Make ’em coconuts for fudgy, layered brownies – Hillsboro Free Press

Coconut brownies feature a top and bottom layer of fudgy, flavorful brownies sandwiching a soft, light coconut layer in between.

This weekend, I came across an article by Gabrielle Drolet titled “In Defense of Potted Garlic: How Food Snobs Nearly Ruined My Love of Cooking”.

It’s a long read, but Drolet points out that cooking shortcuts are a great way to make cooking more accessible for people with disabilities.

She mentions – but does not specify – the fact that some people also use them to save time. The opinion piece addresses the idea that so many cooking shows, blogs, and posts are pushing the concept that there are “right” and “wrong” ways to prepare food, and some of those opinions end up by discouraging less experienced cooks from even trying to try something. New.

Personally, I overcame my need to always follow every recipe exactly, and by continuing to experiment, I learned which rules should be followed and which can be ignored.

This week, for example, I decided not to line my cake pan with parchment and spray it with cooking spray. I decided not to mix my wet and dry ingredients separately, then mix them thoroughly with a wooden spoon. I decided to ignore the directive to coat my chocolate chips in flour before incorporating them into the batter.

And I still ended up with delicious brownies – the rules are followed – and I’m sharing the result with you so you can end up with a great dessert casserole too, despite any rule-breaking behavior.

This is from the “Spaceships and Laser Beams” blog. You can find the original post at I added extra vanilla and chocolate chips in my version, while simplifying the instructions.

Coconut Brownies

Brownie Ingredients

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter, melted

2 eggs

3 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 heaped cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

coconut ingredients

2 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 tsp salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare an eight-by-eight-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.

For the brownie layer, in a mixing bowl, beat the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Stir in flour, cocoa powder and salt until combined, then stir in chocolate chips.

For the coconut layer, combine the coconut flakes, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. Stir until all components are well combined.

To assemble, evenly spread half of the brownie batter in the bottom of your prepared pan. Then, gently spread the entire coconut layer evenly over the brownie layer. Finish with an even layer of the remaining brownie batter.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the tops of the brownies seem set and just starting to pull away from the edges of the pan.

Let the brownies cool completely before slicing them so they are fully set. Store them in an airtight container.

These are super rich and really melting. The pan I made ended up being torn down in the office to rave reviews.

Based on the beautiful photos on the blog that provided me with this recipe, I guess the author likes to follow the rules – using his flour sifter, wooden spoons and a multitude of mixing bowls for each recipe he she prepares – and that’s OK.

We all have our own style in the kitchen. Some people welcome the extra steps. Some, like me, revel in eliminating hand-washing dishes from the process as much as possible.

At the end of the day, we all love to create, share and eat, and that’s really all that matters, potted garlic or not.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly recipe column by Lindsey Young, who describes herself as an enthusiastic home cook and can be reached through her website at

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