Friday, February 9, 2024

Coconut Guava Bars

Two bar cookies with a cookie base, guava preserves filling, topped with coconut struesel. Photographed on a black plate.

When I think about the things that I bake, there are a lot of flavors that I return to time and time again. I love oats, cinnamon, and anything with ginger. Apples are always great, and hazelnuts are my favorite. But there are some ingredients that I don’t use often, and it isn’t because I don’t like them, but I don’t actively look for recipes with those ingredients. I guess I don’t like pumpkin much, the texture isn’t my thing, so there aren’t many pumpkin recipes here.

This recipe originally called for apricot, which I love but just don’t use very often. Even with this recipe that called for apricot preserves, I knew full well when I saved it that I would try and think of a different sort of preserves to use. I had to figure out what would go well with coconut, and I was at a store with a lot of unusual and international products, and I found guava preserves. Giving this bar a Hawaiian twist sounded great.

This recipe calls for a 9” x 13” pan but gives the option of using a smaller 7” x 11” pan, and that was what I used. It seemed like the bars would be too thin using the larger pan. It was easier to spread the dough in the smaller pan, and my jar of guava preserves was slightly smaller than what the recipe originally called for, so I think it was the right choice. These bars were sturdy and cut beautifully and have a wonderful fruity flavor. They were the perfect choice to remind you of the upcoming spring.

Coconut Guava Bars
¾ cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 ⅓ cups coconut
½ cup slivered almonds
1 jar guava preserves
Additional slivered almonds

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13”  or 7” x 11” pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium until light. Add the egg and vanilla and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder and then add it to the mixer with the mixer running on low. Stir in the coconut and slivered almonds.

Press 2/3 of the dough into the prepared pan. Top with an even layer of guava preserves. Crumble the remaining 1/3 of the dough over the preserves. Top with additional slivered almonds.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Recipe adapted from That Skinny Chick Can Bake

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