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Now, on to the food.  This week my pal Chelle and I decided to bake something together again.  We tossed around a few ideas, and decided on these blondies.  I will admit that I don’t make blondies all that often because they seem so similar to a chocolate chip cookie, and if I am choosing between the two, I will pretty much always bake my favorite chocolate chip cookies.  Blondies almost always contain various forms of chocolate or candy or chips, and often become a catch-all for the leftover half-bags of various mix-ins you have in the pantry.  I preferred these to the usual blondie because the coconut provided a nice chewy texture and good flavor.  I also supplemented it with a little bit of coconut extract I had on hand just to bring the flavor out a little more.  These took all of 10 minutes to prep and 20ish minutes to bake.  These are some wonderful tasty treats, and it’s hard to beat the speed and simplicity of blondies.  

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Chunk Blondies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

For drizzle and garnish: (optional)
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
1 tsp. butter or shortening
Sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour an 8- by 8-inch square baking dish.  In a small bowl, sift together the flour and salt; set aside.  In another mixing bowl combine the melted butter and brown sugar and beat until well combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, and mix until incorporated.  Mix in the vanilla and coconut extracts until well blended.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until they have been incorporated.

Add the shredded coconut and chocolate chunks to the bowl, and fold in with a rubber spatula until evenly distributed.  Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until set in the center but still soft.  Do not over bake.  Let the bars cool slightly before drizzling.  

To make the drizzle, combine the chocolate chunks and butter or shortening in a small, heatproof bowl.  Microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted and smooth.  Transfer the melted chocolate to a plastic bag with a very tiny piece of the corner cut off and drizzle over the bars.  Sprinkle with additional shredded coconut before the chocolate sets, if desired.  Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Source: adapted from