Peanut Butter Coconut Blondies will become your new peanut butter favorite. Watch them disappear!
I hear you... when you think about flavors that pair well with peanut butter, coconut isn't the first one to come to mind. Or it didn't come to your mind at all. It wasn't even in the top 100.
Yes, yes, chocolate, bananas, marshmallow. All the usual suspects. I almost forgot to include jelly. Although, does anyone really eat peanut butter with grape jelly anymore? For the most part, people prefer strawberry jam to grape jelly these days, right?
If the coconut flavor in these bars was really strong, I could see how it would compete or overtake the peanut butter, or even downright clash with it. Instead, it accentuates it. I learned this about coconut after I tried this recipe for chocolate peanut butter protein balls out of a magazine. The recipe called for a little coconut extract. I thought it was strange and I almost left it out. What could that add to chocolate and peanut butter, a duo that is already top notch and tough to beat? The answer is: EVERYTHING.
Okay, not everything. Again, chocolate and peanut butter are a stellar combo. Still, the coconut extract really made these protein balls stand out in a sea of a million other chocolate and peanut butter snacks!
I was shocked at the difference that the coconut flavor adds to those little energy balls, and it got me thinking that I should base an entire peanut butter dessert (because I don't have enough of those) around the idea of combining the two.
Starting with a buttery and brown sugary blondie base, adding a boatload of peanut butter, and some shredded coconut, you end up with a thick, soft, and chewy peanut butter blondie bar with a touch of coconutty goodness. Topped with rich and creamy peanut butter buttercream, and a smattering of shredded toasted coconut, you have the perfect balance of peanut butter and coconut flavors.
My S.O. was initially a skeptic about the flavor combination in these blondie bars, but he was a quick convert once he tried them, and he truly couldn't stop eating them. As with most desserts in this household, they disappeared quite quickly!
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