As I continue my venture into gluten-and-grain free cooking, as well as avoiding refined sugars, I have been using more coconut products in my baked goods–the oil is great for flaky scones, for instance, and the flour makes a good substitute for grain-based flours. Tropical Traditions recently sent me a sample of their Virgin Coconut Oil for review, and I decided to capitalize on the coconut flavor to make these citrusy, coconut brownie bars.
I made a few batches before I was completely happy with the flavor and texture, and ended up with something I am really happy with–I used a blend of honey and stevia to sweeten these, so they are not sugar free, but are low in sugar (particularly for a bar cookie). The result is really moist, dense, and lemony, and the downside is that you will want to eat the whole pan. The combination of coconut oil, flour, milk, and toasted coconut adds some rich flavor.
Some notes on this recipe: coconut flour is made from defatted coconut, and the level of fat left in the flour varies from brand to brand. Because of this, some brands will absorb more moisture than others, so while I used 1/2 cup of coconut milk in my recipe (using different brands of flour for each batch), you may need a little more or a little less. Erring on the side of too-thin batter is not a disaster, it just makes the bars less stable/more crumbly.
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup Virgin Coconut Oil
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon zest
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 5 packets dry stevia extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, lightly toasted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium, microwave-safe mixing bowl, heat the honey and coconut oil for about a minute, or until the oil is liquid. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla, and then whisk in the eggs and lemon zest.
- In a small bowl, stir together the coconut flour, sea salt, stevia, and baking powder until well combined. Stir this into the coconut oil mixture. After a couple of minutes this is going to get very thick, as the coconut flour absorbs the moisture. At this point, stir in enough of the coconut milk to have the consistency of thick pancake batter (start with a ¼ cup and see if you need to add more).
- Spray an 8 by 8 inch baking pan with cooking spray, and spoon in the batter. Top with the toasted coconut, and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the center feels "set" when you lightly press down with your finger. Remove and cool completely before cutting (if they are still warm, they will fall apart).
- Note: I made these in a 6 by 10 inch pan, as well an 8 by 8--since the latter is more common, that is the size I called for, but the other pan worked well.
To toast the coconut, place it in a dry skillet and heat over medium, stirring frequently, until it just starts to brown. Remove from heat and cool. You may skip this step, but it adds nice flavor and color.
Pretty delicious, and great for grain free, vegan, and primal diets. Also great for people who eat anything…
Disclosure: Tropical Traditions provided product for review, but I was under no obligation to post any review, positive or negative, and all opinions are my own, and genuine. This recipe, for instance, is (in my honest opinion) extremely tasty. I hope you enjoy.
Thanks for reading,