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May 29, 2013 04:09 PM

Bought Trader Joe's thick strips of lightly sweetened dried coconut. Now what?

I got them a few months ago and have yet to open the bag. I suppose I could dip them in melted chocolate or grind them up for use in baking but both seem like traveling from Newark to New York via Pittsburgh. I could just buy Mounds candy or bagged shredded coconut.

Anyone have any suggestions? The strips are slightly pliable but roughly 1/4" thick and wide, from 1 to 3" long. Some straight, some curled. I think they would be hard enough to chew that they would not be pleasant to eat out of hand, but I could be wrong since I have not tried them yet.

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  1. I add to my own made granola

    1. I bought a big bag of dried coconut from Costco and while I've been adding slivers to fresh fruit, Greek yogurt and just nibbling on it out of hand, I did make these bars the other day and they were very tasty. The lemongrass and coconut combo was so refreshing.

      Lemongrass Bars with Coconut Shortbread Crust

      1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
      1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (about 3 ounces)
      1/2 cup powdered sugar
      1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

      1 1/4 cups sugar
      scant 1/2 cup grated lemongrass
      5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
      3 large eggs
      1/4 cup all purpose flour
      Powdered sugar

      Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Using electric mixer, beat flour, coconut, powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl until well blended, 30 seconds. Add butter; beat on low speed until moist clumps form. Press dough onto bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan. Bake crust until golden (edges will be darker), about 25 minutes.

      Meanwhile, place sugar and lemongrass in processor; pulse until lemongrass is finely ground, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice; process until well blended, about 30 seconds. Add eggs; process to blend, 10 to 15 seconds. Add flour and pinch of salt; pulse until smooth.
      Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Pour filling over hot crust; bake until filling is firm, 22 to 23 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.
      Cut lemongrass bars lengthwise into 4 strips, then crosswise into 6 pieces. Dust bars with powdered sugar and serve.

      4 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        Nice recipe but not suitable for these strips in their current form. I suspect I'll need to go in the savory direction, with a curry or soup.

        1. re: greygarious

          Are the strips you bought from TJ's different than the ones I nabbed @ Costco?

          Here's what I bought:

          1. re: HillJ

            I can't tell how large and thick the Costco shards are but the TJ ones could never work with an electric mixer. They are much longer than they are wide/thick. In cross-section they are roughly 1/4" square. And they are not as tender as described in the link.

            1. re: greygarious

              There's a photo on that link that shows the coconut out of the bag. I used a microplane to flake the pieces for the bar recipe.

      2. Baked and then lightly salt them. You'll have to experiment with temperature and time. It's a snack that goes great with a martini.

        3 Replies
        1. re: BluPlateSpec

          Curious, you baked dried fruit and added salt to coconut shards already sweet? That's interesting.

          1. re: HillJ

            A very long time ago there was a commercial snack product called (I believe) "Coconut Zombies." A friend's mother always had them on the kitchen counter and I would find any reason to visit so I could grab a hand full. As I remember they were baked or toasted to the point that the edges were a deep brown with the center being a lighter shade and softer. The light salting just accented the sweetness. Maybe I'll get some coconut and try to recreate it.

        2. Keep them whole and bake them into a coconut-lime cake, they make a really tasty texture contrast - plus they look beautiful scattered on top! I love this recipe:

          I just add in a couple of generous handfuls of the coconut strips when making the batter.

          1. IMO they taste great eaten out of hand. My complaint is that both my TJs and my Costco never have them in stock!