Like a good chocolate chip cookie recipe, a good brownie recipe can be very versatile. While most batches will include chocolate chips or nuts, you can mix almost anything into a brownie batter to create a unique batch every single time. These Toasted Coconut Brownies are laced with plenty of toasted coconut, which infuses the brownies with a wonderful coconut flavor and keeps the rich bars slightly chewier than usual.
I started these brownies with sweetened untoasted coconut and toasted it myself at home (you can even do it in the microwave!). It only takes a couple of minutes to toast up some coconut, so it is well worth taking the time to do. Toasted coconut not only has a deep coconut flavor, but it has a hint of caramel nuttiness that you won’t get in untoasted coconut – and that nuttiness goes particularly well with chocolate. You can use unsweetened coconut in this recipe instead of sweetened coconut without making any changes to the recipe, but I usually use sweetened coconut because that is what I typically have on hand.
The brownie batter comes together quickly and easily, getting its chocolate flavor from unsweetened cocoa powder. There are times when I double down on the chocolate in a brownie recipe by adding unsweetened chocolate or chocolate chunks to the batter, but I wanted to make sure that the coconut wasn’t overwhelmed by chocolate, while still making the brownies rich enough to satisfy most chocoholics. The brownies are dense and fudgy, a great contrast for the toasted coconut. I finished my brownies with an extra sprinkling of shredded coconut, which toasted up in the oven while the brownies baked. The topping is optional, but it hints at what is inside of the brownies. If you are going to use a coconut topping, I recommend starting with untoasted coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) so that it doesn’t burn while the brownies bake. If you only have toasted coconut, keep a sheet of aluminum foil near by and create a loose tent over the brownies if necessary to prevent the topping from burning accidentally.
Toasted Coconut Brownies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup toasted coconut
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and lightly grease.
In a small microwave-safe bowl or a small saucepan, melt the butter and allow it to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine slightly cooled butter, sugar, eggs and cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Whisk in salt, vanilla extract and flour. Stir in coconut until well-distributed.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Allow brownies to cool in the pan, then lift the foil to easily remove them before slicing.