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