oh, mango and coconut. you guys are just too good together!
you bring out the best in one another, an all-important aspect of any successful relationship.
in a desperate, late-ditch effort to hold on to capture some of my favorite summertime flavors, i made these creamy mango coconut bars. and oh my, am i so glad i did that.
words that come to mind when i think about this dessert: luscious. tropical. velvety. sultry.
i guess there’s just something about these creamy mango coconut bars that’s a little sexy. a certain je ne sais quoi. you’ll totally know what i’m talking about when you taste them.
the base is a crumbly coconut shortbread that’s good enough to eat on its own. i made the filling using a simple mix of mango puree, egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk. a generous amount of airy coconut whipped cream is spread on top, followed by a smattering of lightly toasted coconut.
though i’ve grown so weary of the heat and humidity that accompanies a Florida summer, i adore the flavors. there’s so much wonderful local produce to enjoy, and mangoes are certainly no exception.
mangoes are lovely and sweet and juicy, and their color is gorgeous beyond belief! i totally wish i could pull off wearing that color, but sadly mango (and all other shades of orange) just wash me out and make me look really weird.
if you can pull off mango, i am so jealous of you right now. for realsies.
anywho, my love for all things coconutty is certainly no secret. i’ve shared a handful of coconut recipes here, and i can assure you that this isn’t the last time you’ll see it. do you like coconut? i hope you do. it’s so tropical and sweet and ever-so-slightly nutty. it makes me swoon a little.
coconut is also a color i can’t quite pull off. white also washes me out completely, making me look like a ghost. maybe toasted coconut would look better on me. we’ll never know.
back to this delicious dessert! to me, this is a no-holds-barred celebration of summer. i know that in parts of the country that actually experience seasons (lucky!), perhaps you’re already noticing summer slowly begin to fade away. these creamy mango coconut bars are a lovely send-off to summer, and guess what? they freeze beautifully, and are actually kind of amazing right out of the freezer! do it.
creamy mango coconut bars
Yield: one 8" x 8" square pan bars
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
for the coconut crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
for the mango filling
one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup mango juice (you can use mango puree as well)
for the topping
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut, toasted (you can use large flake or shredded!)
for the coconut crust
preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
line an 8" x 8" pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to drape over two sides of the pan. set aside.
in a medium bowl, combine the flour, coconut, sugar and salt. whisk to combine.
add the melted butter, and using a rubber spatula, mix until crumbly.
press the crust into the prepared pan firmly.
bake the crust at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until very lightly golden brown.
remove from the oven and set aside.
for the filling
in a medium bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and mango juice. whisk until thoroughly combined.
when the crust comes out of the oven, pour the filling directly over it while still hot.
return the pan to the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is set and only slightly jiggly in the center.
remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire baking rack.
for the topping
combine the whipping cream and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. using the whisk attachment, whip on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
add the coconut milk, and whip another 30 seconds until firm peaks form.
you can also use a hand mixer or whip by hand, but it will take a bit longer.
spread the whipped cream on top of mango bars evenly, and sprinkle the toasted coconut on top.
cover the top of the pan with foil or plastic wrap, and allow to chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours until the whipped cream is firm.
remove from the fridge and pull the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper.
cut into equal squares and serve.
the mango coconut bars will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
a food + words original