Peanut Butter Coconut Bars

March 24, 2013

Happy spring! (Well, technically… maybe not according to the weather we’ve been having here in upstate NY. Ha.) I was going through some of the food photos I’ve taken in the last couple of months, and I’m going to try to catch up on some older recipes before spring really gets here and I become overwhelmed with vegetables!

These peanut butter coconut bars, from the Gourmet Cookbook, were one of the new desserts I tried at our Christmas party. The combination of peanut butter and coconut is an unusual one; definitely a unique twist on the usual peanut butter cookies or peanut butter blondies that I’ve made in the past. I love bar cookies, especially during a busy time such as the Christmas party, because they tend to be less work-intensive that regular cookies. While drop cookies (like chocolate chip or peanut butter) are certainly easy, you still have to measure out individual portions and bake multiple sheets, and the extra time definitely adds up when you’re trying to prepare a lot of other recipes for the same event.

Because I didn’t have a 15½-by-10½-inch baking sheet, I used a lasagna pan that was slightly smaller than those measurements and increased the baking time by a few minutes. I didn’t want to buy a specially sized pan just for these! Maybe I’ll invest in one if I come across more recipes in the future, but for now everything else I’ve made calls for a basic 13-by-9 pan. Although the texture of these cookies turned out slightly crumbly (the triangles broke easily at the corners if not handled carefully), the flavor was fantastic! And I loved the texture that the coconut contributed along with the crunchy peanuts. Definitely give these a try if you like peanut butter and coconut! I had some left over after the party and they were perfect for a small after-lunch dessert at work.

Peanut butter coconut bars

The bars keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Makes 4 dozen bars


  • 1½  sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1  cup sugar
  • 1  cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1  large egg
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 2  cups (about 5 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2  cup finely chopped slated roasted peanuts


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 15½-by-10½-inch baking sheet with sides and line bottom of sheet with parchment paper. Grease top of paper.
  2. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add peanut butter and beat until well combined. Beat in egg, vanilla, and salt. Add flour and beat until just combined, then stir in coconut.
  3. Spread mixture evenly in baking pan. Sprinkle peanuts over top and gently press them into mixture so they adhere.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.
  5. Cut into 24 bars, then cut each bar in half diagonally to form 2 triangles.


  1. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

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