Monday, March 14, 2011

Coconut Bars

coconut bars

Last Christmas, I was given the Gourmet Cookie Book as a gift, but I hadn’t made anything out of it until now.

This book is awesome, filled with recipes from 1941 up to when the magazine shut down in 2009. The recipes are accompanied by info about the cookie, or the history & time period surrounding it.

The recipe I chose was coconut bars (since I’m on such a coconut kick lately), a recipe from the October 1953 issue. The book states that despite that months sophisticated offerings (poached bone marrow, neck of lamb Grecque, goose liver pies), readers responded to readers Miss Hope Austin's request for a cookie recipe “made with coconut and sprinkled with powdered sugar, that have a cake like bottoms and chewy tops”, much like a blondie.

IMG_7270

I wasn’t so sure about the recipe when I started out, the base is described as “cake-like”, but it’s quite dry and more like a cookie. I was pleasantly surprised when I tried the finished product though, It’s absolutely delicious. The crisp bottom works perfectly with the gooey top.

I would definitely recommend this cookbook, if not for the recipes then for the history and beautiful photography. It’s great for those of us who still mourn the loss of the great Gourmet magazine!

Coconut Bars
From The Gourmet Cookie Book

(This is how the recipe is written in the book, much different from the style of today. The recipe calls for walnuts, but I substituted pecans because I’m allergic to walnuts. Either would be great!)

Cream 1/2 cup of butter. Add gradually 1/2 cup brown sugar and beat until smooth. Stir in 1 cup sifted flour and spread batter in the bottom of a 8 inch square cake pan. Bake in a moderate oven (375) for 20 minutes.

Beat 2 eggs and 1 cup light brown sugar until smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup chopped walnuts, and 1/2 cup shredded coconut tossed with 2 tablespoons of flour and a pinch of salt. Spread this batter over the baked crust and continue to bake for 20 minutes longer. Cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into squares or bars.

38 comments:

  1. The topping reminds me of that of German chocolate cake! Lovely photos.

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  2. I also got this book for Christmas and have yet to make anything from it. I'll have to take a look through it soon!

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  3. Hannah, your photography is so beautiful and....peaceful. I think that's the right word :)
    cathy b.

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  4. coconut! these look great hannah, i love throwback recipes :) i also love that embroidered placemat (?), lovely styling!

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  5. Oh we love coconut bars! And we LOVE that this recipe is from 1953...it clearly can stand the test of time!

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  6. There's a party in my mouth just thinking about this! YUM!

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  7. Mmm, the smell of coconut drifting through the kitchen is so lovely, must make these soon!

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  8. I love that you are on a coconut kick, it is one of my favorite ingredients! I've wondered about this cookbook and I'm glad to hear your thoughts.

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  9. I love coconut so these are going in my to-make file! I've tried one cookie from the Gourmet archives (from the 1950s I think) and it was pretty disappointing. Will def give this one a go. Thanks!

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  10. yipee! i have all the ingredients. these are getting made TODAY!!

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  11. yum, yum, yum! coconut is my fave and hopefully i can try this one out soon!!

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  12. I love anything with coconut. Looks yummy as always!

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  13. So beautiful! I would love to add this cookbook to my collection. Reading the stories behind recipes always makes me want to make them even more.

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  14. This sounds delicious, and I love reading about food - stories about it, and history, and essays, and anything of that, sort, are GREAT. I too mourn the loss of Gourmet, what a tragedy...

    And in addition to all that, these sound INCREDIBLE. I LOVE coconut - my all-time favorite kind of doughnut is a well-made old-fashioned with maple glaze and topped with tons of coconut.

    - Jackson

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  15. These do look like they'd be right up my alley. I adore coconut and their texture and the cake/cookie bottom would balance wonderfully with that topping.

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  16. These look delish - definitely bookmarking and making these soon. Coconut is my weakness! :o)

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  17. Coconut - say no more! These sound wonderful and I'll have to try 'em out soon. 1953 must have been a good year (my birth year-LOL!)!
    Thanks for sharing!
    XoXoXo
    Joy

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  18. Your pictures are so inspiring...and these coconut bars really seem delicious...
    Nice blog

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  19. yummm.. I have almonds in the kitchen. Maybe it'll taste great too with them? Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  20. Coconut - yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy:))))))
    Absolutely delicious!


    www.everydayemotion.blogspot.com

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  21. Oooh these look scrumptiously delicious!

    thea.
    xx

    (spoonful zine)

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  22. I'm stunned! I love to follow and read food blogs and now that I stumbled across yours I feel like I could spend hours staring at it.
    You're making a wonderful work here. I can't wait to try some of those recipes soon.
    Hugs.

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  23. What a beautiful website you have. These bars look delicious and the Gourmet Cookie Book sounds like one I would love to own.

    -Brenda

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  24. Would you mind if I made these for my blog?? They look so good and I have coconut just lying around waiting to be put into bars.... : )

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  25. I was just saying I need to make something with the big batch of coconut in my pantry when I saw your recipe in my feed reader. Like you read my mind. I am definitely going to try these, they look delicious!

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  26. I made these today, and yes, the flavour was amazing .. but the inside (the brown sugar and egg mixture) was still gooey and sort of runny. Is there a way to avoid this? Should I just have cooked them longer even though the sides and tops were cooked? Would love to make them again, just with the egg cooked.

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  27. These look delicious... I'm definitely going to make them asap. Is there a preferable type of coconut (sweetened or unsweetened?)

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