A buttery soft blondie based dotted with semi-sweet chocolate chips and flaked coconut and accented with a hit of orange zest.
With most everyone at home lately, including me — you know what that means…more baked sweets!
However, I have really only been baking the tried and true recipes that my family loves; such as Snickerdoodle Blondies, Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie Bars, and Cinnamon Rolls.
No new recipes. No photographing. No telling my boys not to eat what I just made. No words.
You may ask why? Well, sometimes life veers you onto a different path.
Much like these bars – I was going to make a simple chocolate chip blondie, but no, to make them unforgettable I decided to toss in some coconut and orange zest.
And much like the road, sometimes you need a little nudge in order to get back onto the main path or to even decide to take a new path.
You see, long before this pandemic hit us, I was in a baking and blogging slump. I was not inspired.
I was trying to find my way back.
I had baked and photographed a few recipes, but I just did not have it in me to write anything.
Normally, baking calms me and brings me to a happy place and the creativity flows.
However, this was not the case. And I really did not know why.
This was unusual for me, as I have loved baking ever since I was a little girl.
When I finally got the inspiration and motivation I needed, well, then, March 2020 happened.
It’s been such a crazy, uncertain time.
I live in California and have been self quarantined going on 4-weeks. I am fortunate to still be employed and am able to work from home, my husband is self-employed and his business is considered non-essential (he cannot meet with his clients, yet still trying to get things done), and my son graduated from high school last year (very thankful for this) so he is home with us as well.
Like many of us – we are scared. The future is unknown. As is the status of our health and the economy.
But, I am not letting this pandemic getting the best of me.
I think positive thoughts every single day. I pray for everyone, everyday. I go on daily walks to refresh myself and clear my mind. And I love my family just a little bit harder.
I know we will get through this. And I’m the finding simple joys in baking, photographing and writing.
Chocolate has become my friend again. My love for baking has returned.
If you now have a pantry consisting of some mix-matched items and a garden full of fruit and flowers, now is the time to get creative.
You can substitute any of the mixed-in ingredients I used with pretty much any combination of things you have on hand.
And not matter what, baking WILL make you feel better and your version of my blondies will turn out great.
Your family will be thankful for your efforts and the delicous comfort of homemade sweets!
CHOCOLATE COCONUT BLONDIES
By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life
- 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract (or orange juice)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- Garnish: melted chocolate chips, coconut & orange zest
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter and beat on high until fluffy. Add the sugars and continue beating until well incorporated. Then add the eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated. Add the orange extract and mix well.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and baking powder until smooth. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the chocolate chips, coconut and 1 tablespoon orange zest.
- Pour mixture into the prepared pan, press with fingers if needed to create an even layer. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and set. Let blondies cool completely on a wire rack. Melt some chocolate chips in the microwave and drizzle on top of the blondies along with some coconut and orange zest. Cut into squares.
Give yourself a break – get in the kitchen and bake these unusually delicious Chocolate Coconut Blondies!