Chewy Is as Coconut Does: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I recently read a post on David Lebovitz's blog about Guittard Chocolate that included a recipe he adapted from the Guittard Chocolate Cookbook. I immediately added the recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars to my to-bake list. The bars looked so hearty and tasty, and they are full of things I love: chocolate, dried fruit, oats, and coconut.

The recipe is easy. You beat butter and dark brown sugar until fluffy; add egg, vanilla, and milk; add the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt); and stir in dried cherries, unsweetened coconut, oats, and chocolate chips. While the recipe is written for milk chocolate chips, I didn't have any and I used semisweet instead. You spread the batter into a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and bake.
My favorite part of these bars was the chewy texture from the coconut. But all of the different components in the bar shine with equal prominence. The cherries, chocolate chips, and oats brought bursts of different flavors in every bite. Although the name of the recipe might imply this bar is a chewy chocolate chip cookie in bar form, it didn't seem like a chocolate chip cookie to me at all -- the coconut turns it into something totally different. These bars reminded me more of other bars I've made with coconut, like Paradise Bars and The Dream Slice. So if you're looking for a chocolate chip cookie fix, I would look elsewhere -- but if you're a fan of coconut, these bars deliver.

Recipe: "Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars" by David Lebovitz, adapted from Guittard Chocolate Cookbook by Amy Guittard.

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