I love trying to recreate some of my favorite things from local shops and restaurants. I first tried my hand at the UBC cake from the Uprising Bakery. I think I did pretty well and that recipe has been the most popular recipe on this site for years. I’ve done a play on the Najib’s Special cauliflower dish from Nuba. Again, a success. And then there’s the Union Market, a small and long-time running local haunt that puts out some seriously delicious baked goods for all the neighbourhood to enjoy. I tried to recreate their cinnamon buns and while mine were delicious, they just weren’t built the same as the ones from the Union. It’s okay, I’ll still visit the market for their sweet buns. And their flakey and amazing croissants.
But the Union Market has another treat that I really, really love – their coconut chocolate macaroon bars. They’re dense, buttery and rich and chock full of chocolate and coconut. For me, coconut and chocolate is a pairing for the ages. You just can’t go wrong and these bars capture all that is right. So when I spotted a similar sounding recipe on Pinterest, I was interested. Very interested. Lucky for me, the results were perfectly similar.
I think the key to success is to use ribbon coconut (I’ve noticed this lately mentioned on blogs as “coconut chips”). The wide ribbons of coconut really add chew and texture where the shredded stuff just can’t keep up. It’s key, I think in re-creating these bars. Good chocolate is also highly desirable. I like the bitter-sweet stuff, but semi-sweet works well too.
The Union Market drizzles their bars with chocolate, but for me, that’s overkill. Too much sweetness. I like the plain jane approach – but trust me, there’s nothing plain about these squares. Nothing. I urge you to bake up a batch as soon as you can. I’m sure you’ll find yourself making these often – I’m already planning my next batch.
elsewhere: If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know that I’ve got a cabbage problem. I love it and eat it all the time. So I had to share my latest cabbage slaw obsession over at Poppytalk: Sunshine Citrus Slaw. It’s delicious and I’ve been eating it all week long. Enjoy!
union market coconut chocolate macaroon copycat bars
(adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker)
1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
1 c brown sugar
1 large egg
1½ t vanilla extract
1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 t salt
1 c unsweetened ribbon coconut (aka coconut chips)
1 c semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour an 8″ square baking pan. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the melted butter with the sugar, egg and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour and salt and mix until combined. Stir in the coconut and chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden. Don’t overbake. Cool and then slice into squares.