Orange Coconut Blondies are tender blonde brownies, elevated to a new level with the addition of orange marmalade, coconut and chopped walnuts. Top with a rich layer of creamy chocolate ganache and you have an elegant dessert! Variations are included in this super easy recipe.
I always love a good brownie, but sometimes, I’m in the mood for only a bit of chocolate. In which case, these orange coconut blondies with chocolate ganache are the perfect solution.
The combination of chocolate and orange is one of my favorites, so the obvious next step to tweaking my go-to blondies recipe was to add in a layer of chocolate ganache on top. Oh, my, these blondies are incredible! The orange and coconut gives them a fruity depth, and the walnuts provide hearty nuttiness. Dense, chewy and so yummy… and then the ganache layer takes them to a whole different level…
These blondies are so easy to make and the result is deliciously satisfying – as in, during the week that I first made these, Jay asked me to make them again… and again! He loves his desserts, but he doesn’t often request something in particular, so that made an impression!
And, if (for some odd reason) you’re not into chocolate, don’t skip this recipe – I’ve also made them without the ganache, with just a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top and sliced into sticks, rather than brownie square bars and… they were also delish! Just not as decadent as with the ganache… you decide! Either way, you can’t go wrong.
I also tried this recipe using my irresistible orange-ginger marmalade recipe, and that was fantastic too! If you haven’t tried that easy recipe, you really should, because it can be used in so many ways, – in baking, or for eating on toast or stirring it into yogurt as well.
Let’s Make Some Orange Coconut Blondies With Chocolate Ganache
After pre-heating your oven to 350F, the first step in this recipe is to chop the walnuts and toast them – do keep an eye on them, as they will toast quickly and you don’t want them to burn! Remove the walnuts from the oven and quickly scrape them off of the baking sheet. You’ll use the same baking sheet to toast the coconut for just a few minutes – be sure to keep an eye on the coconut, too! It only takes a minute too long for it to burn!
Take the coconut out of the oven when it looks almost, but not quite, overall lightly browned. Scrape it off of the hot baking sheet quickly, as it will continue to cook after removed from the oven.
Next, you’ll melt the butter and add the sugar, brown sugar and marmalade to the melted butter and mix well with a spoon. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix again. Stir in the walnuts and coconut.
You’ll then add the flour and salt, stirring to form a stiff batter.
Lightly grease and flour the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking pan and then evenly cover the bottom of the pan with the batter. Bake from between 12-20 minutes, until the top has turned a light golden brown.
See, wasn’t that easy?
While the blondies are cooling, you can make the chocolate ganache. If you haven’t made ganache before, don’t fret! Ganache is classy and elegant and rich and amazing, but ganache is not hard to make! In fact, it is all about ratios. The classic ganache recipe percentage is one and one half chocolate to one cream. If you remember the ratio, then you can always make as much or as little ganache as you want and it will always be perfect.
Finely chop your chocolate, set aside in a medium sized bowl.
You’ll heat the cream to simmering (not boiling!) over medium heat.
Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate. Let the bowl sit for about 2 minutes, then stir to blend.
Let the blondies cool completely before icing with ganache.
When the ganache is ready, spread over the top of the cooled blondies and refrigerate until the ganache has firmed up. Cut into squares and serve. You can garnish with a few chopped walnuts or leave them as is – both ways look beautiful. I love how shiny and silky the ganache looks!
These orange coconut blondies are easy to make and ever so tasty. I hope that you will love them as much as we do! I especially enjoy them around the winter holidays, (they are so festive!) but I have made them in every season and they are always a hit.
If you have any extra ganache, it will keep in the refrigerator for about a week – after that, it will begin to lose its glossy “shine” and the flavor changes and becomes more tangy (cheesy?), which is your sign that it’s too old to use again.
And, as mentioned above, if you make these blondies without the ganache topping, they are not quite as decadent, but the coconut-marmalade-walnut additions stand on their own for a rich and chewy blondie bar cookie.
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Orange Coconut Blondies With Chocolate Ganache
For the Blondies:
- ½ cup melted butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 egg large
- ¼ cup toasted coconut flakes
- ¼ cup toasted chopped walnuts, plus a bit more for optional garnish
- ¼ cup orange marmalade
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
For the Chocolate Ganache:
- ¾ cup good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup whipping cream
For the Blondies:
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F
- Chop walnuts and spread evenly on a large baking sheet and toast until slightly browned; only a few minutes! Remove from oven and immediately take walnuts off of the hot baking pan.
- Spread coconut flakes evenly over the surface of the same large baking pan
- Toast the coconut until almost evenly light brown – don't turn your back on the coconut while it toasts, and watch closely. Coconut toasts very quickly and can burn easily! Coconut also continues to cook after removing from oven, so better to err on side of caution and remove coconut from the oven when just slightly under-done and then remove it from hot baking sheet immediately.
- In a medium sized pot, melt butter. When butter has cooled slightly, add sugar, brown sugar and marmalade to the butter and mix well with a spoon. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix again. Stir in toasted walnuts and coconut.
- Then add the flour and salt, stirring to form a stiff batter
- Lightly grease and flour the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch baking pan and then evenly spread the batter over the bottom of the pan. Bake from between 12-20 minutes, until the top has turned light golden brown, checking at about 14 minutes.
- Remove blondies from oven and allow to cool completely
For the Chocolate Ganache:
- Finely chop the semi-sweet chocolate, and place in a small mixing bowl
- In a small heavy-bottomed pot, bring the cream to a light simmer over medium heat, not to a boil. Boiling could separate the cream or burn the chocolate
- Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate. Let this sit for about 2 minutes and then stir to mix into a thick chocolate ganache
- When blondies have cooled, cover with ganache and refrigerate to set the ganache
- Optional: Garnish with more chopped toasted walnuts before refrigerating, if you choose
- Cut into 16 bars or to the size of your choice