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