Brownies….with (or without) Coconut

Let me preface this recipe by telling you that it is in no way healthy for you. However, it has been known to lift my spirits, particularly around “that time of the month.” A friend of mine tweaked this basic brownie recipe when she went through culinary school, and honestly, it’s one of the best darn brownies–the thin crust on top and the gooey center–I have ever eaten…..seriously. Not to mention that if you’re stuck with only a few hours before some unexpected dinner guests are to arrive, this dessert is a good option, as the ingredients do not need to be at room temperature prior to baking. If you have the ingredients stocked in your pantry, you’ll be good to go in about 30 minutes flat.

I’m not sure what possessed me to add coconut to the batter last night, but I may just never go back to the original brownie recipe- ever. The coconut takes this brownie to a whole new level! In my opinion, the coconut mellows out the brownie, which can be overwhelming with chocolate for some people. Of course, you also can omit the chopped chocolate pieces in this recipe if you’re trying to be “good”, but there’s something about that liquid chocolate that melts into your mouth when you take a bite, that I can’t live without. So I say, keep em’ in!

Since Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, and you might need a decadent dessert recipe, these brownies would do nicely. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you could cut the brownies into heart shapes once they’re cooled.

1/2 c. + 2 Tbl. flour

1/2 c. + 2 Tbl. dried cocoa

1/2 c. dried, unsweetened coconut  

1/4 tsp. salt

3 lg. eggs

1 1/4 c. sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter

3/4 c. chopped chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly butter a 9″ square baking pan; set aside. Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl with a whisk;  meanwhile, on low heat, bring the butter to a low simmer. Add eggs, sugar, and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl. Once the butter is hot and bubbling, pour it into the bowl with the egg mixture. Slowly add the dry ingredients; mix thoroughly. Stir in the chopped chocolate; pour into baking pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, depending on your oven. The brownies should be slightly cracked and bubbled on top; cooked, but still slightly gooey in the center. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting.

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