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.
Oh, I could use one of those right about now! The combination of chocolate and coconut is so classic. I’ll definitely have to give these a try.
These look sooo yummy! I just happen to have some of those coconut ribbons/chips/flakes, too!
What a fantastic looking treat. These look so decadent and delicious! I’m sold!
I’ve become quite enamored with coconut in recipes lately…these look like an addiction waiting to happen!
These look like they may have to be made this weekend! I’m a huge lover of all things chocolate and coconut too!
Yum! These look great! I love the Union Market, they have great baked goods….terrible coffee, but the baked goods yum. I love coconut too, so this is a winner. I have never used coconut flakes ( or chips!?) so good to know they add a different dimension in a recipe.
These look great and I just happen to have coconut chips leftover from making a batch of granola. Thanks for the inspiration.
I love seeing a recipe and a photo and knowing exactly how it’s going to taste. And then there’s the feeling of needing to bake/cook them right away. One quick question before I preheat the oven: light brown sugar or dark brown sugar?
Elleen, enjoy – they make a great pairing.
Oh good, Amy, there’s no stopping you, then 🙂
Thanks Katie, they are delicious. Enjoy.
I definitely agree with you, Joanne! Such an addiction for sure.
I remember seeing a coconut-chocolate cake on your blog, Jacqui! I sense deliciousness in your future.
Hag, agreed about their coffee 🙂 But go try the chips – they are great to snack on too!
Molly – I’ve used both and I prefer the darker brown sugar. I actually brown sugar myself and err on the side of dark. I hope you enjoy these, please let me know 🙂
This looks so decadent! I want some now. Coconut ribbons are delicious. I snack on them sometimes but have never added them to baking before. I’m going to have to come back to this recipe soon.
Yum, these look amazing! I will have to try and find coconut ribbons, yum! 🙂
I love these bars, yummy. Coconut and chocolate were made to go together.
Delicious!!!! This popped up in my email this morning… 45 minutes before some girlfriends arrived for coffee and, thankfully, I had all the ingredients on hand (coconut ribbons are a staple in our house: toasted with cinnamon = yum!). I substituted coconut flour as we are grain free… And these are wonderful. And so, so easy. I don’t bake =)
I am off to track down your recipe on Poppytalk for, was it, Cherry Chocolate Pistachio ice cream? That’s how I found you and just love your site. I promised my friends I would share that recipe as well =) Thank you!
Do you think these would ship well? Would they need any modifications to help them hold up? I am sending a care package to a friend who’s favorite flavors are chocolate and coconut- so these look perfect!
If you like cabbage, the japanese pancake at 101cookbooks is fantastic! I swap the wheat flour for garbanzo flour and usually skip the toppings. DELICIOUS!!
I like chocolates, i would definitely try this, thank for sharing
These look amazing. And, even though my belly is totally full right now, I could eat 2! So delicious, I’m sure. I haven’t seen ribbon coconut here anywhere. Going to keep my eyes peeled for it. xo
Ribbon coconut is new to me, and I need to try it! These look so soft and chewy and moist and yeah, I have to hold myself back from running out to the store right now…:)
I have a forgotten bag of ribbon coconut sitting in my cupboard that needs to be made into these squares – I bought it for the outside of a coconut layer cake and haven’t made another one since, although as I type this, I am thinking that this is wrong. I will be making these squares AND a coconut layer cake tomorrow. Overkill for sure, but of the most delicious kind. Thank you for reminding me about ribbon coconut.
These look great! Love coconut. Guess I’ll have to try the recipe AND check out Union Market next time I’m in Vancouver! Thanks for the recipe.
I had a chunk of bittersweet Callebaut in the fridge left over from Christmas baking so I whipped these up last week (so fast and easy). Delicious! Gone in two days…
I love that vintage pyrex dish!
Hey Jeannette! I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award because I think you are awesome. You should take a look here: http://jingersnaps.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/what-the-what-now-the-kreativ-blogger-award/
🙂 Thanks for being such an inspiration!
I just bought some ribbon coconut from Whole Foods!! And am a coconut fiend. Definitely going to try these bars out. I like that you opted not to drizzle them with chocolate. I wouldn’t want the coconut flavour to be too lost!
Yummm! I have to go on the hunt for ribbon coconut. I’ve surprisingly had some trouble finding it, but I really NEED it now 🙂
Joanne, they make the perfect snack and I may or may not be snacking on some right now!!
Good luck, Sara, it’s worth the search!
Totally agreed, WOD!
Nicole K, so glad you made these and that they worked well with coconut flour!! So glad you found my blog and enjoy the ice cream!!
Amy, I think they’re pretty sturdy so they should do okay. I’d just wrap them well. Good luck!
Thanks Darien, I’ve had similar pancakes at Japanese restaurants and always wanted to recreate okonomiyaki myself! I’ll try out that recipe, thanks!
Achowlife, it’s worth seeking out – go & seek!! And 2 slices isn’t enough, just saying 🙂
DP, it’s so totally worth it. Enjoy!
Haley, overkill is sometimes the only way.
Thanks Torie for stopping by!
Jody, so glad you liked these. The fact that they’re so easy makes them a bit dangerous, don’t you think?
Thanks Gemma, but it’s not vintage! I found it at a discount department store a few years ago. I should have bought 2!
Aw, thanks for the sweet words and the nomination, Jinger!! You are too kind!! Thank you.
Ashley, I love that these have just the right amount of chocolate. I think they’d be way too rich otherwise. Glad you agree 🙂 Enjoy the coconut!
I can’t find any words…
This looks sooooo delicious!! Thank you for this post…:-)
These were good, but I’m not sure I would make then again. It’s a pretty high calorie / high fat recipe and although they were all consumed quickly and no one DISliked them, they didn’t garner the same enthusiasm as other ELS treats, like the banana chocolate bread.
I agree with Robert F. I really liked the concept of having a blondie-like treat with dark chocolate and coconut (I used fresh coconut that I shaved pieces off of since we don’t have the ribboned coconut here in Mexico and coconuts are widely available fresh). The only comment I have is that mine came out overly sweet, so we ate small pieces of them and it took us a while to finish the dessert.
Robert F, too bad you didn’t love them. You could always reduce the sugar by a 1/4 cup and suffer no ill effects.
Carolyn O, you could also reduce the sugar like I mentioned to Robert. That would definitely cut down on the sweetness.
Thanks for this recipe, I’ve made them a couple of times already and literally every single person who’s had them… was crazy about them. 🙂
And I actually have wrapped them in sandwich paper and sent them to friends, they always arrived in perfect condition and tasting totally fresh (or so I was told).
Luci, I’m so glad to hear it!! I love this recipe and I plan on making it again soon. Hooray!