I’m not generally a huge coconut fan. So, if you aren’t either, please, bare with me another few sentences.
I was at a family Christmas luncheon shortly before the holidays, where someone had made a version of these bars. Since, naturally, you gotta try everything on the dessert table, I reluctantly grabbed one of these squares on the way out the door—and it had me running to Ottawa’s brand new Whole Foods to purchase everything coco and nutty to recreate them.
When it comes to shredded coconut, I’m not crazy about the texture. But since these bars are primarily made with coconut oil and coconut butter, they are delectably smooth, rich and creamy. Not to mention that heavenly dark chocolate layer on top. Also, they are super easy to make—in fact, it contains only 5 ingredients, arguably 3, if you count the pure coconut products as one.
Coconut, although high in saturated fat, does have its health benefits as well. Its primary fatty acid, lauric acid, also found in high concentrations in breast milk, has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties. It is thought to improve cholesterol levels, and is great for your skin and hair. Just make sure you opt for coconut products that are organic and made of 100% coconut.
Surely, I must have won you over by now, no?
One last note on the difference between coconut oil, coconut butter, and shredded coconut, before you get started: coconut oil is simply the oil derived from pressing the coconut, where coconut butter is the entire meat of the coconut, ground up, and shredded coconut is the dry shredded coconut meat. All are solid at room temperature due to their high saturated fat content.
Yield: 16-20 squares
- ¾ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup coconut butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 ½ cups melted quality dark chocolate
- Melt coconut oil and coconut butter in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Once melted and well combined, remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and shredded coconut.
- Pour mixture into an 8×8 baking dish and let sit in refrigerator for one hour until hardened.
- Chop chocolate, if necessary, and melt in a double boiler (place a large glass bowl over a saucepan of lightly boiling water, and place chocolate in the bowl to melt). Depending on the size of your chocolate chunks, you may need to eyeball the amount of solid chocolate and slowly add more until you reach 1 ½ cups melted. I used my glass 2-cup measure as my glass bowl in the double boiler, to make it easy to see when I had reached 1 ½ cups of melted chocolate.
- Pour melted chocolate over hardened coconut layer, lightly sprinkle with shredded coconut, if desired, and return to fridge to fully harden (about 30 minutes).
- Once firm, cut into square of desired size and serve! They look lovely garnished with a few fresh red raspberries.
Recipe adapted from Delicious Obsessions