There are times when the cosmic forces of the blogging world all come together and I have an “a ha” moment about what exact recipe I should try next. One of those glorious moments occurred last week. A reader left a comment on my Facebook page asking if I had a recipe for a white chocolate brownie. I told her that sadly I did not, but that I would definitely put it on my list. It sounds pretty delicious, no? Then, the next day, I stole a bite of my Valentine’s Day present. The present is the biggest basket of Lindt chocolates (my favorite!) – truffles galore, gourmet mini dessert chocolates, and a variety of specialty chocolate bars. It might take me until next Valentine’s Day to eat my through it, but boy will I enjoy it! Anyway, one of the bars in the basket is white chocolate coconut. I took a bite and immediately swooned. For someone whose favorite chocolate is not white, and who isn’t the biggest fan of coconut, this was astounding. The combination just worked. It also made me want to be transported to a beach, toes in sand, and a creamy coconut drink with a little umbrella in my hand. But for the time being (i.e. before teletransportation is a reality), I knew exactly which direction I wanted to take the white chocolate brownie experiment.
Things weren’t entirely smooth sailing from the start. The first recipe that I put together and tested did not come out like I had hoped. The “brownie” tasted much more like a cookie bar and the white chocolate was not pronounced at all. Obviously, more testing was needed.
After sifting through tons of different recipes, looking at ingredient ratios and making notes for myself, I decided to do something that should have been fairly obvious from the beginning. Take my favorite brownie recipe and adapt it for white chocolate! And that’s exactly what I did. I used the Baked Brownie recipe, omitted the cocoa powder and espresso powder, used white chocolate and added coconut. The result was exactly what I was looking for – that same brownie texture, with a crackly top, a pronounced white chocolate flavor, and the sweet inflection of coconut.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt together.
3. Put the white chocolate and butter in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
4. Add 3 eggs to the white chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture and the coconut over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour and coconut mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.
7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.