One of my favorite sweet treats is Coconut Diamonds. I had not made them in several years though, due to the old oven’s unreliable temperature. It didn’t matter what we did, it was never accurate. It was not even consistently off, either. Some days the temperature was far too hot. Others it was much too low. And some days (the rarest of days) it was just about right. Needless to say this made baking quite a challenge. I managed to bake cakes for special occasions but beyond that my baking tended to be nothing more than frozen pizzas or things that had been pre-cooked and only needed to be heated thorough to serve. As someone who enjoys baking this was not easy.
Now that I am getting used to the new stove though I’m getting back into baking more fun things. Which, by the way, I really ought to NOT make a habit of. My waist line already hates me and my scale and I have become mortal enemies. LOL But, I’m getting better at keeping my baking at a moderate level and increasing my exercise throughout the week. I’ll find a happy balance between the two some day, but for now unfortunately my love of baking sweets is still winning out. But, that’s not what we are here to talk about today.
I’ve seen but a few recipes for Coconut Diamonds online; most of them are similar to the recipe I use but not the same. I did find the same recipe on google though, so this is one that is floating around out there in cyber space. I got it from my mom’s old Better Homes & Gardens cookbook; I can’t recall the year of the book (they put them out every year, you know…) and we do not have it anymore, but I believe it was from the late 70’s.
To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup packed light brown sugar, divided
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Begin by preheating your oven to 350° Fahrenheit (about 177° Celsius if I am remembering my math correctly but don’t quote me on that one, conversions were never my strength in math lol). Line a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, extending the foil over the edges a bit for easy removal later. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Be sure to spray both the bottom and the sides.
Cream the butter with 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add 1 cup flour and combine with a fork or a pastry blender. The mixture will be crumbly and dry.
Press this mixture firmly on the bottom of your prepared pan. Bake for about 15 minutes until the edges are lightly golden.
While the first layer is baking, prepare the second layer:
Beat eggs slightly. Add vanilla extract and beat. Gradually add the brown sugar 1/4 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add flour and salt and mix well.
Stir in the coconut and walnuts.
By the time you finish preparing the second layer, the first layer should be ready to come out of the oven. It will still be very light in color, only the very edges will be lightly golden browned in color.
Spread the coconut mixture over the baked layer. Yes, you do this immediately after taking the baked layer out of the oven, while it’s still hot.
Now, pop it back into the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.*
Let cool completely. Once cooled, use the foil to lift from the pan. Carefully peel the foil away from the sides – the bottom layer is not likely to stick however you may have some sticking along the top layer. Cut into diamond shapes. Or just squares, whatever floats your boat.
I cut mine while still slightly warm because I have no patience. lol You can pop the pan into the fridge to cool them faster. The middle will still be pretty gooey if you cut while still warm – it thickens as it cools though so don’t worry.
When baking the first layer it is important to not over-bake it. It will finish baking after you put the second layer on top.
Inserting a toothpick in the center to test doneness: the recipe states to bake till a toothpick comes out clean. I’ve never made these when I’ve baked them long enough for a toothpick to come out clean. I feel like if you bake them that long they’d be very over-baked. When I do the toothpick test, if it comes out just looking wet, they’re done. There should not be a coating of batter on it; it’ll just look wet as if you had dipped it in water.
Cutting: Regardless of how you want to cut these, the top is light and slightly “crusty” in texture and it will crack when you cut it. Don’t even bother trying to avoid this – it is not possible. I’ve found that cutting is easier if you frequently clean off the knife and spray it with non-stick spray to help keep the filling from sticking to the knife and making cutting messy.
These are very rich, indulgent treats. And, kind of like brownies, the edge pieces tend to be everyone’s favorite for the extra chewy texture they have as compared to the middle pieces. This is not a recipe you’ll make with intentions of devouring these all yourself – they’re far too rich to indulge too much at once. Which is a good thing, if you ask me. But do be aware of how rich they are and you may want to have some friends and/or family willing to share these with you so none of them will go to waste.