Chocolate Macaroon Bars
I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! It certainly doesn't feel like a Monday, and I'm perfectly okay with that. I'm also at peace with a few more days of indulgence. This is one of the few times when it actually feels "normal" to bake a ridiculous amount of...everything.
Statistically, with all the baking I've done the last few weeks, it was only a matter of time before coconut made a deliciously dramatic entrance. Basically, these are coconut macaroons sitting on top of a brownie and drenched in ganache. If you love Mounds candy bars, I think you'll be crushing on these thick, chewy, squares of joy. So please, dig in and enjoy the last few days of "this doesn't count because it's the holidays," mentality.
Chocolate Macaroon Bars (adapted from allrecipes)
1 cup (that's 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
4 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. pure almond extract
1/2 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp butter
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, leaving a slight overhang around the edges. Butter and flour the entire fan, gently tap out any excess flour.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
In a separate large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy (about 3-5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. (Try not to over-mix.)
Spread the batter into the prepared pan, cover, and set aside as you prepare the coconut layer.
In a large bowl (you can use the bowl that contained the flour mixture), combine the coconut, sweet milk, and almond extract. Using a large rubber spatula, stir until everything is well combined.
Spread the coconut mixture into an even layer over the chocolate batter.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the pan comes out clean. (Be sure it reaches into the chocolate layer.)
Remove the pan from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool completely before adding the ganache.
Ganache: Pour the chocolate chips into a heat proof bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream until it reaches a simmer. Add the butter and stir until melted. Heat to just Below a boil and pour over the chocolate. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes. Stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and satiny. Pour over the cooled bars and spread evenly. Chill the bars in the refrigerator until the ganache has set.
Makes 20-25 bars